Municipal solid waste (MSW) is one of the residue materials considered as a potential source for biofuel production in the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED), which establishes that a minimum of 10% biofuels for transport shall be used in every Member State by 2020, thus promoting advanced biofuel from waste. A high-temperature gasification technology transforms MSW into a syngas rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide and free of tar, char and harmful compounds like dioxins appearing as a promising root for methanol production. The overall process including MSW high-temperature gasification, syngas purification and conditioning up to methanol synthesis has been modeled with Aspen Plus analyzing the influence of waste composition and operating conditions on syngas composition and methanol yield. The evaluation of CAPEX and OPEX has been carried out to obtain a cost of production (COP) estimation. The greenhouse gas (GHG) emission has also been estimated and compared with the conventional waste incineration process and methanol production. The technology assessment shows interesting results technically and economically, when compared with waste to energy processes: over 50% of incoming carbon is fixed into methanol molecule, and due to the negative cost paid for RDF disposal, the bio-methanol COP provides a reasonable industrial margin.
Part of the book: Gasification for Low-grade Feedstock