(20e) Multiphase Phenomenological Model for the Catalytic Gasification of Waste Polymers
Waste management alternatives for ground base applications, such as municipal waste management, are under consideration. One such alternative is the use of Wet Thermal Catalytic Oxidation (WTCO) processes. These processes promote the conversion of long polymeric chains into synthetic or “supply” gas (syngas) at temperatures lower than those required by more traditional gasification technologies. The presence of a catalyst is known to lower the energy required to promote gasification reactions, making WTCO processes an attractive route for waste management and biomass to energy strategies. This technology was examined using a varying degree of fidelity waste simulants (different combinations polymers and other waste species). The conversion of these polymeric chains through catalytic oxidation was studied for two different catalysts (Ru and Pt on Al2O3). Data was collected in a research-grade laboratory reactor were quantified by gas chromatography, and used for a preliminary kinetic characterization of the gasification process and used for preliminary process model. A phenomenological model of a multi-phase gasification process was formulated and is anticipated to enable the optimization of process configurations for continuous waste management with the additional potential of fuel production.