Sustainable Generation of Gaseous Fuels from Waste Feedstocks for Energy and Materials Applications

Abstract

A novel waste up-cycling process (the NU-process) has been recently developed at Northeastern University where solid wastes, both biodegradable and non-biodegradable (such as post-consumer plastics, tires and biomass residues) were pyrolytically gasified in nitrogen (N2) to form multi-component gas streams. It has been demonstrated that these hydrocarbon-rich and hydrogen-rich gases could be burned as a fuel to generate process heat or electricity. An advantage of such gaseous fuels is that they can be effectively mixed with air, ignited and burned in ñcleanî premixed blue flames. Moreover, it has also been discovered that the pyrolytic operating conditions in the gasifier are also conducive to formation of value-added carbon nanomaterials (CNMs), such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs).