Energy recovery by fast pyrolysis of pre-treated trommel fines derived from a UK-based MSW material recycling facility


In this experimental study, a physically pre-treated trommel fines feedstock, containing 44 wt% non-volatiles (ash and fixed carbon) and 56 wt% volatile matter (dry basis), was subjected to fast pyrolysis to recover energy from its organic load, using a 300 g h−1 bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) fast pyrolysis rig. A physical pre-treatment method (including crushing, grinding and sieving) was used to prepare a 0.5–2 mm sized trommel fines feedstock to make it suitable for fast pyrolysis in the BFB reactor. Experimental results from the fast pyrolysis process showed that the highest yield of organic liquid was obtained at around a temperature of 500 °C. However, both char and gas yields increased dramatically at temperatures above 500 °C, as a result of enhanced cracking of organic vapours, which reduced the yield of liquid products. Overall, energy recovery from the pyrolysis products (liquid and gas products as well as char pot residues) ranged from 63 to 70%, generally increasing with temperature. A large proportion of the high ash content (36 wt%) of the feedstock was found in the char pot (>62%), while smaller proportions were found in the reactor bed and some liquid products. The char pot ash residues composed mostly of non-hazardous earth materials and may be applied in bulk construction materials e.g. cement manufacture. Although, there was no problem with the pyrolysis rig during 1 h of operation, longer periods of operation would require periodic removal of accumulated solid residues and/or char pot modification to ensure continuous rig operation and process safety.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)
Funding Information: The authors are grateful to the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute at Aston University for their continuous support.
Additional Information: © 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy recovery,Fast pyrolysis,Pre-treated trommel fines,Pyrolysis liquid,Solid residues,Control and Systems Engineering,Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment,Fuel Technology,Condensed Matter Physics,Energy Engineering and Power Technology,Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Publication ISSN: 1746-0220
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 07:15
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2020 10:18
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://www.sci ... 0830?via%3Dihub (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2020-10
Published Online Date: 2020-04-22
Accepted Date: 2020-04-14
Authors: Eke, Joseph
Bridgwater, Anthony V. (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7362-6205)
Onwudili, Jude A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5355-9970)

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