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Engineering >> 2017, Volume 3, Issue 3 doi: 10.1016/J.ENG.2017.03.004

Thermodynamic Analysis of the Gasification of Municipal Solid Waste

Beijing Key Laboratory of Green Chemical Reaction Engineering and Technology, Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Received:2016-12-01 Revised:2017-03-17 Accepted: 2017-03-26 Available online:2017-05-11

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This work aims to understand the gasification performance of municipal solid waste (MSW) by means of thermodynamic analysis. Thermodynamic analysis is based on the assumption that the gasification reactions take place at the thermodynamic equilibrium condition, without regard to the reactor and process characteristics. First, model components of MSW including food, green wastes, paper, textiles, rubber, chlorine-free plastic, and polyvinyl chloride were chosen as the feedstock of a steam gasification process, with the steam temperature ranging from 973 K to 2273 K and the steam-to-MSW ratio (STMR) ranging from 1 to 5. It was found that the effect of the STMR on the gasification performance was almost the same as that of the steam temperature. All the differences among the seven types of MSW were caused by the variation of their compositions. Next, the gasification of actual MSW was analyzed using this thermodynamic equilibrium model. It was possible to count the inorganic components of actual MSW as silicon dioxide or aluminum oxide for the purpose of simplification, due to the fact that the inorganic components mainly affected the reactor temperature. A detailed comparison was made of the composition of the gaseous products obtained using steam, hydrogen, and air gasifying agents to provide basic knowledge regarding the appropriate choice of gasifying agent in MSW treatment upon demand.


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