The pyrolysis of municipal waste

With the pyrolysis of municipal waste, in particular of plastics, the British company Cyna Plc has managed to produce fuel to power an airplane. Therepyrolysis of municipal wasteit is a process that is not without side effects, despite the increase in plants of this type, the best way to dispose of waste consists in good separation with consequent recovery and recycling of materials.

We hear more and more often about pyrolysis of municipal waste and in fact this process tends to replace the old incinerators. There are those who claim that with the pyrolysis there is less environmental damage while opinions are getting harder among environmentalists: the process of pyrolysis of municipal waste it would release dioxins, heavy metals, carbon dioxide and other dangerous pollutants into the atmosphere. Not only the air but also the soil and water are in danger: the waste products of pyrolysis of municipal waste they would contaminate land and water tables.

Many cities around the world have rejected the proposal to adopt thepyrolysis of municipal waste because the benefits proposed by the proposing industries have not been confirmed by the facts. In addition, the same Environmental Protection Agency of the USA and that of the European Union classify the factories of pyrolysis of municipal waste as "Incinerators ".

To confirm the classification ofEnvironmental Protection Agency there are many sector studies, according to which there is no benefit when comparing a pyrolysis of municipal waste with a traditional incinerator. The difference lies in the mechanism of action and above all in the investment that when it comes to pyrolysis it is much higher. In other words, a pyrolysis of municipal waste it would be able to move higher capital.

According to a study conducted by the Tellus Institute, "recycling saves more than 7 times CO2 than landfilling, and nearly 18 times the CO2 reductions from pyrolysis plants. Similar estimates emerge when one compares recycling to the treatment process of municipal waste in classic incinerators.

What changes between the waste pyrolysis and treatment in "traditional incinerators“?
They are both "waste-to-energy plants ", in both cases thermal energy is administered to urban waste in order to produce electricity. The environmental damage appears to be the same, both for traditional incinerators and for pyrolysis plants.

In technical terms, traditional incinerators burn waste in a single chamber with an excess of oxygen. With the pyrolysis plants the waste is heated in a chamber with an oxygen deficit, a process takes place in this chamber "gasification" (waste, in the absence of oxygen, produces gases). The gases released are conveyed to a separate chamber where they are burned: pyrolysis plants use a boiler or a gas turbine to generate electricity.

Video: Municipal solid waste pyrolysis gasification plant with generator for 500KW electricity, power plant (November 2021).