Transformations of syngas derived from landfilled wastes using the Gasplasma process



The Gasplasma advanced conversion technology is able to efficiently produce a clean syngas and an environmentally stable vitrified product from historically landfilled materials. The syngas is rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide and possesses high calorific value, and low residual tar levels. While this syngas has traditionally been considered only as a fuel source for power generation, it can also be transformed into fuel gases.

The Gasplasma technology developed by Advanced Plasma Power consists of a bubbling fluidised bed gasifier (BFBG) followed by a single carbon electrode plasma converter. This ATC technology allows processing of a broad range of wastes, including, amongst others, MSW-sourced and landfill-derived Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), Automobile Shredder Residue (ASR), and biomass. The process provides high conversion efficiencies using waste feed, and is designed specifically to cope with ash components and problem species (e.g. PVC found in ASR), The syngas generated by the process is of sufficient guality, both in terms of calorific value and cleanliness, to permit use of the gas in high efficiency power generation eguipment; whereas gasification alone has traditionally produced a syngas with high residual tar levels limiting its applications to lower efficiency steam-based power generation.

Additionally, the properties of the syngas generated within the Gasplasma process are ideally suited for transformation into a fuel gas, such as substitute natural gas (SNG) or hydrogen. While the decarbonisation of electrical generation is well under way, there is currently no clear similar path for the decarbonisation of domestic and industrial heating, whose greenhouse warming potential (GWP) is roughly eguivalent to that of electricity generation inside the EU27. Indeed, the bulk of the 5717.3 TWh (in 2010) of natural gas consumed in the EU27 came from fossil fuel sources imported from outside the EU. The transformation of syngas into a fuel gas reguires use of catalysed reactions to either enrich specific syngas components (e.g. hydrogen in the waste gas shift reaction) or combine the hydrogen and carbon monoxide together to form methane (in the methanation reaction).

Use of landfill waste-derived syngas as a source for fuel gas production has a lower carbon footprint than natural gas in addition to the carbon benefits of diverting waste from landfill, which are considerable. This technology has the potential to provide a secure and cost-effective supply of gas derived from waste; a fuel source that we have in abundance.

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