Sierra Energy's Zero Waste Innovation Park (ZWIP) is being planned as a regional research and development campus that will actively demonstrate technologies focused on achieving full waste diversion and conversion as an alternative to landfills.
As a fully operational waste processing facility, ZWIP is being designed to implement and test technologies that optimize all aspects of waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and energy recovery. Active research and technology demonstrations are planned in collaboration with public agencies, universities, national labs, and private industry.
To truly achieve the triple bottom line of environmental, economic, and social sustainability, the technology developed, tested, and implemented at ZWIP will help the waste industry to:
1) Recycle and reuse greater proportions of recyclable materials from current waste streams;
2) Recover energy from waste using diverse technological approaches;
3) Reduce our dependence on foreign oil by developing new products and fuels; and
4) Reduce the environmental, health, and land impacts from landfilling operations
Sierra Energy's Role as the Lead Innovator
Though the recycling industry continues to innovate, a significant portion of municipal solid waste continues to be destined for landfills. Additionally, waste streams such as medical waste and hazardous waste, cannot be effectively recycled requiring disposal at facilities with high operational and environmental costs.
ZWIP provides fertile ground for waste diversion, conversion, and renewable fuel production. FastOx® gasification is central to the research facility converting post-recycled waste into high value end products, including electricity, biodiesel, hydrogen fuel, ammonia, and construction materials.
Companion Technologies at ZWIP
ZWIP will feature state-of-the-art methods for reuse, recycling, and recovery of waste resources.
Some technologies in these categories likely to be developed and tested at ZWIP include recycling optimization, diversion of organics for composting, and anaerobic digestion. These systems already help to divert waste in an efficient and environmentally responsible way and ZWIP will provide a place for research and development that will result in better efficiencies for these technologies at lower cost thresholds. Emerging technologies systems such as syngas reformation and metal separation will also be tested at ZWIP.
Progress and Partners
Sierra Energy designated the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) as the primary research organization and lead academic partner for ZWIP. Sierra Energy has strong ties to the university through research activities, support of their entrepreneur programs, and a considerable amount of alumni employed at the company.
Due to UC Davis’ cutting edge research and leadership in the areas of sustainability, the environment and energy, their partnership at ZWIP will foster a sense of collaboration in seeking solutions to global challenges. This evolving partnership has focused the intent to plan, design, and build ZWIP in the greater Sacramento region.
Sierra Energy realizes that solving global challenges will also require other institutions of research and academia. We have begun discussions with Sandia National Labs, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Pennsylvania State University, Lehigh University, University of Southern California, Chico State University, Sacramento State University, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), and other national and global agencies and organizations about early collaboration at ZWIP.
It is Sierra Energy’s strong belief that by focusing the collective efforts of academia, industry, and government on solving the environmental and social problems associated with waste, and by creating new energy and transportation resources, we can make real, meaningful progress, today. Consider your part in this effort and how you might join us in building healthy and sustainable communities.
For more information or to become a research partner at ZWIP, please contact Rob White.