Improved operation of Waste-to-Energy plants by controlled mixing of the waste feed
Waste-to-energy (WtE) plants are typically receiving a large variety of different wastes and waste fractions with diverse combustion characteristics (e.g., calorific value, water content, biomass content, ash content). These waste composition differences make it difficult for WtE plants to maintain a steady operational state. This waste variability is reduced to a certain extent when crane operators pre-mix the waste (relying on visual recognition and long-term experience) in the receiving bunker. However, until recently, there wasn’t a method available to assess the degree of heterogeneity of the waste combusted and thus, no systematic and controlled mixing of the waste feed was possible.
The objective of the project is to develop and implement a software which allows for the controlled mixing of the waste in the WtE bunker, thereby improving the performance of the plant (more stable operation, e.g. steady steam production).
How we will do that:
By analyzing the off-gas composition of WtE plants, in particular, the O2, CO2 and H2O concentrations, we will assess the composition of the waste feed with regard to the content of biomass, plastics, and water at a high temporal resolution (own method developed, see patent below). This information is used together with information from the waste crane (location of respective waste uptake) to generate so-called “heat maps” of the combustion characteristics of the waste (composition) stored in the waste bunker. These “heat maps” are subsequently used to control the mixing of the waste in the bunker prior to feeding it into the combustion chamber of the plant (controlled mixing of the waste).
Patent WO 2020/252513 A1: Verfahren zur Analyse und zur Betriebsoptimierung von Müllverbrennungsanlagen (Method to analyse and optimise the operation of waste-to-energy plants). Inventors: Fellner, J., Schwarzböck, T.
Patent WO 2020/252513 A1 Verfahren zur Analyse und zur Betriebsoptimierung von Müllverbrennungsanlagen (Method to analyse and optimise the operation of waste-to-energy plants). Inventors: Fellner, J., Schwarzböck, T.