(59a) Waste Plastics to Cleaner Fuels: Technical and Economic Assessment
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
Monday, April 11, 2022 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
An increase in energy demand in the recent decades has caused energy shortages. An increase in the fuel prices has forced the humanity to use the non-conventional energy sources for heat, power and clean fuel production. On the other hand, the waste generation has also increased with an increase in the population. Gasification and partial oxidation are among the few techniques that has a potential to convert the solid and liquid waste into syngas that can be transformed into hydrogen and other fisher tropsch fuels. Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) are considered in this study because of their massive worldwide availability in the category of waste plastics. Simulation models are developed in Aspen Plus (R) to convert the PE and PP into syngas using the gasification process followed by the integration of gasification unit with the methane reforming unit to enhance the overall syngas production capacity. The technical and economic assessment is performed to convert the syngas into H2 and Methanol. This process integration approach not only enhances the overall H2 and methanol production rates but also reduce the reliance on the single fuel. It has been seen from results that the new integrated design containing both gasifier and reformer enhances the hydrogen mass production rate per mass feed rate by 7.5%. Furthermore, the process performance analysis showed that the efficiency of the new process is increased up to 2.5%, where the hydrogen production cost showed the reduction of 30% compared to the standalone gasification case. The results also showed that the new process has a potential of reducing the carbon dioxide emissions by 5.0%.