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

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA9302-09-C-0021
Agency Tracking Number: F073-141-0947
Amount: $744,894.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: AF073-141
Solicitation Number: 2007.3
Small Business Information
200 Yellow Place, Pines Industrial Center, Rockledge, FL, 32955
DUNS: 175302579
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Yelvington
 PI/Sr. Chemical Engineer
 (321) 631-3550
Business Contact
 Michael Rizzo
Title: Controller
Phone: (321) 631-3550
Email: mar@mainstream-engr.com
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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