Municipal solid waste management is of growing concern within the Boston Metropolitan area. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 4.5 lbs of solid waste is produced per capita every day within the United States[1], a value that has nearly doubled over the past 50 years. This trend is expected to continue. The 2008 census estimated the population of Boston as 608,352 residents[2]. This number is expected to increase by 9,000 people by 2015[3]. This equals a 40,500 lb increase in waste generated per day, yielding a total 1,389 tons of solid waste per day. Currently there are two options available to the state of Massachusetts regarding this waste; send it to a dwindling number of domestic landfills or export it to another state for incineration, as in-state incineration is unlawful. Tipping fees for landfills range from $25-$75 per ton for non-hazardous waste and several hundreds of dollars per ton for hazardous waste. Exportation of waste requires payment to the receiving state while incurring transportation costs of shipping by non-government agents. The fact that the receiving state likely allows incineration negates the environmental benefit of the domestic ban. Both of these options cost the state a phenomenal amount of money. Plasma arc waste disposal differs from incineration by thermally disintegrating waste in an oxygen-free environment, as opposed to combusting waste in an oxygen-rich environment.
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This has a major effect on the chemical compounds produced by processing. Incineration tends to produce volatile hydrocarbons, NOx molecules and compounds of significant health concern, such as dioxins and furans. The plasma arc processes solid waste by breaking down compounds into their respective atomic forms, then thermally controlling how these atoms recombine. Organic matter, such as plastic, wood and paper produces inert gases and synthesis gas, which is composed of CO, CO2 and H2. This synthesis gas is burned as fuel to generate power. Inorganic solid waste, such as glass and metal, forms various types of slag depending on the cooling method; air-cooled slag forms large crystalline structures resembling obsidian, compressed-air cooled slag forms rock wool and water-cooled slag forms small crystalline structures resembling sand. The ability to handle metal, hazardous and radioactive waste makes plasma arc waste disposal much more versatile than incineration, which is reserved for organic waste. This is very important as electronic waste becomes more prominent. Currently all discarded cathode ray televisions and computer monitors must be carefully disposed of to prevent heavy metals from leeching into ground water. Plasma arc waste disposal is an effective, environmentally friendly approach to handling Boston¶s increasing solid waste production. It will greatly reduce the phenomenal cost of exporting waste to other states as active landfills in Massachusetts are becoming scarce. This is the answer to Boston¶s growing waste problem.

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Proposal References: [1] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7: SolidWaste Basic Facts. Web. Last visited Feb. 24, 2010 [2] Mayor¶s Office. Boston Wins 4th Census Challenge; City¶s Population Continues to Grow.Released December, 2009.Web. Last Visited Feb. 24, 2010. [3] The Boston Indicator¶s Project. Key Last visited Feb. 24, 2010.

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NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERING SPRING 2010 Waste Disposal via Plasma Adam Sobel Edgar Huerta Mohammed Metteden 4/20/2010 Page 4 of 35 .

20 Table of Tables: TABLE 1.««««««««««««««««««««««««7 3.Table of Contents: 1.12 TABLE 2.«««.. HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS«««««25 7... HAZOP ANALYSIS««««««««««««««««««««««««««««26 Page 5 of 35 .21 TABLE 10.SIEMENS GAS TURBINE SPECIFICATIONS«««««««««««««««.««20 TABLE 9.««.. APPENDIX«««««««««««««««««««««««««««««.««««««««««««««8 4.. PROCESS FLOW DIAGRAM OF PLASMA ARC GASIFICATION PLANT«««««.««««. SAFETY.. HEAVY METALS DISTRIBUTION BETWEEN PYROLYSIS AND PLASMA ARC««13 TABLE 3.SIEMENS STEAM TURBINE SPECIFICATIONS««««««««««««««««19 TABLE 7.30 9. ABSTRACT««««««««««««««««««««««««««..BRIGDE BREAKER OPEN HOPPER PUMP SPECIFICATIONS««««««««««19 TABLE 6.. FIXED CAPITAL INVESTMENT SUMMARY«««««««««««««««««23 TABLE 13. CUSTOM GAS SYNTHESIS COMPRESSOR SPECIFICATIONS«««««««.. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS«««««««««««««««««««««««.. TYPICAL SLAG CHEMISTRY«««««««««««««««««««««««..«17 TABLE 4. CUSTOM ROCK WOOL SPINNER DESIGN«««««««««««««««««..6 2.EQUIPMENT COSTS«««««««««««««««««««««««««««.20 TABLE 8. BIBLIOGRAPHY«««««««««««««««««««««««««««31 10.18 TABLE 5.... CUSTOM ROCK WOOL SPINNER SPECIFICATIONS««««««««««««..23 TABLE 12.24 TABLE 14. INTRODUCTION«««. PROCESS ECONOMICS SUMMARY««««««««««««««««««««.«.22 TABLE 11.. PROCESS DESCRIPTION«««««««««..32 Table of Figures: FIGURE 1. ENERGY BALANCE AND UTILITY REQUIREMENTS««««««««««15 5.SUPERMAX HEAT EXCHANGER SPECIFICATIONS««««««««. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS««««««««««««««28 8. ECONOMIC SUMMARY«««««««««««««««««««««««. WASTECARE SHREDDER SPECIFICATIONS«««««««««««««««.9 FIGURE 2. TOTAL CAPITAL INVESTMENT SUMMARY««««««««««««««««.22 6...

The arc vitrifies the organic component of the waste to synthesis gas. the process does not emit toxic ash. SOx. furans. with trace amounts of uncombusted CO and NOx from the working air of the turbine. Page 6 of 35 . filtered to a clean stream and combusted in a gas turbine engine. dioxins. The synthesis gas is cooled using a heat recovery system. while the inorganic component becomes molten and flows out the bottom of the chamber. Abstract Plasma arc gasification is a method of processing large volumes of municipal solid waste in an efficient manner that has less environmental impact and health hazards than incineration and landfill dumping respectively. forcing it out of the gasification chamber. The slag is pulled onto a porous rotary drum and cooled using compressed air.1. which are scrubbed. This combined with the revenue from the rock wool and tipping fees gained from accepting solid waste yields a profitable system. forming useful rock wool. The overall energy recovery system produces enough energy to meet consumption needs of the process with enough left over to sell to the grid for profit. Solid waste enters a gasification chamber and travels through an electrically generated arc. The exit stream from the turbine consists of CO2. While the CO2 amount emitted by the process is about half the amount emitted by a 500MW coal plant (when processing 4000 tons of solid waste per day). heavy metal particulates or any other hazardous material associated with incineration.

Clearly this current system is not a sustainable or environmentally friendly method of waste management. which was predominantly exported to other states or dumped in landfills. but has the belief that most of it is incinerated. In more recent times. One such alternative that has shown great potential is the gasification of MSW. recycling). The proper management of waste is a crucial issue due to the increasing amount of waste generated from residential and municipal buildings. thermal treatment (i. It is estimated that in 2009 the City of Boston collected 259. The gases produced. production of marketable compost). sustainable and environmentally friendly. The current method of waste management employed by the City of Boston fails to address factors such as population growth. dioxin. incineration has some environmentally harmful byproducts. furans and volatile organic compounds that are harmful to the environment [1]. biological treatment of organic waste (i.680 tons of municipal solid waste[6]. There are several studies that focus on an innovative technology called plasma gasification. cost effective. As mentioned earlier. Waste management systems include waste collection and sorting followed by one or more of the following options: recovery of waste materials (i. the incineration of MSW generates fly and bottom ashes and releases leachable toxic heavy metals.2. The process is a net generator of electricity. and reduces the volume of waste sent to landfill sites. the quantity of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated has increased significantly in the Boston metropolitan area.e. It is therefore imperative that an alternative method of MSW management is found that is reliable. called synthesis gases. environmental implications and increasing costs associated with the exportation of waste.. by 2015 it is estimated that there will be only 8 active landfill sites in the entire state of Massachusetts[7]. The number of landfills available for waste disposal is gradually diminishing.e. This arc breaks down waste primarily into carbon gas and inorganic molten waste (slag). The Department of Public Works has little control over waste disposal technology. are then used as fuel for a gas turbine engine to generate electricity. in a device called a plasma converter. Plasma arc gasification is a method of waste management that has been employed in a host of cities around the world. incineration to recover energy in the form of heat and electricity) and finally land filling [1]. Page 7 of 35 . The slag is used as raw material for construction and insulation. This technology has been demonstrated as one of the most effective and environmentally friendly methods for solid waste treatment and energy recovery [3]..e. Furthermore. The process uses electrical energy to generate high temperatures created by an arc. the incineration of combustible waste to generate energy has become the most common method of dealing with MSW effectively as it decreases its volume and mass significantly. Introduction In recent years..

generating power. below the temperature required for toxic reformation. dramatically improving heat transfer. while keeping the pressure within the heat exchanger high.3. The heat exchanger causes the water to phase shift and generates steam at 500oC. Process Description 3. Commonly. The syngas generated from the organic portion of the waste is compressed in an explosion proof gas compressor and then transported to heat exchangers. If air is used as the working gas then hazardous compounds such as NOx will form during the expansion process. From here the clean syngas is sent to a gas turbine engine. The gas is cooled to 250oC. Water is then condensed out of the process stream. leaving CO2 and water. by water. Page 8 of 35 . where the temperature is reduced. waste is first pretreated with a shredder (figure 1). generating power. graphite electrodes with male-female threads have a high current directed through them in order to generate a plasma arc. The steam flows to a steam turbine. The arcing generates a large amount of heat (up to 3000oC) which is used to heat the waste and subsequently vitrify the inorganic part of the waste and convert the organic part into useful syngas. The shredded waste is then loaded in the solid feeder. The gas compressor keeps the pressure within the gasifier low. Any heavy particulates and hydrogen sulfide will leach out onto the carbon filter leaving clean syngas on the other side. where it is fed into the gasification chamber or plasma furnace. Syngas burns exothermically and is used as a fuel to expand the working gas of the turbine. At this point the syngas is still dirty and needs to be filtered through an activated carbon filter.1 Plasma Arc Gasification In a plasma arc gasification plant. Scrubbers will filter out any NOx or trace un-combusted syngas from the turbine outlet stream.

There is no risk of releasing all of the harmful toxins associated with incineration. Several studies have been conducted that show that solid waste could be a viable alternative source of fuel [2][4]. This is of particular importance due to the fact that the city of Boston has limited landfill availability.2 Advantages of Plasma Arc Gasification Plasma arc gasification of waste has many advantages when compared to other methods of waste management. Finally. the plant operates as a net generator of electricity. Private waste management companies charge exorbitant tipping fees for the handling of hazardous waste due to the high costs associated with the methods they employ. Page 9 of 35 . As the number of active landfills in the area gradually diminishes. Another important attribute of this process is the ability to process and handle hazardous wastes. this process significantly reduces the volume and mass of solid waste after processing. Furthermore. First. since all the waste is either converted into syngas or solid inert rock.Figure 1. Process Flow Diagram of Plasma Arc Gasification Plant 3. the plant generates more energy than it uses and therefore can sell this electricity back to the grid. it is an environmentally friendly process. a plasma arc gasification plant would greatly facilitate more efficient disposal of waste.

The system feeds the waste feedstock into the gasifier after having extruded a significant portion of the entrained air in the waste feedstock (the most important aspect to ensure the production of the highest quality synthesis gas). This will allow efficient control of the process and will ensure that there is no chance that a filled container can be ³forgotten´ (a major cause of rodent and odor problems in MSW facilities). in conjunction with the storage container. the waste will be assumed to be composed of 80% organic waste and 20% inorganic (e.).g. The feeding platform is an articulated tilting ³table´ where the container door is opened. The high degree of compaction improves heat conductivity by reducing the residual air content[1]. It is important to note that due to nature of MSW. the articulated ³table´ is inclined approximately 60 degrees directly over the compactor/extruder. the feed rate can be calibrated to equal the rate of dissociation and gasification within the gasifier chamber. provides a unique advantage that maximizes the benefits of plasma gasification of MSW. metals. The empty container is placed in a second conveyor that will return it to the container area. Once the container reaches the gasifier. For the purpose of this investigation.This is a reasonable assumption as most of the inorganic waste is salvaged and recycled before arriving at the plant.3.Keeping a layer of untreated waste on top of the molten pool served as insulation to keep the chamber temperature stable[2]. feeding the waste from the top instead of the side.1 Waste Pre-treatment The waste feedstock is delivered and discharged by truck or other means to the ³tipping floor. which then feeds the MSW into the gasifier. ii) gasification process. A pre-crusher compacts the waste into a specially designed compaction container. Feeding the waste from the top ensures that the entire surface of the whole bath is used to melt the waste. iii) energy recovery and iv) utilization of solid by products (slag).5cm and a maximum moisture content of 50%[2]. instead of a localized area which was found to occur when the waste was fed Page 10 of 35 . the container is fitted with a metallic door that will be closed. The feed rate of waste going into the gasifier could be increased by. etc. and flyash.3 Detailed Design The following section will discuss in detail the: i) pre-processing stage of waste. The compactor/extruder. and placing a refractory cone to spread the waste evenly over the surface of the molten bath[2].´ The treated waste should have a maximum particle size of 2. Once filled.3. thus preventing problems with rodents and foul odors. Once the door is opened. 3. Finally. The waste is compressed to about one fifth of its initial volume. a small crane will load the contents into the gasifier-feeding platform. metals-bearing wastes. soil. it is not realistic to have an exact composition of the waste being fed into the system. A conveyor system then moves the filled containers into the gasifier area.

some carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas. This yields an effluent stream of mostly carbon monoxide. 3. the general range of time associated with most reactors is 3-5 seconds. Therefore. The high temperature of the plasma arc furnace. because the waste provided insulation for the molten slag.2 Gasification Process The gasification of the organic component of MSW is dictated by 5 equilibrium reactions: C ( s )  H 2O  CO  H 2 (Heterogeneous water gas shift reaction-endothermic) C ( s )  CO2  2CO (Boudouard equilibrium-endothermic) C ( s )  2 H 2  CH 4 (Hydrogenating gasification-exothermic) CH 4  H 2O  CO  3H 2 (Methane decomposition-endothermic) CO  H 2O  CO2  H 2 (Waster gas shift reaction-exothermic) These reactions require some explanation. Slag collects within the gasifier. feed rates of up to 92 kg/h were obtained. The residence time of the syngas is on the order of seconds within the reactor. and trace amounts of methane. It can be seen from the figure that feed rates above 25 kg/h were difficult to attain due to the waste not being able to melt fast enough [2]. Page 11 of 35 . The inorganic slag requires an hour to become sufficiently molten. favors endothermic reactions. The formation of products on the right side of the equation relates to whether that reaction is categorized as endothermic or exothermic. causing the slag at the top of the collection to heat quicker than the slag below it. Keeping a layer of untreated waste improves the stability of the arc and increases the energy efficiency of the process. The plant will consist of 9 gasifiers in total which will be discussed in further detail in the following section. 8 gasifiers will operate simultaneously in order to process the large amount of waste. the plant is designed to process 4000 tons a day of waste.from the side. depending on distance from the electrical arc.3. The figure below shows the range of feed rates obtained from a pilot unit before and after the change in feeding patterns. The molten slag overflows the breech in the reactor and is transported to the rock wool spinner. each gasifier will have a feed rate of 20 tons per hour. Whereas when fed evenly from the top. To satisfy the waste disposal needs for the City of Boston. where recombination of molecules from atoms takes place. The remaining slag within the gasifier acts as insulation and a heat source for the next batch of solid waste.

21 3. The steam flows to a steam turbine that generates 9. metals-bearing wastes.8 MW with a thermal efficiency of 38%. an approximate composition was ascertained which will be used as a basis for this investigation. Typical Slag Composition Elements Silica Alumina CaO Fe2O3 Na2O MgO MnO Composition (% by Mass) 37. The water phase changes to steam at 500°C. 33 Kg/s of syngas exiting at 1600°C is compressed to 200 bar by a gas compressor. a molten inorganic pool of slag is tapped out of the gasification chamber. The cooled syngas passes through an activated carbon filter.5 6. the activated carbon absorbs heavy metal particulates and sulfide compounds that may have been gasified and carried out the gas exit. as with the waste coming in to the plant is very difficult to establish due to the varying composition of the waste being processed.3 Energy Recovery The high temperature of the syngas exiting from the gasifier stresses the importance of thermal recovery.984 KJ/Kg-mol.4 Solid By-products Upon completion of the vitrification process. This corresponds to a power generation of 65. The clean syngas is transported to and used as fuel in the gas turbine engine.31 1. etc. Increasing the pressure of the syngas improves the heat transfer coefficient of the gas by a factor of 1000.3. and fly-ash. 3. 16 Kg/s CO2 and 14 g/s H2. From literature [8] [10]. These attribute to approximately 20% of the waste treated with respect to mass. Slag is a mixture of various inorganic compounds that are found in MSW such as soil.5 19. generating 282.2 19.3 MW of power. The typical slag composition is shown below Table 1.3. The composition of slag. metals. This is very important as the temperature of the syngas must decrease from 500°C to 250°C very quickly to eliminate the possibility of toxic reformation of the carbon gases.7 Page 12 of 35 .3.87 2. This leaves a stream of clean syngas consisting of approximately 17 Kg/s CO. This heat transfer requires 13 Kg/s of water on the cold side of the exchanger. The primary energy generating reaction is the oxidation of CO to CO2.

5 As shown in Table 1.11 <1 Approximately 1. When compared with traditional methods of waste disposal such as pyrolysis. It can also be seen that trace amounts of heavy metals can be found. such as asphalt mixtures for road construction. The method of tapping and cooling are the main factors in determining the physical characteristics of the slag produced. lead and nickel. the volume of molten slag in the gasifier increases and consequently reduces the effective space of the gasifier. Heavy metals distribution between Pyrolysis and Plasma Arc Dominant Trace Elements Zinc Copper Cromium Lead Nickel Pyrolysis (ppm) Plasma (ppm) 7465 2002 2055 637 152 367 257 184 12 1 Slag has a variety of useful applications. and most importantly as a replacement for asbestos.26 0. it can be seen from the Table 2 below that plasma arc gasification is far more environmentally friendly. the slag must be tapped out once the level is to the maximum of the crucible. As feeding continues. these include zinc. Table 2. Alumina and CaO are the main constituents of slag and can be considered as the basis of the silicate melt. insulation.32 0. Page 13 of 35 .26 0. some being more valuable than others.24 0. Each method produces a different type of product.K2O NiO Cr2O3 CuO ZnO PbO CdO Specific Gravity 1. chromium. Therefore.31 0. Silica. copper. Tapping the slag produced into molds produces solid ingots and slag granules when tapped into water [2]. The heavy metals from plasma disposal were less than that of pyrolysis by an order of 10 or more [10].

This method of horticulture has been implemented successfully in the Netherlands where of 3550 hectares of vegetables.The most promising of these products as a commercially sellable commodity is rockwool. the use of rockwool as a horticultural growing medium has increased in recent years[12]. Rockwool is fabricated by passing the molten slag through a perforated drum that has air shooting out of it. In addition. Page 14 of 35 . as well as sound control and attenuation. Its fibers are non-combustible and have a melting point of well over 900oC [11].By slightly changing the mineral composition. rockwool has proven to be a successful substrate for the cultivation of produce using hydroponics. Rockwool serves as a replacement to asbestos without any of the harmful side effects. Rockwool is also used as ceiling tile and sprayed fire proofing. The end product is an insulator with excellent properties. The slag is spun in this drum whilst simultaneously having jets of air steam past it. 2350 are on substrate [12].

The method below shows how this process is capable of generating sufficient power to be self sustaining with enough extra to sell to the electrical grid. The energy generated by the steam turbine was calculated using enthalpies found in the steam tables for the inlet and outlet conditions of the steam turbine. around 500°C. even when processing 4000 tons per day of solid waste. Energy Balance and Utility Requirements Energy generation is a large component of the overall process and is one reason why this process is successful. The equation used assumes isentropic expansion factored by a standard turbine efficiency: Page 15 of 35 .3. The energy needed to be removed by a heat exchanger to achieve this was calculated using: Q ! m y C y (T Where. These flow rate and temperature requirements are the basis of the heat recovery system. The mass flow rate of the water entering the heat exchanger was determined using the values from this equation and steam tables. A = heat transfer area <m2> Q = energy <KJ/s> T = temperature change <°C> = efficiency U = heat transfer coefficient <KW/m2-°C> The heat transfer coefficient was estimated using a value typical of compressed gases. with a synthesis gas temperature exiting the plasma arc furnace at 1600°C. The size of the heat exchanger needed for such a transfer of energy was calculated using the equation: A! Q U y (T y L Where. The steam produced had to be of sufficient pressure and temperature to drive the steam turbine. The gas must be cooled to a temperature of 250°C to prevent the reformation of toxins. The calculations were based on processing 4000 tons per day. Q = energy <KJ/s> m = mass flow rate <Kg/s> C = heat capacity <Kg/KJ-°C> T = temperature change <°C> The overall heat capacity of the synthesis gas was calculated by taking the weighted average of all the synthesis gas components.

The energy generated by the gas turbine engine was calculated using a thermal efficiency typical of most gas turbine engines. The energy released by combustion was calculated using the difference of the heats of formation of the components of the synthesis gas before combustion and the products post combustion: 2CO  O2   2CO2 2 H 2  O2   2 H 2O This difference was factored by the mass flowrate of the respective reactants. the synthesis gas was combusted in a gas turbine engine to produce more energy. Ws = shaft work <KJ/s> m = mass flow rate <Kg/s> Hi = enthalpy of inlet Ho = enthalpy of outlet = efficiency Once cooled by the heat exchanger and cleaned by the activated carbon filter.   Page 16 of 35 .Ws ! m y ( Hi  Ho ) Where.

2 x 2.000 HP) 60 45 Tons / Hour (Other Models up to 65 TPH) 1.2 WasteCare S72-725 all purpose shredder In order to have small uniform pieces of MSW the process requires an industrial grinder.1 Plasma Arc Reactor The plasma arc furnaces are from Dutemp. the gas exhaust pipe and the conveyor belt for the bottom slag. Table 3. 3 x 3 Page 17 of 35 .4. One WasteCare S72-725 all-purpose shredder is enough to supply 2 reactors with the waste to process.WasteCare shredder specifications [15] Standard Drive Motor . A total of 4 are required. and can process about 500 tons of MSW per day.(HP ) Highest Available HP Lowest Available HP MSW Production Rate (from reported facilities) Tires Production Rate (from reported facilities) Bulk or Metered Feeding from Reported Facilities Length of Smallest Infeed Opening Width of Smallest Infeed Opening Maximum Design Infeed Opening Shaft Center Design Distance . Equipment List and Unit Descriptions 4.Center to Center of Shafts Shaft Size for Hex Shaft (Flat to Flat Distance) Cutter Diameter Cutter Thickness 200 . This tank includes the electrodes.5" 32" Up to 3" Stacked 1 x 1. The grinder can process up to 45 tons per hour of MSW. 4. The plant design is to have 9 reactors installed with 8 working at all times and one as a spare.000 / Hr) Bulk 72" 72" 140" 24" 12.250 HP Standard 300 HP (Other Models up to 1.000 / Hour (Other Models up to 2.

(lbs) 4.3 Tranter Inc.Electric Drive RPM of Shafts on Standard Machine Single or Dual Drive Shaft & Cutter Material Yes 4 Dual 4140 Alloy Steel . Table 4. SuperMax heat exchanger specifications Technology/Type Technology Type Performance Specification Working Pressure Temperature Range Liquid Flow Rate Construction Primary Material Steel 600 psi -20 to 600 F (Cold) 825 GPM Plate Welded Page 18 of 35 .Rounded) Main Machine Weight / Approx: .Rounded) Overall Width (Main Machine .Heat treated for Optimum Strength 23' 13' 17' 55.000+ lbs Spacers & Cleaning Fingers Material Overall Length (Main Machine . SuperMax Heat and Plate Heat Exchange In order to create steam for the steam turbine.Rounded) Overall Height (Main Machine . a heat exchanger is needed. Two of these are enough to provide the flow rate needed for the syngas to heat the water to produce steam.Heat treated for Optimum Strength 4140 Alloy Steel .

Table 5.5Siemens Steam Turbine SST-200 The steam turbine is used to convert the steam from the heat exchanger to energy. Bridge Breaker Open Hopper Pump specifications Flow/Pressure Specifications Liquid Flow Discharge Pressure Discharge Size Hp Max RPM 200 GPM 700 psi 10 inch 250 HP 150 RPM 4. In order to reach a flow of 220 GPM we will be using two pumps. one for each of the heat exchangers. Siemens Steam Turbine specifications [16] Specifications Power Output Inlet Steam Pressure Inlet Steam Temperature Bleed up to 10 MW up to 110 bar up to 520 C up to 60 Bar 4.32" diameter 4.4 Bridge Breaker Open Hopper Pump A pump is needed to produce a flow to the heat exchanger in order to produce the steam. Table 6. since each heat exchanger only needs water flow of 110 GPM.Overall Dimensions 12. Each pump will be running around half capacity.6 Siemens Gas Turbine SGT-200 Page 19 of 35 .

5 kg/s. must be able to compress carbon monoxide up to a pressure of 200 bar at a flowrate 11. 544 C less than 15 ppmV 4. Compressors able to do this exist on the market.000 SCFM Page 20 of 35 .000 SCFM.7 Custom Synthesis Gas Compressor The compressor needed for this project has specific requirements not readily available from a standard vendor. however the available equipment cannot keep up with the volumetric flowrate of the gasifiers. Hydraulic piston. the temperature of the syngas leaving the gasifier. Table 7. Siemens Gas Turbine specifications [16] Specifications Electrical efficiency Heat rate Turbine speed Compressor pressure ratio Exhaust gas flow/temp NOx emission capability 37. or compressor system. Custom Synthesis Gas Compressor specifications Specifications Temperature Pressure Flowrate 1600°C 200 bar 11.50% 9597 kJ/kWh 6608 rpm 19:1 131.Another piece of energy generating equipment that we need is a gas turbine. Table 8. and are available from Cameron¶s Compression Systems and Aerzen USA Corp. and are available from Haskel and Fluitron. Once the syngas passes through the heat exchanger. The compressor must be able to withstand a working temperature up to 1600°C. The large volumetric compressor can act as a step-up to the high pressure compressor. The compressor. it will be combusted in the turbine to produce the majority of the energy. centrifugal and screw compressors are able to achieve pressures of 50 bar at the required flowrate.

Custom rock wool spinner specifications Specifications Working temperature Internal working pressure Explosion proof 1600°C 100 psig Required Molt en S lag Scraper Compressed Air Rock Wool Conveyer System Figure 2. The drum itself must operate at a working temperature of 1600°C. Blasting molten slag with compressed air is the principle method of producing rockwool from furnace byproducts. Table 9. which is the temperature of the slag exiting the plasma furnace.4.8 Custom rock wool spinner The rockwool spinner is a machine that converts a steady flow of molten slag into rockwool. Custom rock wool spinner design Page 21 of 35 . High pressure air is continuously pumped into the center of the rotary drum. cooling the slag into the fibrous structure of rockwool. The rockwool is scraped off the rotary drum using a wedge at the end of the rotation. perforated rotary drum. The stream of molten slag flows down a channel onto a spinning. The air then escapes through the perforations.

The other byproduct of this process is slag.000. CO2 is the major component for gases recovered from this process.It wasthen determined how much electrical power.500.000 1.000 tons of municipal solid waste per year will be processed.500. tons of slag and tons of CO2 are produced from our process from literature available and process calculations.000 $25.000 511. Using the average price for products we are able to determine the revenue of this process.000 $52.000 300. which can be converted to the versatile material rockwool.00 $30. Carbon dioxide can be recovered and purified to be sold.000 Page 22 of 35 .00 1.450.00 $90.550. Table 10. A tipping fee is associated with accepting and processing MSW.460.000 $131. A market has already been established for this material.5.500.000 $254.400.000 $45.00 $175. Economic Summary The economics of the project are based on the assumption that 1. which adds to the process revenue. Process Economics Summary Unit Price Electric Rates per MW Tipping Fee Per ton of MSW Sale Price of Rockwool per ton Sale Price of CO2 per ton Products Tons of MSW processed Tons of rock wool produced Tons of CO2 produced Net MW for sale per year Revenue MSW Rock wool CO2 Electricity (MW) Total Annual $50.

800 $36. for a solid-liquid process.366.472.000.800 $50.140. services) Yard Improvement Services facilities Total Direct Cost Engineering and supervision Construction expenses Legal expenses Contractor's fee Contingency Total Indirect Costs Fixed Capital Investment Working Capital $194.310. Upon calculating the working capital and fixed capital investment.200 $60. electrical and other variables was obtained by multiplying the total purchased equipment by certain factors. These factors can be found in the Plant Design and Economics for Chemical Engineers.000 $75.600. From the total equipment cost it was then possible to determine our working capital.000.200 $806.000 $23.800 $146.800 $7.400 $107. The prices for our major equipment are shown in the table below.000 $92. These values are an important factor needed for the economic analysis.096. Equipment costs Equipment Grinder (MSW Processing) 9 Reactors Scrubber System Energy Recover System $9.040.347.400 $66. it was then possible to determine the total Page 23 of 35 .996.400 $245. A summary of these figures is shown below.046.000 $ In order to calculate the fixed capital investment (FCI). the equipment cost was first determined from quotations from various vendors.800 $72.720.793.000 $23.000 The FCI is the sum of our total indirect investment and the total direct investment.In order to calculate the total capital investment.627. piping.208. Estimations for the variables in the total fixed cost were calculated using the total equipment cost as a basis andwere used as estimations for asolid-liquid process [17]. an estimate for the instrumentation. Fixed Capital Investment Summary Total Purchased Equipment Purchased equipment installation Instrumentation Piping Electrical Building ( incl. Table 11.940.200 $19. Table 12.363.000 $70.000 $560.600 $62.788.

capital investment (TCI).000. The payback period and NPVboth indicatethat the process is economically feasible.000. a good value would be around 15%. The TCI for the process was calculated to be $952 million.000 $806.000 $226. Total Capital Investment Summary Working Capital (W) Total Fixed Cost Total Capital Investment Cost of Operation Income (sales) Depreciation Gross Profit Gross Profit (depreciation) Tax rate Income Tax Net Profit Net cash flow $146. The process is shown to have a payback period of 6.000.000 $28.was found to be $326 million. Page 24 of 35 .000. The city of Boston will not be losing money in this endeavor. the net present value (NPV) of this process is assessed over the next 20 years.000 $216. Another good indicator to look at is the internal rate of return.000 $254. the lifespan of the project. about start up. in particular.000. the net present value and the internal rate of returnneeded to be determined.000 0. with a discounted factor of 10%. This large difference can be attributed to the significant costs associated with the necessary equipment.000.000.000 In order to determine the economical feasibility of this project a payback period.000 $150. Starting a plant to handle less waste will be able to lower the total capital investment. A summary of the TCI is shown below.000.000 $952.000.000.000 $10. The NPV. Next. Table 13. The rate of return is a low value at 6%. this is a large value compared to our net cash flow of $150 million a year. These three factorswill form the basis of the economic feasibility of this process.8 years.35 $76. There other options that we have.000 $140. for this project it was found to be 6%.000. Much land can be reclaimed in the process of solving Boston waste management problem. This should not be a reason to stop this project. the gasification chambers and energy recovery system.

6. proper drainage would prevent accidents arising from a loss of balance. The general layout of the plant plays a significant role in general safety. in order to avoid physical injury to employees. Drains to relieve pressure on suction and discharge on all process pumps All overflow lines directed to safe areas. Finally. The plant handles a significant amount of electricity. Ensure all the steam lines and syngas pipes are well insulated and labeled. In order to effectively identify all the possible safety hazards it is necessary to carry out a HAZOP analysis and go through all the components of the system. safety precautions and considerations need to be taken into account in order to conform to industry standards. Safety considerations need to be taken when dealing with piping in a facility. Relief valves in place to prevent plugging and subsequently rupturing the pipe line.1 Safety Considerations As with any manufacturing process. IV. the proceeding section will go into greater detail on each area. these include. These pipes carry a host of fluids. guardrails and platforms have to be in place to ensure for the safe operation of the plant by its employees. The equipment should also be designed to permit lockout protection in the case of Page 25 of 35 . and therefore the following safety measures have to be in place: I. and due to the incompatible nature of electricity and liquids adequate drainage is essential to prevent electrical shocks. instrument and electrical. and Environmental Consideration 6. Health. III. safety equipment and raw materials. The syngas coming out of the gasification chamber is at a very high temperature (1600oC) before going through a heat exchanger. The plant floor has to be fitted with adequate drainage. the general layout of the plant. accessible and permit access for emergency vehicles. equipment. II. Besides conducting a HAZOP analysis there are several other areas that have to be considered with regards to safety. Safety. the most significant for this process being high temperature fluids and those that are under a high pressure. They should be properly labeled and grounded. piping. It is imperative that the necessary safety precautions are implemented in order to ensure the efficient running of the plant and the general well being of all persons in the vicinity. Sufficient aisle ways. venting. Furthermore. The plant is designed to address each of these areas. All the instruments in the plant require fail safe controls. It is also necessary for there to be adequate headroom for the employees from all the piping and power lines. all emergency exits have to be fully visible.

decrease trash processing rate Divert gas to second heat exchanger. PRV to Heat Sink/secondary chamber to prevent over pressurization PRV to vent toxic gasses to Holding tank ~ Close Gas exit line. other toxins Increased Residence time of slag Gasifier shuts down. other toxins Water in steam turbine Loss of Water Flow Pump Break Loss of Syngas flow Not enough Organics. furans. flammable vapor detection apparatus. Finally. monitored by pressure sensors Close gasifier inlet. respiratory equipment. CO to vent blockage of slag overflow Gas Turbine Slag Loss of Flame Solid Slag Temp falls below auto ignition of CO Temp falls below melting Page 26 of 35 . formation of dioxins. General safety equipment required at the plant include fire extinguishers throughout the plant. decrease trash processing rate Flow and temp sensors on steam line. glasses and masks. There should also be a designated safe area outside the plant where all employees assemble in advent of an emergency. such as gloves. Finally. all process equipment should be connected to a standby power source. blockage Over accumulation of particulates ~ Filter Clogged Filter Ruptured Filter Over pressurization of housing. HAZOP analysis Equipment Gasifier Hazardous State Over pressurization Cause Blockage of line Consequence Rupture of Gasifier Resolution/fix Isolation of over pressurized gasifier. formation of dioxins. shut down steam turbine PRV to Syngas holding tank Flow meter will register too high. divert flow to secondary filter Flame sensor. and emergency lighting put in place in the advent of a power emergency. Any raw materials coming into the plant should be properly labeled and handled in the appropriate manner. restart turbine with fuel Secondary line Blockage of line Over Accumulation of Slag Loss of Power to Gasifier Crusher Heat Exchanger Unexpected Shutdown Rupture of lines Lots of Inorganic Waste Broken/Disconnected Power Line Loss of Power. a detailed HAZOP analysis has been carried out to identify all the possible safety hazards or risks that could arise from the process. line Particulates continue on to gas turbine Not generating power. The results of this analysis are shown below. Table 14. furans. switch trip ~ Inadequate Heat Transfer. Any hazardous or toxic material should be treated with the correct personal protective equipment. stop waste water pump Divert gas to second heat exchanger. possible under pressurization Too much waste water Syngas enters steam/water line Inadequate Heat Transfer. safety alarms and a detailed emergency evacuation procedure for all employees.

for that reason the process has been specifically designed to minimize the possibility of the formation of these toxins.3 Environmental Considerations The main environmental concerns that could potentially arise from this process are trace metals and halides escaping into the air or soil. Dioxin formation typically occurs if the temperatures produced by the combustion process do not exceed 250oC throughout the entire combustion chamber. Additionally.Overflow point of slag 6. such as cancer and changes in hormone levels. The exhaust stream from the turbine will have scrubber in place to take care of any trace amounts of NOx. when the chamber temperatures exceed the 250oC threshold.2 Health Considerations The main health considerations that have to be taken into account for this process are the formation of dioxins and furans when vitrifying MSW. Animal studies have shown that animals exposed to dioxins and furans experienced changes in their hormone systems. SOx and CO that may be left over. the chlorinated materials will dissociate themselves of the chlorine atoms and the chlorine will preferentially combine with hydrogen to form HCl (which is then removed in the gas treatment system and removed in the scrubber with NaOH to form a benign salt). Dioxins and furans can cause a number of health risks. Heavy metals could potentially leach into the soil through the slag that is produced as a byproduct of the process. Carbon filters and scrubber are in place to trap any of these potentially hazardous elements. the rapid cooling of the syngas from 1600 oC to below 250 oC in the heat exchanger will prevent the reformation of dioxins and furans from elementary molecules in the syngas due to the de novo synthesis back reactions [1].05 mg/L for most of the heavy metals [8]. decreased ability to reproduce and a suppressed immune system [14]. Finally. and thus should not pose a significant risk to the environment. Page 27 of 35 . However. changes in the development of the fetus. as will occur in the plasma gasifier. it has been found that the slag created from the process contains trace amounts of these metals which are below regulatory limits.This is a very serious health risk if exposed to humans. on the order of less than 0. 6. any residual particulates or mercury in the syngas stream will be removed using a carbon filter to leave a clean syngas that is the fed to the gas turbine. However.

The proposed plant design has the capacity to handle the estimated 1400 tons a day of MSW generated by the city. Page 28 of 35 . with a positive net energy gain and being safe have a real potential of being achieved. such as hazardous and biomedical waste.2Recommendations Based on the findings of the report. 2) Ability to process MSW using an environmentally sound method. The following conclusions were arrived at: 1) The plasma gasification plant was found to manage and treat the MSW generated by the city of Boston. The by-products (slag) do not leach into the soil. with a net weight reduction of approximately 80%. the following recommendations are proposed: 1) Branch out of handling only MSW. The process does not need significant modifications and would generate more income in the form of tipping fees. and look into processing hazardous and biomedical waste. This process is economically feasible according to the real word data collected at other plasma arc facilities. 3) A positive net energy balance was obtained. From calculations conducted it was found that the plant utilized approximately a third of the energy generated. all of which can be sold for a profit. From calculations and literature it has been deduced that this process has satisfied the design goals specified. 4) Ability to handle a wide range of waste. and sold the excess back to the grid. slag and CO2. The system could use landfills as a source of fuel and thereby reclaim landfills that are no longer active whilst simultaneously generating energy. Conclusions and Recommendations 7. 5) Eliminates the need for landfills. The byproducts of the process are energy. Waste treated with plasma does not produce hazardous bottom or fly ash.7. 7. The plasma arc technology put forth by this report shows that it is the solution for Boston¶s solid waste problem. Our goals of being environmentally friendly.1 Conclusion The proposed design of a plasma gasification plant to manage the MSW generated by the city of Boston has been reported in this paper. This is due to the robust nature of the plasma arc system which requires little or no modifications to handle the various waste feeds.

3) Scale back the size of the facility. At present the facility has been designed to handle the waste generated by the City of Boston and also reclaim used up landfills. Securing the funds required for this project might prove to be difficult whether it be from private or government sources.2) Design an isolated gasifier to handle biomedical waste that is generated from the various medical facilities found in the Boston area. this is only due to the capital intensive nature of the plant. Page 29 of 35 .

thank you for all the help and guidance you have given us throughout our stay at Northeastern University. We couldn¶t have done it without you. Dr. thank you for all your help you have given us over the course of our project and keeping us properly motivated during the tough parts. Dutemp Corporation. Page 30 of 35 . It was invaluable to our project. Ronald Willey. Acknowledgements We would like to acknowledge the following for giving us the support we needed: Dr. thank you for all real world data you have provided us. You were a large part of our experience here and we are appreciative. Jillian Goldfarb.8.

mass.H. E. http://www. D. web 14) EPA web.. Solid waste plasma gasification: Equilibrium model development and exergy analysis Energy Conversion and Management 7 December 2005 5) Gomez.... McGraw-Hill. Tassios.naima.. Cheeseman..9. A. M. D. Amutha Rani. C. 16) Siemens web www... www.. Timmerhaus. K. May 2009 8) Dutemp Corporation web. Environmental aspects of gasification of Korean municipal solid waste in a pilot 9) Morgenthaler (Patent) 10) Saffarzadeh. Engineeringtoolbox. 2) Moustakas. Watanabe.D ³Plant Design and Economics for Chemical Engineers´ Fifth Edition. S. S. 17) Peters. www. Bibliography 1) Kwak.R.siemens.pdf 15) Wastecare web. Di Bona. D.. Perna. K.M. T. G.. M..epa.A North American Insulation Manufacturers Association web.pdf 7) Bureau of Waste Prevention Active Landfills web..A. Fuel 18 April 2006. A. Modelling and performance analysis of an integrated plasma gasification combined cycle (IPGCC)power plant Energy Conversion and Management 20 July 2009 4) Mountouris.dutemp. E. Characterization study of heavymetal bearing phases in MSW slag Journal of Hazardous Materials 4 September 2008 11) N. Wise.S.I. http://www. Voutsas. Thermal plasma technology for the treatment of wastes: A critical review Journal of Hazardous Materials 11 April 2008 6) City of Boston The Mayor¶s Performance Report 2009 http://www. K. Haralambou. 12) Grodan web. www. S. New York (2003) Page 31 of 35 13) Specific Heat of Gasses at Various Pressures. M. T. Lee.wastecare. K-J Analysis of results from the operation of a pilot plasma gasification/ vitrification unit for optimizing its performance Journal of Hazardous Materials 8 June 2007 3) Minutillo.

sigma-aldrich for greater detail. Alumina Calcium Oxide Cadmium Oxide Chromium (III) Oxide Copper (II) Oxide Iron (III) Oxide Lead (II) Oxide Manganese (II) Oxide Magnesium Oxide Nickel (II) Oxide Silica Sodium Oxide Zinc Oxide Page 32 of 35 . 10. Please refer to www.10.1 MSDS Appendix The following MSDS¶s were obtained from Sigma Aldrich and include all the hazardous chemicals that are expected to be found in the process.

10.2 Energy Generation Calculations Page 33 of 35 .

2 MW*h 1 MWh = 1 MJ/s *3600 s Gas Turbine HEAT OF COMBUSTION Gas In total mass (3200 ton basis) <Kg> Number of g mols heat of formation j/mol 1219.4764 KJ/s 65864.6 2436 0.30% 99.002925434 0.9 0.9 32599270.48E+13 3739922.9 0.Equation: ms <Kg/s> Steam Turbine Ws=m(H1-H2)*Efficiency H1<KJ/Kg> 500 C and 8600 Kpa H2 <KJ/Kg> 500 C and 10 Kpa Efficiency Ws <KJ/s> 13 3391.44103 KJ/s 131 Kg/s 544 C Page 34 of 35 .70% 10973 3739922.997074566 43.25 609628 0 1467171.45 -393509 Gas Generated Kg out H2O CO2 10973 2305555 Number of g mols heat of formation j/mol 609628 -241818 52398987 -393509 H2 CO CO2 (Adds nothing to combustion) H2 to H20 CO to CO2 Total % H2O by Mass= % CO2 by Mass = CO2 mass flow rate= Energy released by combustion= 38% efficiency (Siemens) Siemens SGT-800 Exaust gas mass flow rate= Exaust gas temperature= g mol * J/mol 609628 * -241818 = 52398987 * (-393509+110525) = J total Kg total Gas OUT -1.75 9317.47419E+11 10973 -1.1 33541.50E+13 3750895.7 52398987 -110525 1434367.286 Kg/s 173327.9 -1.

3 NPV calculations Page 35 of 35 .10.

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