Integrated torrefaction-extrusion system for solid fuel pellet production from mixed fiber-plastic wastes: Techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment

Shreyas S. Kolapkar, Stas Zinchik, Pralhad Burli, Yingqian Lin, Damon S. Hartley, Jordan Klinger, Robert Handler, Ezra Bar-Ziv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The world is witnessing an unprecedented generation and accumulation of fiber-plastic wastes resulting in various challenges due to inconsistency, waste-stream heterogeneity, conveying issues, self-heating, and difficulty in pelletization. This study presents a novel pilot-scale system that integrates torrefaction and extrusion to convert mix fiber-plastic waste into fuel pellets. The produced pellets have low cost, high heating value, better uniformity, and low environmental impact. They can be used as solid fuels or as feedstock for pyrolysis and gasification. To evaluate the pellet cost and its environmental impact, we performed Techno-Economic Analysis (TEA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The TEA integrates research findings from the torrefaction-extrusion project with the techno-economic models and estimates the costs, energy consumption, and mass balances for pelletizing and torrefaction. The analysis indicates that the baseline cost of producing uniform pellets is about $55.28/dry tonne (2020$). LCA results indicate that the torrefied product has cradle-to-gate embodied greenhouse gas emissions that are net negative, although they are higher than a comparable forest-derived woodchip product. Fossil energy demand for the torrefied product is lower than the forest-derived chip, indicating the torrefied product has strong potential for use as an environmentally beneficial feedstock for future processing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107094
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Volume226
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Pilot scale torrefaction-extrusion system
  • Techno-economic analysis (TEA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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