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Holistic Analysis of Emissions From a Modular Fast Pyrolysis System for Conversion of Biomass and Mixed Waste

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Journal Article - Embargoed Full-Text

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Mainstream Engineering Corporation Rockledge United States

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Fast pyrolysis of municipal solid waste MSW provides an alternative to open burn pits and MSW incinerators, which emit harmful gaseous emissions and particulate matter. Fast pyrolysis converts MSW to a primarily liquid product i.e., bio-oil, which burns cleaner than solid MSW. To demonstrate the benefits of processing MSW using pyrolysis, we measured emissions from three different burners fueled by pyrolysis bio-oil, char, and gas and compared the results to standards set by the EPA regarding emissions from waste incinerators. Five of the EPA regulated pollutants dioxinsfurans, Cd, Pb, Hg, and HCl were not observed during testing as they typically depend on feedstock composition Cd, Pb, Hg, HCl or are greatly reduced by burning liquid fuels dioxinsfurans. The pyrolysis system also met carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur dioxide emissions standards at 10.6 ppm, 16.8 ppm, and 2.3 ppm respectively. PM emissions exceeded EPA limits at 60 mgm3 versus 30 mgm3. However, PM emissions are easily reduced by using a baghouse filter adjusting the bio-oil burner air-to-fuel ratio. These results clearly demonstrated that pyrolysis can convert MSW to powerheat while also meeting EPA emissions standards without using air pollution control systems.

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  • Fuels

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