Research Papers: Energy Systems Analysis

Pelletization of Refuse-Derived Fuel Fluff to Produce High Quality Feedstock

[+] Author and Article Information
Charley J. Sprenger

Department of Chemical and
Biological Engineering,
University of Saskatchewan,
57 Campus Drive,
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: charley.sprenger@usask.ca

Lope G. Tabil

Department of Chemical and
Biological Engineering,
University of Saskatchewan,
57 Campus Drive,
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: lope.tabil@usask.ca

Majid Soleimani

Department of Chemical and Biological
University of Saskatchewan,
57 Campus Drive,
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9, Canada
e-mail: mas233@mail.usask.ca

Joy Agnew

Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute,
2215 8th Avenue,
Humboldt, SK S0K 2A0, Canada
e-mail: jagnew@pami.ca

Amie Harrison

Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute,
2215 8th Avenue,
Humboldt, SK S0K 2A0, Canada
e-mail: aharrison@pami.ca

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received July 12, 2017; final manuscript received January 10, 2018; published online March 14, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Yaning Zhang.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(4), 042003 (Mar 14, 2018) (10 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1355; doi: 10.1115/1.4039315 History: Received July 12, 2017; Revised January 10, 2018

Municipal solid waste (MSW) may be a suitable feedstock for thermochemical conversion. Current technologies process the MSW into refuse-derived fuel (RDF) fluff before conversion. Bench- and pilot-scale densification trials were conducted to determine the parameters required to produce a high quality feedstock from the MSW-RDF material in pellet form. The RDF was densified, as well as the biodegradable (paper and wood) fraction of the RDF stream to compare quality of pellets for the two material compositions. A single pelleting trial was conducted to examine the compaction parameters that would produce high quality pellets: sample material, grind size, moisture content, temperature, and pelleting pressure. It was determined that quality pellets, for both materials, were formed at a grind size of 6.35 mm at 16% moisture under pelleting conditions of 90 °C and 4000 N applied load. Pilot-scale pelleting was then completed to emulate industrial pelleting process utilizing the parameters from the single pelleting trials that were deemed to produce quality pellets. All of the samples produced durable pellets (88–94%), with the ash content around 20%. A techno-economic feasibility study determined that 6.35 mm diameter pellets could be produced for an average cost of $38/Mg, although the aggressive process of the size reduction required indicates that it may not be a technically feasible option.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Single pelleting unit mounted on an Instron Model No. 3366 tester for pelleting of samples

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Diametral compression apparatus fit to the Instron machine with tablet loaded on its edge [19]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

CPM-CL5 pilot-scale pelleting unit used for pelletizing samples

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Particle density of each sample material prepared for single pelleting trial. Error bars represent standard deviation; n = 3.



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