Specialists from the Tomsk Polytechnic University have found out that more than 70,000 cubic meters of industrial waste generated or dumped in the Arctic and subarctic zones of Russia would be suitable for being processed into fuel for thermal power plants.
“This type of waste is not recycled, but stored in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, or has been left behind in the past. These materials can be recovered and processed into different types of fuel. Barrels that used to contain fuel and lubricant can be cleaned and what is extracted can be used to produce liquid composite fuel. Fuel can also be made of plastic. Instead of burning it, it can be used as a fuel component,” Galina Nyashina, a member of the TPU Research School of High Energy Physics, told TASS news agency.
During their work, the experts studied articles published in Russian and foreign scientific journals in the period 2016-2019. In their research and calculations, they found that more than 7,000 cubic meters of usable fuel and lubricants, mostly in barrels, and more than 64,000 cubic meters of solid household waste, such as paper, sawdust, building materials and plastics, had accumulated in the Arctic and the surrounding regions.
Nyashina noted that the use of this waste in various combinations would allow the production of both environmentally friendly fuels (using wood chips and sawdust) and high-energy fuels based on petroleum products. In addition, the construction of a recycling plant in the Arctic would help solve the environmental problem, supply the region with energy and create additional energy sources for local heating power plants.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the Arctic Forum meeting in St. Petersburg in April 2019, saw the threat to the environment as the main problem in the Arctic. He noted that these risks will grow with the potential economic development of the Arctic region.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal