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What is a Mass Burn Facility?

A mass burning facility is a location that processes municipal solid waste through incineration. They are often used in waste-to-energy conversion and require minimal pre-processing before burning commences. These plants can vary in size and can process between 25 and 3,000 tons per day depending on their size and demand.

In the facility, refuse is delivered by truck to pits where cranes remove bulky and non-combustible items and mix the waste. The sorted mixture is then left under pressure to prevent odors from developing until it is needed, at which time cranes lift the trash into charging hoppers for the boiler. The ash created from the combustion process is collected from beneath and through a pollution control system above so to prevent air pollutants from escaping.

In the case of a waste-to-energy system, the facility acts much like a steam engine. The refuse is combusted and used to heat water into steam, which is used to power a steam turbine-generator to produce electricity. The steam is then condensed back into water for reuse.

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Other Sources

“Mass Burn Facility.” The Worlds of David Darling. http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/M/AE_mass_burn_facility.html. Accessed August 20, 2016.

“Municipal Solid Waste Power Plants.” California Energy Commission. http://www.energy.ca.gov/biomass/msw.html. Accessed August 10, 2016.