On April 4, 1972, Union Electric Company became the first to generate electrical energy from solid waste, at the Meramec Power Station near St. Louis, Missouri. Using household garbage as a supplement to coal, the plant produced 10 percent of its power from refuse. The city of St. Louis, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Union Electric Company cooperated on the project to demonstrate that using waste as fuel could improve the environment, conserve resources, and be economically feasible.In the years since the Meramec power plant first incinerated waste to produce electricity, waste-to-energy initiatives have become popular throughout the world. Today, waste is not the only material burned to produce energy. Byproducts of waste, such as methane gas, are also captured and used as a clean energy source. As the worldwide demand for energy grows, waste-to-energy projects will only grow in importance. They provide an alternative to fossil fuels and have a variety of economic and environmental benefits.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry capture Verb
to take or control.
dark, solid fossil fuel mined from the earth.
to save or use wisely.
the act of working together.
to show how something is done.
having to do with money.
set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge.
capacity to do work.
conditions that surround and influence an organism or community.
fossil fuel Noun
coal, oil, or natural gas. Fossil fuels formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals.
trash or waste material.
to create or begin.
to burn up entirely.
first step or move in a plan.
chemical compound that is the basic ingredient of natural gas.
available supply of materials, goods, or services. Resources can be natural or human.
to increase or add to.