skip to content

Waste to Fuel - Turning All Types

Each year, municipalities, government and industry spend millions of dollars collecting and disposing of wastes. With a TRU pyrolysis plant, this material is no longer a waste, but a fuel for the generation of energy and carbon. That's Waste to Fuel

Crude oil is the lifeblood of modern civilization, with more than 80 million barrels consumed worldwide every day. Mankind’s dependence on fossil fuels for our energy and transportation demands is leading us to an energy crisis. Within the next decade the cost of fossil derived fuel is set to become financially non-viable. The trend toward renewable energy is increasing rapidly.

The knowledge that energy and fuel could be created by waste is not new. Waste to fuel technologies have been emerging for over 100 years. The greatest case being the introduction of wood gasifiers during the petroleum shortage of the World wars.

But until now, waste to fuel technologies have not gained much traction as our fossil fuels have been meeting our demands. Fossil fuel has been cheap enough to keep it as our primary fuel source.

But as our fossil fuel reserves are being depleted, the time to move to waste as a fuel source is here.

Organic waste comes in many forms:

  • Municipal waste
  • Used tyres, plastics, and rubber products
  • Medical waste
  • Green waste
  • Treated timber and construction timber
  • Wood chip
  • Crop waste
  • Waste oil sludge
  • Contaminated soils
  • Contaminated biomass

All of this waste matter has energy stored within its molecular structure.

Take used tyres as an example.
When a tyre burns it releases large amounts of heat (thermal energy) and light energy. Run this tyre through a TRU (Thermal Recovery Unit) and all of the energy will be converted into thermal energy. The energy value of a tyre is 34-40MJ/kg. (6450kCal/kg and 8000kCal/kg ) This is higher than Australian black coal at 28MJ/kg.)
Australia alone disposes of over 250,000 ton of used tyres every year.
At the same crude oil and coal exploration continues.

According to figures released by BP around mid-2009, the remaining "proven" world crude reserves stand at approximately 1.258 trillion barrels, which includes the Tar-Sands of Alberta, Canada. If we divide that number by the current worldwide demand of about 85 million barrels per day (BPD), that gives us a MAXIMUM timescale of about 40 years, assuming that all the reserves can be successfully extracted. Within the next 5-10 years the price of crude oil will become economically inhibiting, and industry will have to look toward renewable fuel sources.

So how do we turn waste to fuel?
The thermal recovery of the energy stored within waste is achieved by chemical decomposition of the waste matter. In a TRU, this is achieved by running the waste through the retort chamber at temperatures set between 640ºC and 1010ºC. The absence of oxygen within the Retort causes the waste to distill into different fractions. This is TRU Pyrolysis.
The Waste matter is converted into syngas. This syngas may either be immediately combusted through the TRU thermal oxidizer, or it may be condensed into a bio-fuel. That's how we convert waste to fuel.