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How AI, cloud computing technology could solve China's waste problem?

With the rapid development of the global economy, people's living standards are getting better. In order to meet the growing needs of the people, the demand of diversified goods and daily necessities increased. The increasing number of household waste resulted in great pressure on the environment, and some cities have even appeared garbage siege phenomenon.

In 2017, as the world's second largest economy with a large population, China's 202 large and medium-sized cities generated 201.944 million tons of household waste, which brought serious problems such as environmental pollution and the waste of electricity that used for waste incineration and clean-up.

46 pilot cities first tried the mandatory classification of household waste at the beginning of 2017, but the results were not very ideal. Until July 2019, Shanghai fully implemented the “Shanghai Household Waste Management Regulations”. Since the implementation of the regulation four months ago, great results have been achieved, not only has the amount of waste classification increased significantly, but also the participation rate of the public in the classification of garbage has reached more than 90%, which far exceeding expectations.

In order to implement the implementation of Shanghai's Household Waste Management Regulations better, artificial intelligence garbage classification platform came into being. At the Second China International Import Expo, Swiss industrial giant ABB showed its new artificial intelligence garbage classification scheme, which was in front of many viewers. A two-handed robot uses dexterous movements to accurately separate all types of waste, such as bread, paper cups and plastic bags, and put it in the corresponding trash can.

The key to the tacit cooperation of the whole platform is the comprehensive application of cutting-edge technologies such as machine vision, cloud computing and deep learning. In the daily life, forms and types of garbage are diversity. The integration of these cutting-edge technologies allows robots to learn and become smarter. In the next 5-6 years, robots are expected to replace manual sorting completely. With the help of AI and new sensors, these robots will be able to divide the waste into more components and effectively reduce the level of impurities in the components. Finally, the separation process will become faster and more efficient in terms of input and output.

In addition, the Reppie Waste-To-Energy project in Ethiopia constructed by China Power Engineering Co., Ltd. (China Electric) also shows a future trend of 'turning waste into treasure'. On the southwestern outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, there is a garbage mountain which is more than 30 meters high. For more than 50 years, most of the household waste in Addis Ababa has been dumped here. In 2017, more than 40 people died when the dump was collapsed.

After the Reppie garbage power plant being put into operation, it handles 1,800 tons of waste a day and generates up to 185 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, guaranteeing lighting for one-third of Addis Ababa 's homes.

Zhang Sheng, deputy general manager and senior engineer of the third division of China Power Engineering Co., Ltd., said that in the process of flue gas emissions, Chinese electricians strictly adopt the process of "SNCR and semi-dry acid removal and bag dustremoval" to control the emissions of hazardous substances under international standards. In terms of preventing water pollution, the domestic sewage in the Reppie garbage power plant will be discharged into the leachate treatment station. The leachate treatment uses the combination of the "pre-treatment and anaerobic reactor and deep treatment" treatment scheme to ensure the treated sewage meeting the requirements of local water discharge indicators before being discharged into the river.

We can believe that these technologies will lead to new waste disposal solutions and they will contribute to the environmental protection and the sustainable development around the world.


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