Special Issue "Agricultural Crop Residue and Municipal Solid Waste to Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF)"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Hamid Rezaei
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada
Interests: biomass and bioenergy; biomass processing and handling; biomaterial densification; solid waste processing and management technologies; refuse-derived fuel (RDF) processing

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Farmers and municipal governments throughout the world are facing choices about how to manage the unending stream of residues and waste generated by their residents, businesses and agricultural farms. Although enhancing recycling technologies reduces a significant fraction of waste, still a large portion of municipal solid waste ends up in landfills. Landfilling means the loss of resources and landfill sites. Although crop residues may find a use as feed and animal bedding, the risk toxins from municipal waste leach into soil and water and produce emissions of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) that contribute to climate change. The benefits of harnessing this otherwise wasted energy are clear. Processing municipal solid waste (MSW) and agricultural waste (ag-residue) such as crop residues into a higher value solid fuel like Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) and energy harvesting from RDF eliminates a huge amount of emitted CO2-equivalent gases from the burning of fossil fuels. Every tonne of waste that is diverted from landfills eliminates 0.54 tonnes of CO2-equivalent gases from being emitted in landfill gas.

This special issue is called Agricultural Crop Residue and Municipl Solid Waste to Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) to be published in the Sustainability journal. This special issue is devoted to the presentation and discussion about the characterization of plant based residues and MSW, Ag-residues and RDF; separation and pre-sorting techniques developed for MSW and ag-residues, processing of MSW and crops residues and RDF into more valuable products, as well as the environmental and economic assessments. We welcome both fundamental and applied research in the mentioned fields. The well-prepared case studies that can be applied beyond a specific location will be considered for publication.

The following are some of the major areas in which papers are solicited:

  • Characterization
  • Separation and pre-sorting techniques
  • Treatment technologies (physical, chemical, mechanical, biological, thermal)
  • Processing municipal and agricultural wastes and RDF to convert into a more valuable product and/or fuel (Waste-to-Energy and Waste-to-Fuel approaches)
  • Environmental and economic assessments

The contribution of this special issue would be the focus on processing crop residues and MSW in order to convert to more valuable solid as a ready-to-use or drop in solid fuel. Production of RDF contributes to recovering the resources and energy from the material that otherwise would be landfilled.

Dr. Hamid Rezaei
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Agricultural crop residues
  • Municipal solid waste (MSW)
  • Agricultural solid waste (Ag-residue)
  • Refuse-derived fuel (RDF)
  • Waste-to-energy (WTE)
  • Waste-to-fuel (WTF)
  • Solid fuel
  • Processing and pretreatment

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Article
Pelletization of Refuse-Derived Fuel with Varying Compositions of Plastic, Paper, Organic and Wood
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4645; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114645 - 06 Jun 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
The combustible fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) is called refuse-derived fuel (RDF). RDF is a blend of heterogeneous materials and thus its handling is challenging. Pelletization is an efficient treatment to minimize the heterogeneity. In this research, typical RDF compositions were prepared [...] Read more.
The combustible fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) is called refuse-derived fuel (RDF). RDF is a blend of heterogeneous materials and thus its handling is challenging. Pelletization is an efficient treatment to minimize the heterogeneity. In this research, typical RDF compositions were prepared by mixing several mass fractions of paper, plastic, household organic and wood. The collected compositions were ground, wetted to 20% moisture content (wet basis) and pelletized. Increasing the plastic content from 20% to 40% reduced the pelletization energy but increased the pellet’s calorific value. Pellets with higher plastic content generated more dust when exposed to shaking. Making durable pellets with 40% plastic content needed an increase in die temperature from 80 °C to 100 °C. Increasing the paper content from 30% to 50% increased the durability but consumed higher energy to form pellets. Paper particles increased the friction between pellet’s surface and die wall as was evident from expulsion energy. Force versus displacement curve for material compression revealed that the RDF compositions have rigid material characteristics. Full article
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Review

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Review
Management of Crop Residues for Improving Input Use Efficiency and Agricultural Sustainability
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 9808; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12239808 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 659
Abstract
Crop residues, the byproduct of crop production, are valuable natural resources that can be managed to maximize different input use efficiencies. Crop residue management is a well-known and widely accepted practice, and is a key component of conservation agriculture. The rapid shift from [...] Read more.
Crop residues, the byproduct of crop production, are valuable natural resources that can be managed to maximize different input use efficiencies. Crop residue management is a well-known and widely accepted practice, and is a key component of conservation agriculture. The rapid shift from conventional agriculture to input-intensive modern agricultural practices often leads to an increase in the production of crop residues. Growing more food for an ever-increasing population brings the chance of fast residue generation. Ecosystem services from crop residues improve soil health status and supplement necessary elements in plants. However, this is just one side of the shield. Indecorous crop residue management, including in-situ residue burning, often causes serious environmental hazards. This happens to be one of the most serious environmental hazard issues witnessed by the agricultural sector. Moreover, improper management of these residues often restrains them from imparting their beneficial effects. In this paper, we have reviewed all recent findings to understand and summarize the different aspects of crop residue management, like the impact of the residues on crop and soil health, natural resource recycling, and strategies related to residue retention in farming systems, which are linked to the environment and ecology. This comprehensive review paper may be helpful for different stakeholders to formulate suitable residue management techniques that will fit well under existing farming system practices without compromising the systems’ productivity and environmental sustainability. Full article
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