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Waste to Fuels

  • 1.  Waste to Fuels

    Posted 09-13-2019 00:25
    One promising and sustainable approach is to produce fuels (aviation, transportation etc.) using the FT (Fischer-Tropsch) route.

    Here non-recyclable household or commercial waste is segregated into wet and dry waste using drying, segregation etc. and it is purified to remove metal impurities etc from it and this waste is gasified to produce syngas which comprises of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. This syngas is further purified and then through Fischer-Tropsch process hydrocarbon is produces which can then be hydrocracked in refineries to produce fuels. Good sustainable approach.

    Any more discussions are welcome..

    Rohit Korde MSc,CEng
    Program Manager
    Thane (W)

  • 2.  RE: Waste to Fuels

    Posted 09-14-2019 08:38
    Regarding conversion of waste to transportation fuels, it is becoming more feasible and competitive with the development of micro-channel Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reactors that have proven conversion efficiency into the 90+% range compared to traditional large-scale FT reactors at 30-50% efficiency.  Coupled with more efficient and selective autothermal reformers (ATR) to create the syngas, FT is becoming competitive with traditional, crude oil processing based, transportation fuel production.  Small scale operations are popping up in remote oil fields converting crude-associated gas into liquid fuel to use in cranes, trucks, etc. delivering production supplies and transporting produced oil to gathering centers.  Velocys (https://www.velocys.com/) is one source for examples in use today.  Their micro-channel FT reactor is modular and can be coupled with any source of the required syngas mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

    I had seniors explore the economics of converting small flow landfill gas streams to liquid fuels with ATR coupled with micro-channel FT during spring semester.  Mixed results regarding economics.  Generating electricity still looked the most economic for the smallest flows.

    Suzanne Roat PE
    Crude and Refining Planning and Strategy


  • 3.  RE: Waste to Fuels

    Posted 09-14-2019 09:39
    Rohit - hopefully there are some more effective and efficient means of converting waste to fuel.  One factor to keep in mind is that we need to focus on areas where there is no other choice but liquid fuels as the transportation industries conversion efficiency is very low - 20-22%, while the overall energy economy converts at over 32%.  Where the liquid fuels can be replaced with better technology - short duration and light weight passenger vehicles to electric this should be the focus.  The difficult to convert - aviation, long haul transportation - this is where bio fuels need to focus.


    Gary Hilberg PE
    Continuum Energy
    Cypress TX

  • 4.  RE: Waste to Fuels

    Posted 09-14-2019 11:35
    This is definitely a sustainable approach.  If the CO2 generated in the process is captured and sequestered then this can provide a negative carbon pathway.

    Ravi Jain
    InnoSepra, LLC
    Bridgewater NJ

  • 5.  RE: Waste to Fuels

    Posted 09-16-2019 20:01

    A lot research happened in FT area over the last few decades. I suspect the processes may not be economical, hence not commercialised.

    We have to see if CO2 tax can offset the costs.


    Pavan Kumar Naraharisetti
    Assistant Professor
    Newcastle University in Singapore