Dr. Paul Connett Educates Local Media About Plasma Gasification Technology and Supports Zero Waste Approach for Barbados



Below are the questions answered by Dr. Paul Connett, in blue, for an article to be written and published in the Barbados Advocate newspaper: Yesterday the Barbados Advocate carried an article – Technolgy safe – which gave the assurance […] from Kerry McKenna, Technolgy Engineer at Cahill Energy plasma gasification is safe technology.

“In May 2012, Barbados hosted the UN Development Program’s “Achieving Sustainable Energy for All in Small Island Developing States” conference in the capital Bridgetown, during which the country committed itself to the “Barbados Declaration” which agrees to take actions toward providing universal access to energy, switching to renewable energy and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

During the UNDP conference, the Government of Barbados also committed the country to increasing renewable energy’s share of the island’s electricity capacity to 29% by 2029. The new Cahill Energy Plasma Gasification plant is an integral part of that plan.”

1) Against the background of the above, how true or false is the final part of this quote stating that the plant would be integral to going more green in Barbados?

Burning plastics is not renewable energy. There are better uses for arable land than producing king grass to burn. If you want energy from this then it can done using anaerobic digestion. The Cahill project will compete for cash for genuine renewable energy like wind and solar. A visiting German scientist has made it clear that Barbados could have 100% renewables. A green future for Barbados would be one that combines 100% renewables in the form of wind and solar along with a zero waste strategy discussed below.

2) What are the direct and indirect disadvantages to the plant?3)

The plant will emit toxic metals (even very low levels of lead, arsenic and mercury can interfere with a child’s mental development and lower IQ). In the event that there is any blockage in the air pollution train, or a fault in the ID Fan or problems with the engine burning the cleaned syn gas the plant is fitted with a stack to vent or flare the syn gas before it enters the air pollution devices. Any toxic metals, acid gases, dioxins or furans and other products in the gas will go uncleaned into the air. Flares do not have the same burning efficiency as an engine. The other issue is the release of nanaoparticles where much of the toxic metals and dioxins will be located. There is no monitoring or regulation of nanoparticles for these devices. We will only find out the harm they may cause by monitoring the environment or people living near the plant. Why takes such risks when there are better alternatives available – which can be developed at a fraction fo the cost? – see other answers below.

3) What scientific evidence is there that plasma gasification is wrong?

Those promoting this facility have yet to prove that it is right. There is no plant of this size handling municipal solid waste anywhere in the world. They have built one in UK but it is not operating yet. We do not know how much energy it can produce or its emissions levels (only theoretical predictions based upon smaller plants. Scaling up these plants from small projects to large commercial operations has proved very difficult for the gasification technologies). Until this UK plant has been measured and verified by independent scientists and demonstrated over several years – you are taking a huge risk. This technology is littered with failed projects and bankruptcies. Even if you made it safe, and found a place for the fly ash and other air pollution control residues you still would not have made it sensible. It does not make sense to spend so much money destroying resources . Each time you gasify any thing you have to go back to square one in the LINEAR economy. We have to move towards a circular economy if we are approach a sustainable Barbados.

4) Is landfilling a viable long-term solution to treat garbage in this country with our limited landspace?

NO – but there are better alternatives than this project – see answer in 5)

5) What are the viable, accessible, affordable options for Barbados?

The Zero Waste approach described in his book and presented in two public lectures here on July 13 and July 14. San Francisco is using this approach and has already reached 80% diversion from landfill without the dangers, political opposition and capital costs of incineration and created far more jobs in the process, (provide image of the ten steps) – See ZERO WASTE APPROACH SLIDE

6) Is there any way out of the contract already agreed upon?

There had better be, otherwise there are going to be very red faces in government and very angry citizens when they realize that the next 30 years has been mortgaged to very risk project which threatens there children’s future in many ways. Better to get out now than pay a fortune later.

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29 Comments on “Dr. Paul Connett Educates Local Media About Plasma Gasification Technology and Supports Zero Waste Approach for Barbados”

  1. MTT July 16, 2015 at 3:50 PM #

    Excellent piece of thoughtout information
    Persice and concise.
    Maybe the next step is to vote on a referendum on this thing so the people can deside on this thing


  2. David July 16, 2015 at 4:02 PM #

    We have to do something quick, our island is sinking under a pile of garbage. http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2015/07/16/illegal-dumping-plagues-bucks/


  3. RastaR July 16, 2015 at 4:09 PM #

    I don’t think the Hatch engineer said it was safe . the gist of his Generality’s was there was a lot of work to be done as yet and as I think PT@ said hatch is the replacement engineering company for OSL who left the project for non payment of their services invoice by Cahill
    The right thing to do is to cansel the project even at the cost of a penalty payment to Cahill . this would be a lot cheaper than the millstone hanging over the island like the sword of Damocles.


  4. MTT July 16, 2015 at 4:18 PM #

    AD solar recycling bio diesel from plastics all viable quick fixes
    Cahill’s white elephant is 5 years away
    Can the country put up with this scam for that long ?? I think not
    While the Cowan woman sips Chardonnay in her high rise FS condo the island is sinking in garbage that could be used to to fuel a renewable energy .


  5. Dean Forrest July 16, 2015 at 4:20 PM #

    Burning garbage to create energy is for stupid people who believe in fairy tales and goblins.


  6. pieceuhderockyeahright July 16, 2015 at 4:38 PM #

    Who be dis man Dr Connett or Dr. J. C? (Is he related to A.C? Sorry she last name got less letters and have a u in it)

    How he be let into Bulbados to tek a penny, rather a few million $$ out of DownLowe back pocket?

    Who gi’ he permission to enter heah, which immigration officah? Is dat officah neah 60 years ole so I can get he compulsorily retired??

    Wunna do know dat heads gine roll!! VISA revoked like Ralph Gonzales en Tom Adams


  7. Mr Watson Parkinson July 16, 2015 at 5:42 PM #

    Creating energy by burning rubbish, utter nonsense…! The amount of energy needed to create re-newable power far out-weights the return! Let’s us cut down on plastic containers and non-degradable materials, nearly all of which are imported…! A small country such as ours haven’t got the space for many landfills…! This may lead us into cutting our import bill and return us once again to be 90% self sufficient! Feed ourselves… Yes we can…!!!


  8. ac July 16, 2015 at 6:10 PM #

    Wait ! Piece uh de rock alias Change or die////i thought you had made your exit and gone to greener pastures.


  9. David July 16, 2015 at 9:07 PM #

    The Future Trust Centre has issued a challenge to the Cahill principals to debate the issue. One would think they would look forward to the opportunity to do so. Or do they…


  10. ac July 16, 2015 at 10:16 PM #

    Why would any one want to educate their enemies. ?


  11. de Ingrunt Word July 16, 2015 at 10:32 PM #

    You would ask that question, Messrs AC. Shows the antagonism of your soul. You are always ready to do battle. Never looking for a solution but always to perpetuate the problem.

    Thankfully there are others who seek resolution. That is the type of person who “wants to educate their enemies”.

    They may never become your friend but at least there is a possibility of peace and understanding.

    And in this case a possibility they also leave our island.

    Eventually BU will educate even you Messrs enemies of reason and logic.


  12. Penelope Hynam July 16, 2015 at 10:55 PM #

    As anyone noticed the similarity between this debate and the Greenland fiasco? So we plan to waste another $50 million?? How stupid can we be?


  13. David July 16, 2015 at 11:00 PM #

    @Penelope Hynam

    The difference this time around is that former Chief Town Planner St. Hill made us aware no lawyers were prepared to represent Richard Goddard et al at the time to challenge. Let us hope this time around we can find a few good lawyers. St. Hill has already provided grounds for the challenge


  14. ac July 16, 2015 at 11:02 PM #

    buddy u do not own the island any how who has shown hostility and aggressive behaviour are those who are opposing the plant,not ac , ac peace on this plant has been said but what gets to ac are those who would oppose the plant but as yet have no viable solution to reducing garbage at rapid pace.
    All these tired worn out recycled overdone scare tactics are not solutions. All of the ten sildes have been tried and they cannot keep up with disposing the amount of garbage accumulated daily in cities as populations get larger and people dependence is more on disposal items,
    Tell mr, Conell that the govt had thousand of angry faces a week ago in the street and the govt still standing who is him to tell any govt how to manage the affairs of their country,
    this two bit suitcase carrying salesman have a necessity to scare people that is the way he makes his living, how else would he survive and suckers like you would buy his books pay for his lectures while he laughs all the way to the bank,\
    This Guy discourages not out of the peoples interest but for his own ,he makes a living opposing and a good one too.


  15. ac July 16, 2015 at 11:25 PM #

    read this guy history of opposing, he has found a hook that works in his favour and it is called fear, people are generally afraid of the unknown.
    Dr Paul Connel has never encourage progress ,his information deals with fear , one of his pet projects was fluoride and as the public becomes more educate he moves away and on to another project this time gastification a new and uncharted waters that not many people are knowledgeable


  16. Dean Forrest July 17, 2015 at 2:00 AM #

    Cahill is a joke. A way for the boys to make tens of millions without even breaking a sweat or having to wait for a project to materialise into construction.
    The FCT have six more environmental engineers/experts scheduled to come to Barbados in the next 6 months to lobby Barbados against this Cahill project.


  17. Sunshine Sunny Shine July 17, 2015 at 5:20 AM #

    The funny thing with the gasification project is that when you googlep this technology alot of it is set in negativity. They all say the potential is there but they all also say there are incredible risk (financial, environmental, physical) associated with this techology as well. I really do not think these things can be disputed. So rather the this Professor is right or wrong, too much information out there supports his views.


  18. Kammie Holder July 17, 2015 at 8:16 AM #

    Trash and biomass incinerator companies market their facilities to governments and investors as a vital part of a successful Zero Waste strategy, right up there with recycling and composting. For instance, the Denver Zoo is building a facility to covert trash and elephant manure into electricity and heat, which they claim will help them achieve Zero Waste by 2025.

    Should burning materials that can be recycled or composted count as Zero Waste? The “waste-to-energy” industry claims incineration is compatible, while the Zero Waste International Alliance says no. What do you think?

    Join The Biomass Monitor on Thursday, July 16 at 5 pm PT (8 ET) where we speak with Ananda Tan, of Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), and Mike Ewall, director of Energy Justice Network, to get the counterpoint to industry claims on Zero Waste and incineration.

    Call in # 712 432 0111
    Code: 560040#

    The Biomass Monitor conference calls are held the 3rd Thursday of every month. Go to thebiomassmonitor.org for more information and to subscribe to our free, monthly online journal covering the health and environmental impacts of bioenergy.

    Editor, The Biomass Monitor
    Editor, Energy Justice Now


  19. Kammie Holder July 17, 2015 at 8:18 AM #

    From the circus https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=13&v=z9ufEYUPqMU


  20. Kammie Holder July 17, 2015 at 8:23 AM #

    From the circus Peter, as you refuse to debate or join the facebook group ” Bajans Against $700M Waste To Energy Plant” and hear the concerns https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=13&v=z9ufEYUPqMU


  21. David July 17, 2015 at 11:53 AM #


    Bear in mind the issue is waste management.


  22. Dean Forrest July 17, 2015 at 12:01 PM #

    Cahill is a disaster playing out in slow motion.


  23. Dompey July 17, 2015 at 4:51 PM #

    I guess Kammie Holder has appointed himself Barbados number one environmental advocate?


  24. ac July 17, 2015 at 5:35 PM #

    Look dr. Connel with all is charts and power points and expertise as an environmental scientist has yet to convince any govt that his scientific knoweldge about the negative effects of gastification is durable ,As they say the proof is in the eating,more seems as if the DR has convince govts that managing waste is an environmental issue that must be tackle with quickness,
    As i said this guy is making a fortune opposing any and everything within his reach yet he flies across the world in wide body jets whose toxic fumes and gases surpasses that of gastification plants a million times over on a daily basis i.e through out the world,. Question why isn,t the dr. quarreling with those manufacturing plant?good question , because he sees them as no threat that would affect his financial power in projects like solar and the numerous others that he mentions to be the be all and end all of waste management . therefore why would the goodly doc, waste his precious time chasing those kind of enterprises that does not effect his interest or finances ,, However Yes the WTE plant ! because it locks out his changes of being dominant in the “green industry because of not having the added advantage of speed and time management that the WTE can deliver, So therefore like chicken little he stands bold face and issue a warning which some believe without first hand investigation of who chicken little really is,


  25. St George's Dragon July 17, 2015 at 11:05 PM #

    Regarding ac’s comment of July 17, 2015 at 5:35 PM
    I put this into Google translation tools but it could not recognise the language.


  26. Bush Tea July 18, 2015 at 6:25 AM #

    @ Dragon
    …you needed to use Dr Ermine Belle’s translation tools – she gets lots of inputs like AC’s – down Jenkins…..


  27. David July 24, 2015 at 6:40 AM #
    Future Trust Meeting

    Future Trust Meeting


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