Conversion of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) into Charcoal & Producer Gas

Tom Miles

Conversion of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) into Charcoal & Producer Gas
Jalaj Kr. Chaturvedi, Shivam Enterprises, Kolkata, April 3, 2007
[img_assist|nid=192|title=Charcoal Pellets from MSW|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=400|height=301]

Coal, oil and gas were formed during the past million years from decomposing biomass. This inspired Prof. Dr. Ernst Bayer (Germany) and Dr. Mohamed Kutubuddin (India) to develop the Low Temperature Conversion (LTC) in 1980. LTC operates at low temperatures and normal pressure.

Seeing these advantages Dr. Trutz-Ulrich Stephani and Jalaj Kumar Chaturvedi tried to adapt LTC under Indian conditions. WBREDA and Bidhan Nagar Municipality supported providing land and MSW. Technical problems made LTC not viable. The novel process of 2 Chamber Conversion led a way out .The operators feed the MSW through the charging unit into the upper chamber of the reactor. There the MSW is gasified . The gases leave the reactor through the gas outlet and are combusted in the burning chamber. The partly decomposed MSW falls into the lower chamber. There LTC is forming charcoal and a combustible gas. This gas is burned with air entering through slits in order to support gasification in the upper chamber. The charcoal is discharged at the bottom.
[img_assist|nid=193|title=Operation 1... Charcoal from MSW|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=400|height=285]
[img_assist|nid=286|title=Operation 2 Charcoal from MSW|desc=|link=node|align=center|width=400|height=285]
First Plant with this new technology has been installed at Barasat , West Bengal by West Bengal Renewable Development Agency & Barasat Municipality & Implemented by M/s Shivam Enterprises headed by Dr. TU Stephani (Germany) & Mr. Jalaj Kr. Chaturvedi (India)

Currently the plant is running for 8 hours daily 6 days in a week. The plant is converting 5 ton of DRY MSW to 2 ton (approx) of Charcoal.

At, Present the plant is not using the Gas. Gas, is burning in a Combustion Chamber & generating 1 MW of thermal power.

Analysis Report of Charcoal from Barasat Plant-
ASH,Moisture,V.M,Fixed Carbon,GCV
Charcoal from MSW 55.9 %,02.8%,18.1%,23.0%,2932 kcal/kg
Charcoal from Bio Mass 40.57%,05.66%,15.11%,38.66%,4039 k/kg
Charcoal from Bagasse 24.67%,07.34%,10.30%,57.43%,5414 k/kg
Charcoal from Pure Grass54.80%,04.99%,11.12%,29.09%,2700 k/kg

Apart from the above we have produced Charcoal from Bamboo & Coconut Shell.

Plant operates in a continuous process with about 12 employees converting 500kg/h dry MSW into 200kg/h charcoal having a GCV of about 3000 kcal/kg .

The plant gives employment to the local people (about 12 labours), reduces cost in maintaining the dump yard (no leveling) and removes the stench from the decomposing material. The pollution of the groundwater will be stopped. The local industry and household will have a new source of fuel.

Development will continue. The process is suitable for other organic materials like biomass, agro-waste and industrial waste. In a next step