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Article

Waste to Carbon: Estimating the Energy Demand for Production of Carbonized Refuse-Derived Fuel

1
Faculty of Life Sciences and Technology, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences (Poland), 51-630 Wroclaw, Poland
2
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University (US), Ames, IA 50011-3270, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5685; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205685
Received: 19 August 2019 / Revised: 9 October 2019 / Accepted: 11 October 2019 / Published: 15 October 2019
We have been advancing the concept of carbonized refuse-derived fuel (CRDF) by refuse-derived fuel (RDF) torrefaction as improved recycling to synergistically address the world’s energy demand. The RDF is a combustible fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW). Many municipalities recover RDF for co-firing with conventional fuels. Torrefaction can further enhance fuel properties and valorize RDF. Energy demand for torrefaction is one of the key unknowns needed for scaling up CRDF production. To address this need, a pioneering model for optimizing site-specific energy demand for torrefaction of mixed RDF materials was developed. First, thermogravimetric and differential scanning calorimetry analyses were used to establish thermal properties for eight common RDF materials. Then, the model using the %RDF mix, empirical thermal properties, and torrefaction temperature was developed. The model results for individual RDF components fitted well (R2 ≥ 0.98) with experimental torrefaction data. Finally, the model was used to find an optimized RDF site-specific mixture with the lowest energy demand. The developed model could be a basis for estimating a net energy potential from the torrefaction of mixed RDF. Improved models could be useful to make plant-specific decisions to optimize RDF production based on the energy demand that depends on highly variable types of MSW and RDF streams. View Full-Text
Keywords: waste to carbon; municipal waste; energy recovery; CRDF; torrefaction model; circular economy; refuse-derived fuel; zero waste; waste management waste to carbon; municipal waste; energy recovery; CRDF; torrefaction model; circular economy; refuse-derived fuel; zero waste; waste management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Stępień, P.; Serowik, M.; Koziel, J.A.; Białowiec, A. Waste to Carbon: Estimating the Energy Demand for Production of Carbonized Refuse-Derived Fuel. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5685. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205685

AMA Style

Stępień P, Serowik M, Koziel JA, Białowiec A. Waste to Carbon: Estimating the Energy Demand for Production of Carbonized Refuse-Derived Fuel. Sustainability. 2019; 11(20):5685. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205685

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stępień, Paweł; Serowik, Małgorzata; Koziel, Jacek A.; Białowiec, Andrzej. 2019. "Waste to Carbon: Estimating the Energy Demand for Production of Carbonized Refuse-Derived Fuel" Sustainability 11, no. 20: 5685. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205685

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