PALM CITY, Fla., Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In New York City, The Army Corp of Engineers, the US EPA and FEMA are using a much better alternative to wood debris removal than in many past disasters. They are using Air Curtain Burners by Air Burners, Inc., the most cost effective and environmentally sensitive method of eliminating vegetative waste. Air Curtain machines do not require grinding or chipping. Whole logs, branches and root balls go directly into the machine just as the clean-up crews are bringing them to the collection sites. This saves time and money as well as significantly reducing harmful pollutants generated by the big diesel engines driving the grinders.
Grinding wood debris into mulch is expensive and harmful to the environment. The grinders use hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel an hour; there is high dust and particulate release and all the mulch has to be loaded into trucks and transported away, usually to a landfill. Less than 2% of the mulch can be recycled for beneficial use.
Air Curtain Burners are not incinerators, they are a pollution control device. A high velocity curtain of air is directed over the top of the FireBox. This curtain traps the smoke particles and causes them to re-burn. There are NO supplementary hydrocarbon based fuel supplies to support combustion, the wood waste is allowed to combust naturally, they just eliminate the smoke.
In the case of Hurricane Sandy debris in Brooklyn the situation is even worse due to the Asian Longhorned Beetle infestation of the wood. Grinding and chipping will not destroy all of the beetles and their larvae and therefore the transportation of the mulch will likely spread the infestation to healthy trees.The Air Burners machines not only destroy the larvae, but the waste is actually reduced into a clean sterile ash ready for recycling as a soil amendment. Grinding wood into mulch does not reduce the amount of waste, 10 tons of waste becomes 10 tons of mulch. Whereas the Air Burners machine transforms 10 tons of waste into a couple hundred pounds of clean, reusable ash. In addition the Air Curtain Burners are environmentally cleaner than the grinding and trucking operation as proven again with the testing completed by the USEPA and USACE at Floyd Bennett Field. Air Curtain Burners allow the wood waste to burn naturally while preventing any harmful levels of smoke.