Advanced Thermal Conversion Technologies for
 Energy from Solid Waste

A report on Advanced Thermal Conversion Technologies is now available from CADDET Renewable Energy Technologies. The report reviews the current status of gasification and pyrolysis of municipal and industrial solid waste. These technologies have the potential to offer both reduced environmental emissions and greater overall energy recovery efficiencies. About forty advanced thermal conversion plants for waste are listed in the report.

The report is the result of a joint study of the IEA Bioenergy Programme Task XIV working group and the IEA CADDET Renewable Energy Technologies Programme, and is based on published literature and current information.

The report is intended to inform government officials, decision-makers, manufacturers of waste systems, financiers, local planning bodies and other interested parties of the current status of the technologies, the barriers to their deployment, the opportunities which exist and future prospects.

The report assesses the current status of the technologies world-wide, concluding that the technology is at the point of transition between the R&D and commercialisation phases. While many plants are being developed, only a few are commercially viable. The technology is being developed to treat many types of waste, including municipal solid waste, tyres and wood wastes. Comparisons are made between advanced thermal conversion and current mass burn combustion technologies.

The main market drivers and deployment barriers are considered in detail, and the national and international programmes, policies and enablement mechanisms which directly support (or are indirectly relevant to) advanced thermal conversion technologies are reviewed.

The review concludes that, if advanced thermal conversion technologies are to be successful, companies must offer proven and reliable complete waste disposal packages and market the technical advantages. The construction and performance of full-scale demonstration plants will be crucial to gaining market confidence and providing real data on which decision-makers can base realistic comparisons.

How to get your copy

This new report is available to people in CADDET member countries through their National Teams (see the addresses on the back cover; there may be a charge for these copies). If you are from a non-member country, copies are available from the CADDET Centre (see the address on the back cover) at a cost of 15 each (where is the UK pound).

Editor's note: Gasification is the conversion of a solid or liquid feedstock into a gas by partial oxidation under the application of heat. For organic-based feedstocks, such as most wastes, the resultant gas is typically a mixture of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, methane, water, nitrogen and a small amount of higher hydrocarbons. Whilst processes vary considerably, typically the gas is formed above 750C.

Pyrolysis is the thermal degradation of a material in the absence of an oxidising agent (ie air or oxygen). In practice, complete elimination of air is very difficult and some oxidation is likely to occur. Typically the process occurs at temperatures in the range 400­800C, producing gas, liquid and char.

The CADDET Renewable Energy Newsletter is a quarterly magazine published by the CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy at ETSU, UK.

The articles published in the Newsletter reflect the opinions of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the official view of CADDET.

Enquiries concerning the Newsletter should be addressed to
Pauline Toole, Editor, CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy, ETSU, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0RA, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1235 432968, Fax: +44 1235 433595.