Pyrolysis Technology:  Recovering value from waste

Industrial Pyrolysis Advantages

Pyrolysis Technology

Pyrolysis is a thermal decomposition of solid or liquid material into gas and solid phases in absence of the external oxygen (air) supply. The pyrolysis process takes place under the temperatures typically around 500-600 C.

The gaseous product of pyrolysis can undergo the following transformations in downstream processes:
  • Cooling down followed by oil condensing (commercailly viable liquefaction is applicable for a limited number of feedstock such as plastics)
  • Secondary combustion and generation steam in boiler, which consequently will be sent to steam turbine to generate electricity: Modular Pyrolysis Steam Cycle (MPSC) system

In both case flue gas is cleaned prior to be disposed through stack

Pyrolysis process is self-sustainable, i.e part of energy generated by pyrolysis gas (and pyrolysis char) will be used for pyrolysis kiln heating and drying if required.

Pyrolysis gas could also be cracked and thoroughly cleaned in order to be used as fuel in a gas engine, however pyrolysis gas conditioning is a complicated problem. Extra energy reclaming from the pyrolysis char in this case requires high temperatures treatment - energy consumption and maintenance issues. Consequently this approach was not yet fully commercialized.

Pyrolysis Applications

Pyrolysis plant can process various feddstocks for different purposes:
  • to recover energy - Waste-To-Energy plant (heat, electricity, bio-fuel),
  • to reclaim materials (metals, activated carbon, catalyst, soil),
  • to produce new materials (biochar, phosphorus),
  • to dispose hazardous waste (medical waste, industrial and refinery waste).
Additionally pyrolysis plant can combine energy generation with other purposes, e.g.
  • wood pyrolysis and biocar production, or
  • auto fluff pyrolysis for metals recovery, etc.

Pyrolysis advantages over Incineration

Pyrolysis has a number of important advantages over incineration.
  • Pyrolysis creates additional value (reclaming materials and new materials production), i.e. pyrolysis is more universal
  • Practical performance of pyrolysis in controlling the emission of harmful substances such as dioxins with levels dramatically lower than regulation values
  • Pyrolysis facility is self-sustainable, i.e. fuel is required only for start-up operations.
  • Pyrolysis plant in most cases does not produce waste water effluent from the gas cleaning system.
  • Some remaining ashes from pyrolysis are non-toxic
  • Metals recoverd by pyrolysis are non-oxidized and can be further used.
  • Pyrolysis can handle both low calorific and high calorofic waste.
INPORTANT: Along with environmental advantages pyrolysis system is also more economical viable.

Pyrolysis and gasification

GASIFICATION is a thermal conversion of waste under conditions of the limited oxygen supply.

Practical applicability of gasification depends on waste to be treated since gasification is limited by several main operating issues related to feed size, moisture, high particle loading, tar formation.

Adaptation of gasification for the treatment of mixed waste such as MSW or medical waste suffers several technical problems due to heterogeneous structure of that waste and its moisture. Additional ash removal problems, preprocessing costs/energy requirements make gasification being is questionably viable in case of mixed waste treatment.

More information on our industrial pyrolysis