EEP European Environmental Press

Pyrolisis of Organic Waste - Old Technique, New Implementation

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Source: EEP European Environmental Press

Oil produced by pyrolisis of organic waste could become an important source of renewable energy. The Dutch company BTG has recently delivered Malaysia’s first pyrolisis plant.

Pyrolisis is a well-established technique which goes back to the 1950s. Essentially, it consists in reducing the primary or raw material at a very high temperature. In this case, organic waste is brought very rapidly to a temperature of 500°C without additional air. This liberates steam and gases and produces charcoal. The pyrolisis oil is obtained from the condensed steam and can be used as a fuel in industrial heaters or as an additive in electric power stations. Research is underway on the use of the oil as a vehicle fuel or as a basis for chemical products.

The BTG plant, which will be constructed in the Malaysian town of Ayer Itam, will treat 50 tonnes of palm tree waste per day. Malaysia produces enormous quantities of palm oil: the country has four million hectares of palm plantations, an area equal to half the Netherlands. One hundred tonnes of palm fruits produces, as well as 20 tonnes of palm oil, around 20 tonnes of fibrous waste with a 65% humidity content. Until now, this waste was burnt in polluting incinerators and the cinders were taken back to the plantation. According to BTG, this waste is otherwise worthless, but is very well adapted to pyrolisis.

Info: CE, kortmann@ce.nl; Rijkswaterstaat, p.f.havermans@dzh.rws.minvenw.nl; Kema, hans.erbrink@kema.com

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