[Gasification] Waste Gasification and Pyrolysis

Tom Miles tmiles at trmiles.com
Sat Aug 24 12:50:34 CDT 2013



When we pyrolyze plastics or trash we usually wind up with char that is a
hazardous waste. It must be disposed of at a high cost, typically $600/ton,
in a hazardous landfill, or further processed for disposal in a lower cost -
$80/ton - landfill. It is not suitable for use as biochar. Recent studies in
Japan of the pyrogenetic characteristics of molten slag from waste pyrolysis
have sought to refine ash quality but it does not contain carbon. 


Gasification is the conversion of a solid primarily to gas. The char-ash
residue is not the principal product. As Lloyd says there have been many
waste gasification systems. You will find example of waste gasification
projects funded by the US government from about the 1970s readily on the
internet. Oxygen blown past furnaces were among the early technologies
applied to waste. The Purox (Union Carbide) process, still in use in Japan,
comes to mind. A few years ago the Purox process was considered for the city
of Indianapolis for waste. More recently Westinghouse plasma gasifiers are
gasifying waste in India and Turkey. Oxygen is burned in the plasma guns
that heat a bed of coke. The waste gasifies as it is partly heated by the
plasma. Ash melts and drip through the coke. One major ethanol project
considered using the Westinghouse plasma gasifier to produce syngas for
conversion to ethanol. All of the carbon is consumed in the process. The ash
in the blast furnace environment was sometimes converted to glass, as in the
Andco-Torrax 100 tpd pilot gasifier operated for several years at the Disney
World. In that process pyrolysis gas was oxidized to melt the ash to glass.
I remember that refractory wear was a problem in that plant. Refractory wear
is a challenge in waste and coal gasification and has been studied
extensively in the US.  


Purox - http://www.biomass2methanol.org/pureox01.htm

Westinghouse Plasma http://www.westinghouse-plasma.com/   


Gasification and pyrolysis processes for waste should not be discounted for
producing biochar. When used with cleaner biomass they make very good char.
The gasifier that is built by ICM was originally designed by a Boeing
engineer who developed the gasifier for waste gasification. (Boeing did more
than build planes. We worked on a Boeing designed refuse derived fuel plant
in the 1980s. ) ICM bought or leased the patent from the inventor. ICM has
demonstrated that when used with crop residues and urban wood wastes it
produces a very good char. They can make either ash or biochar. They applied
field tests for Iowa State University. It is a technology that is waiting
for suitable markets for heat, power and biochar for 200-400 tpd fuel input.






From: Gasification [mailto:gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On
Behalf Of Lloyd Helferty
Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2013 6:34 AM
To: Metta Spencer
Cc: 'Discussion of biomass pyrolysis and gasification'
Subject: Re: [Gasification] Please read this



 Trash --> Char does NOT equal "Biochar".  [!]   I would NEVER recommend
using the stuff in soils...

Sierra Energy's Gasification. Also (probably) not that NEW.   There are
many, many, many Gasification systems out there that make 'syngas' (hydrogen
and carbon monoxide) ~ and can do things similar to this, although this does
seem a bit "unique"... because of this so called "FastOx chemical reaction".

Best thing to do is probably to ask the folks on the "Gasification List"...

P.S. A Canadian company called Enerkem Technologies Inc. (www.enerkem.com)
has been making Ethanol from Trash for quite a while... probably long before
Ineos Bio came along.

Also ... Probably none of these companies in the article are (or even can)
claim "carbon negativity"...

  But, of course, if this system does work... maybe there are ways of
bringing it to Toronto...  [?]
   ... It would certainly help with the stuff** that can't be turned into
"biochar" (and used in soils).
**i.e. the stuff that's too contaminated.
 ( My 'business partners' here in York Region may be able to help make it
happen in the GTA... if indeed it works. [?] )


  Lloyd Helferty, Engineering Technologist
  Principal, Biochar Consulting (Canada)
  48 Suncrest Blvd, Thornhill, ON, Canada
  CELL: 647-886-8754
     Skype: lloyd.helferty
  Steering Committee coordinator
  Canadian Biochar Initiative (CBI)
  President, Co-founder & CBI Liaison, Biochar-Ontario
  National Office, Canadian Carbon Farming Initiative (CCFI)
  Come learn about biochar in October:
  Member of the Don Watershed Regeneration Council (DWRC)
  Manager, Biochar Offsets Group:
<http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=2446475> &gid=2446475
   Advisory Committee Member, IBI
"Technology is only a tool.  Sustainability is determined not by the the
individual technologies, but rather how -- and even whether -- we decide to
use them."
   - Lloyd Helferty

On 2013-08-18 7:37 PM, Metta Spencer wrote:

I don't know whether this system is compatible with biochar production, but
it would solve the problem they end the article with:  waste. 
Can you please tell me how they should evaluate the cost/benefits of this
procedure versus biochar manufacture with trash?


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