Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a shift in manufacturing from waste management to productive recycling and resource conservation as part of an initiative to reduce the country's reliance on fossil fuels.
Specifically, the EPA proposal would allow certain hazardous byproduct materials to be processed with gasification technology to produce a clean, safe power generation source.
Gasification puts coal and other carbon-containing materials under high temperatures and pressures to convert them into synthetic gas. The gas then is used as a fuel to generate electricity, fuel or steam. Synthetic gas is comparable to natural gas when used as a fuel, according to the EPA.
The agency plans to announce several other waste and recycling initiatives by the end of the spring, including waste minimization strategies, additional energy recovery projects and a retail initiative targeted toward customers.