Chlorine removal from U.S. solid waste blends through torrefaction

Zhuo Xu, Josh W. Albrecht, Shreyas S. Kolapkar, Stas Zinchik, Ezra Bar-Ziv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The amount of solid waste generated annually is increasing around the world. Although the waste has a high calorific value, one major obstacle that may prevent it from becoming a feedstock for power applications is the existence of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which causes corrosion and emission issues after combustion due to its high chlorine content. Torrefaction is known to release hydrochloric acid; thus, it has been applied in this study for the reduction of chlorine from potential waste feedstocks. Fiber-plastic (60-40%) waste blends, with different chlorine content levels, as well as PVC were used in the current study. Torrefaction was conducted at 400 °C. Chlorine and heat content were measured. Experimental results showed that organically bonded chlorine was reduced during torrefaction as a function of mass loss. The chlorine removal efficiency was only dependent on temperature and residence time, not chlorine level. The heat content of the sample increased with mass loss up to a maximum of ~34 MJ/kg at ~45% mass loss. It was also observed that at ~30% mass loss, the organic chlorine content per unit heat content reduced by ~90%, while the heat content was ~32 MJ/kg, and ~90% energy was retained.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3337
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlorine removal
  • Heat content
  • PVC
  • Plastic
  • Solid waste
  • Torrefaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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