Sichone, K., Lay, M., White, T., Verbeek, C. J. R., Kay, H. & van den Berg, L. (2012). Pilot scale pyrolysis - determination of critical moisture content for sustainable organic waste pyrolysis. In Proceedings of Chemeca 2012: Quality of life through chemical engineering: 23-26 September 2012, Wellington, New Zealand. (pp. 281-293).
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7835
Economic feasibility of large scale organic waste pyrolysis was investigated for Inghams Enterprise (Waitoa) chicken dissolved air flotation sludge (DAF) and activated sludge (biosolids) from the Hamilton municipal waste water treatment plant. Processing data was obtained from pilot plant trials using the Lakeland Steel (Rotorua) continuous auger pyrolysis plant using feedstock at 15, 30, 45 and ~80% moisture contents. Economics were calculated based on estimated capital and operating costs of a large scale facility, revenue from selling char, savings from landfill diversion (including transportation and gate costs), energy savings by recycling syngas product and using waste heat for drying feedstock. For DAF, 15% moisture content gave yields of 21% syngas, 27% char, and 52% oil (dry weight basis). 15% moisture content gave the best processing conditions based on handling properties and degree of autogenesis. The DAF case does not give a payback period due to low scale of operations. For biosolids, 15% moisture content feedstock gave yields of 46% syngas, 31% char, and 21% oil (wet weight). Difficulties were found with plant blockages at 45% and 80% moisture contents. 15% moisture content gave the best processing conditions and the best economic performance with a payback time of 4.6 years for a facility that could process 11,000 tonnes per year.
This article has been published in the proceedings of Chemeca 2012: Quality of life through chemical engineering. Used with permission.