The Prediction of Calorific Value of Carbonized Solid Fuel Produced from Refuse-Derived Fuel in the Low-Temperature Pyrolysis in CO2

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Syguła, Ewa
Świechowski, Kacper
Stępień, Paweł
Białowiec, Andrzej
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Koziel, Jacek
Professor Emeritus
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Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

The Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering seeks to apply knowledge of the laws, forces, and materials of nature to the construction, planning, design, and maintenance of public and private facilities. The Civil Engineering option focuses on transportation systems, bridges, roads, water systems and dams, pollution control, etc. The Construction Engineering option focuses on construction project engineering, design, management, etc.

The Department of Civil Engineering was founded in 1889. In 1987 it changed its name to the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering. In 2003 it changed its name to the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.

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  • Department of Civil Engineering (1889-1987)
  • Department of Civil and Construction Engineering (1987-2003)
  • Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (2003–present)

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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The decrease in the calorific value of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) is an unintended outcome of the progress made toward more sustainable waste management. Plastics and paper separation and recycling leads to the overall decrease in waste’s calorific value, further limiting its applicability for thermal treatment. Pyrolysis has been proposed to densify energy in RDF and generate carbonized solid fuel (CSF). The challenge is that the feedstock composition of RDF is variable and site-specific. Therefore, the optimal pyrolysis conditions have to be established every time, depending on feedstock composition. In this research, we developed a model to predict the higher heating value (HHV) of the RDF composed of eight morphological refuse groups after low-temperature pyrolysis in CO2 (300–500 °C and 60 min) into CSF. The model considers cardboard, fabric, kitchen waste, paper, plastic, rubber, PAP/AL/PE (paper/aluminum/polyethylene) composite packaging pack, and wood, pyrolysis temperature, and residence time. The determination coefficients (R2) and Akaike information criteria were used for selecting the best model among four mathematical functions: (I) linear, (II) second-order polynomial, (III) factorial regression, and (IV) quadratic regression. For each RDF waste component, among these four models, the one best fitted to the experimental data was chosen; then, these models were integrated into the general model that predicts the HHV of CSF from the blends of RDF. The general model was validated experimentally by the application to the RDF blends. The validation revealed that the model explains 70–75% CSF HHV data variability. The results show that the optimal pyrolysis conditions depend on the most abundant waste in the waste mixture. High-quality CSF can be obtained from wastes such as paper, carton, plastic, and rubber when processed at relatively low temperatures (300 °C), whereas wastes such as fabrics and wood require higher temperatures (500 °C). The developed model showed that it is possible to achieve the CSF with the highest HHV value by optimizing the pyrolysis of RDF with the process temperature, residence time, and feedstock blends pretreatment


This article is published as Syguła, E., Świechowski, K., Stępień, P., Koziel, J.A., and Białowiec, A. The Prediction of Calorific Value of Carbonized Solid Fuel Produced from Refuse-Derived Fuel in the Low-Temperature Pyrolysis in CO2. Materials 14, no. 1 (2021): 49. DOI: 10.3390/ma14010049. Posted with permission.

Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2020