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The combined effect of plastics and food waste accelerates the thermal decomposition of refuse-derived fuels and fuel blends

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Publication details

DateAccepted/In press - 12 Apr 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 20 Apr 2016
DatePublished (current) - 15 Sep 2016
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)424-432
Early online date20/04/16
Original languageEnglish


Mechanical treatments such as shredding or extrusion are applied to municipal solid wastes (MSW) to produce refuse-derived fuels (RDF). In this way, a waste fraction (mainly composed by food waste) is removed and the quality of the fuel is improved. In this research, simultaneous thermal analysis (STA) was used to investigate how different mechanical treatments applied to MSW influence the composition and combustion behaviour of fuel blends produced by combining MSW or RDF with wood in different ratios. Shredding and screening resulted in a more efficient mechanical treatment than extrusion to reduce the chlorine content in a fuel, which would improve its quality. This study revealed that when plastics and food waste are combined in the fuel matrix, the thermal decomposition of the fuels are accelerated. The combination of MSW or RDF and woody materials in a fuel blend has a positive impact on its decomposition.

Bibliographical note

© 2016 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Co-combustion, DSC, Municipal solid waste (MSW), TG-FTIR, Thermochemical conversion

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