Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is a thermochemical process that can reduce the environmental burdens of wet, heterogeneous biomasses such as the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW). Whilst the effect of processing parameters on hydrochar properties is well known, post-treatments to valorize hydrochars are infrequently investigated. Moreover, more severely carbonized hydrochars have a reactive species present on their surface that may limit hydrochars’ use as a solid fuel or soil amendment/environmental adsorbent. To address these potential limitations, a low-temperature (180 °C) thermal treatment and a chemical extraction (1:4 methanol: dichloromethane) were performed on OFMSW hydrochars. The thermal extraction removed up to 12% of this reactive volatile matter, comprised of alkanes, furans, ketones, and fatty acids. Chemical extraction removed up to 61% of the hydrochar, and the extract comprised mostly fatty acids, suggesting a potential pathway for recovery of fatty acids and condensation of fuel molecules in the solid hydrochar. The higher heating values of the extracts were much greater than the non-extractable solid hydrochar. The non-extractable primary char showed similar oxidative and pyrolytic behavior to a standard bituminous coal. The results indicate that HTC could valorize OFMSW by converting this wet waste into a dry solid fuel, soil amendment or environmental adsorbent while simultaneously extracting valuable biodiesel and biofuel precursors. Given increasing legislative pressure to divert OFMSW from landfills, this new pathway offers an alternative to traditional anaerobic digestion management strategies that produce only methane as a green energy product.

Valorizing municipal solid waste via integrating hydrothermal carbonization and downstream extraction for biofuel production / Ischia, G.; Fiori, L.; Gao, L.; Goldfarb, J. L.. - In: JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION. - ISSN 0959-6526. - STAMPA. - 289:(2021), pp. 125781.1-125781.12. [10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.125781]

Valorizing municipal solid waste via integrating hydrothermal carbonization and downstream extraction for biofuel production

Ischia G.;Fiori L.;
2021

Abstract

Hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) is a thermochemical process that can reduce the environmental burdens of wet, heterogeneous biomasses such as the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW). Whilst the effect of processing parameters on hydrochar properties is well known, post-treatments to valorize hydrochars are infrequently investigated. Moreover, more severely carbonized hydrochars have a reactive species present on their surface that may limit hydrochars’ use as a solid fuel or soil amendment/environmental adsorbent. To address these potential limitations, a low-temperature (180 °C) thermal treatment and a chemical extraction (1:4 methanol: dichloromethane) were performed on OFMSW hydrochars. The thermal extraction removed up to 12% of this reactive volatile matter, comprised of alkanes, furans, ketones, and fatty acids. Chemical extraction removed up to 61% of the hydrochar, and the extract comprised mostly fatty acids, suggesting a potential pathway for recovery of fatty acids and condensation of fuel molecules in the solid hydrochar. The higher heating values of the extracts were much greater than the non-extractable solid hydrochar. The non-extractable primary char showed similar oxidative and pyrolytic behavior to a standard bituminous coal. The results indicate that HTC could valorize OFMSW by converting this wet waste into a dry solid fuel, soil amendment or environmental adsorbent while simultaneously extracting valuable biodiesel and biofuel precursors. Given increasing legislative pressure to divert OFMSW from landfills, this new pathway offers an alternative to traditional anaerobic digestion management strategies that produce only methane as a green energy product.
Ischia, G.; Fiori, L.; Gao, L.; Goldfarb, J. L.
Valorizing municipal solid waste via integrating hydrothermal carbonization and downstream extraction for biofuel production / Ischia, G.; Fiori, L.; Gao, L.; Goldfarb, J. L.. - In: JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION. - ISSN 0959-6526. - STAMPA. - 289:(2021), pp. 125781.1-125781.12. [10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.125781]
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