Municipal solid waste (MSW) generation is one of the most critical tasks in environmental management and assuring public health of cities all over the world. Its storage in landfills is currently leading to many concerns, not only due to the scarcity of land available but mostly for the environmental issues related to it. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, landfill emissions contributed 18% to total methane emissions from 1990 to 2013 in the US. Therefore, alternative solutions for MSW disposal should be investigated. Thermochemical conversion offers an interesting option to address this issue, by providing a useful product (biofuel) with the possibility of reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. In a recent study by our research group we found that the production of alternative liquid transportation fuels using MSW can generate less GHG emissions compared to landfill storage even when considering mixtures of organic and plastic waste. However, little research has been reported about the effects of important operation conditions for this process.
In the present work a series of different operation conditions will be tested on a micro-pyrolysis scale coupled to a gas chromatograph-mass spectrophotometer. The objective will be to obtain processing conditions that increase bio-oil production. First, different mixture compositions of organic and polyolefin plastic waste will be tested, over the range of plastic waste blends up to 20% (wt.) in organic MSW (paper, cardboard, demolition wood). Pyrolysis temperatures from 500-600Ë?C will be investigated to determine its effect on pyrolysis bio-oil composition and quality (oxygen content, molecular weight distribution). These findings will provide useful data to aid in the design and simulate economic and environmental effects of waste-to-fuels facilities, which appear as a promising alternative to solve waste management tasks by more sustainable means.