Adding recovered plastics to biomass in a gasification process can increase the quality and volume of the end product, according to an industry-funded study.
Gasification is a waste-to-energy process by which materials such as municipal solid waste are converted to synthetic gas, methanol or other fuel products. According to the study, titled “The Effects of Non-recycled Plastic (NRP) on Gasification: A Quantitative Assessment,” non-recycled plastics are a valuable feedstock for gasification.
For the trials, researchers used feedstock blends that included a range of plastic content, from 0 percent to 50 percent, mixed in with wood chips. The plastics came from residue from Edmonton’s materials recovery facility (MRF). They examined how increasing the percentage of plastics in the gasification feedstock mix would impact end-product yield, thermal efficiency of the process, and the volume of unuseable byproduct.