Russian Scientists Find New Way to Get Environmentally Friendly Fuel From Waste

© Sputnik / Kirill Kallinikov / Go to the mediabankMobile waste sorting and collection points
Mobile waste sorting and collection points - Sputnik International
Researchers from Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) have created composite fuels with a high content of municipal solid waste (MSW), the introduction of which will not only enable to effectively recycle waste but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

TPU scientists have completed research on a new multi-composite fuel, showing its fundamental suitability for use at typical thermal power plants instead of coal. The results of the study were published in the "Journal of Environmental Management".

“We have tested additives of various types of municipal solid waste – wood, plastic, cardboard, rubber, and food waste – for coal-water and organic coal-water fuels. It has been experimentally established that the concentration of nitrogen and sulphur oxides in flue gases was lower for the fuel compositions containing municipal solid waste (MSW) in comparison with those without it, by 60% and 35%, respectively”, said Dmitri Glushkov, an associate professor at the TPU Research School of High-Energy Physics.

Researchers are confident that the introduction of the new fuel would help to stop the growth of landfills and improve the environmental situation in megacities, which today is pertinent across the whole world, especially for India, China, Russia, the US, and several European countries.

In addition to municipal solid waste, the fuel also contains waste oils, coal dressing and oil refinery wastes, and water. It is water vapour that helps to reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases.

Scientists have calculated that over the life cycle of boiler furnaces in thermal power plants (20 years) an average of 1.9 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste, 8 billion tonness of coal processing waste and 13 million tonnes of used oils will be recycled by one station. At the same time, it will save about 330 million tonnes per year of high-quality grades of coal that are in demand in the chemical industry.

The direct financial benefit for the energy industry, according to the researchers, will be a two- or threefold reduction in the cost of acquiring and transporting fuel, which today averages up to 85% of the annual operating costs of thermal power plants.

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