Thermal Destruction Behavior of Plastic and Nonplastic Wastes in a Laboratory-Scale Facility

[+] Author and Article Information
A. K. Gupta, E. Ilanchezhian, E. L. Keating

The Combustion Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

J. Energy Resour. Technol 118(4), 269-276 (Dec 01, 1996) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2793873 History: Received October 05, 1994; Revised May 08, 1996; Online November 06, 2007


Experimental and theoretical studies are presented from a laboratory-scale thermal destruction facility on the destruction behavior of surrogate plastic and nonplastic solid wastes. The nonplastic waste was cellulosic, while the plastic waste contained compounds, such as polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, polypropylene, nylon, rubber, and polyurethane, or any of their desired mixtures. A series of combustion tests was performed with samples containing varying composition test was performed with samples containing varying composition of plastic and nonplastic. Experimental results are presented on combustion parameters (CO, excess air, residence time) and toxic emissions (dioxin, furan, metals). Equilibrium thermochemical calculations are presented on the thermal destruction behavior of samples under conditions of pyrolysis, combustion, and pyrolysis followed by combustion. Special interest is on the effect of waste properties and input operational parameters on chemistry and product composition. STANJAN and SOLGASMIX computer codes were used in the chemical equilibrium study. Analysis and interpretation of the data reveal the effect of waste feed composition on combustion parameters and dioxin, furan, and metals emission. Equilibrium calculation results are used to describe the experimentally observed trends for the thermal destruction behavior of these wastes. The results show significant influence of plastic on combustion characteristics, and dioxin, furan, and metals emission.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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