In this study, the hydrothermal treatment of municipal solid wastes (MSWs) for the production of biochar as a renewable solid fuel was investigated. The properties of surrogate MSWs and mixtures of newspaper and vegetables were greatly improved by hydrothermal treatment and were similar to those of coal-like fuel substances. Hydrothermal treatment increased the calorific value, the fixed carbon, and carbon contents. The composition of the major biomass components of MSW was found to affect the alternation of their physical and chemical properties significantly. These characteristic changes in pure cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin were similar to those of coalification at the hydrothermal reaction temperature range of 150–280°C. The treated products became a solid fuel substance, the characteristics of which corresponded with fuel between lignite and sub-bituminous coal. The results of this study indicate that hydrothermal treatment can be used as an effective means to generate highly energy-efficient renewable fuel resources using MSWs.
Part of the book: Engineering Applications of Biochar