A Portable Fluidized-Bed Reactor for Flash Pyrolysis of Landfill Waste

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place, Pines Industrial Center, Rockledge, FL, 32955
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Paul Yelvington
PI/Sr. Chemical Engineer
(321) 631-3550
Business Contact:
Michael Rizzo
(321) 631-3550
Research Institution:
The Main Base Landfill at Edwards Air Force Base will reach full capacity by no later than 2017, and many other landfills across the country are facing the same situation. Waste streams need to be redirected to extend the lives of these facilities. In Phase I, Mainstream successfully demonstrated that a portable, fast-pyrolysis, fluidized-bed reactor can significantly reduce the amount of biomass material entering the landfill and produce a useful liquid fuel. During Phase II, we will scale our bench-scale pyrolysis reaction system up to pilot scale. The pilot-scale system will be a fully continuous, fully automated reactor capable of converting 10% of the Main Base Landfill greenwaste inflow, or 35 kg/hr, into bio-oil. The pilot-scale system will be designed, built, and fully characterized in Phase II. A full-scale Phase-III process capable of processing a significant portion of the organic waste stream entering the landfill will also be designed. The full-scale design will include designs for all process units, overall flow and energy requirements, and estimates of capital and operating costs. The Phase II option task will address upgrading the raw bio-oil to improve its stability, miscibility, and materials compatibility. BENEFIT: The 1,600 landfills in the U.S. process over 240 million tons of garbage each year. Many landfills are reaching their capacity and sites for creating new landfills are increasingly limited. Hauling waste to remote landfills, which expends energy and resources, may soon become a necessity for both military bases and municipalities. Conversion of waste to bio-oil would greatly reduce the volume of material that reaches the landfill, and therefore extend the life of current facilities. A portable, flash-pyrolysis, fluidized-bed reactor that is purpose-built for the complex landfill biomass feed stream could be rapidly deployed to remote locations such as forward overseas military installations and smaller, rural landfills. The bio-oil produced from these reactors would provide an alternative, non-petroleum source of home heating oil, which 8.1 million American homes rely on for heat, and which is often subject to price surges and temporary shortages. The bio-oil can also readily be upgraded for use as a transportation fuel.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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