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Title: Total recycling of CCA treated wood waste by low-temperature pyrolysis
Authors: Helsen, Lieve ×
Van den Bulck, Eric
Hery, JS #
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science LTD
Series Title: Waste Management vol:18 issue:6 pages:571-578
Abstract: A system to turn a potentially harmful stream of solid waste into a set of substreams with either commercial value or highly concentrated residual streams is presented. The waste which is considered is metal impregnated (in particular Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) treated) wood waste and timber, such as telephone poles, railway sleepers, timber from landscape and cooling towers, wooden silos, hop-poles, cable drums and wooden playground equipment. These waste streams sum up to several 100,000 tons of material per year currently to be dumped in every major country of the European Community (EC). Technologies need to be developed to reduce this CCA treated wood waste, such that all of the metals are contained in a marketable product stream, and the pyrolysis gases and/or pyrolysis liquid are used to their maximum potential with respect to energy recuperation. Pyrolysing the CCA treated wood waste may be a good solution to the growing disposal problem since low temperatures and no oxidising agents are used, which result in lower loss of metals compared to combustion. An experimental labscale pyrolysis system has been developed to study the influence of the pyrolysis temperature and the duration of the pyrolysis process on the release of metals and the mass reduction. The macrodistribution and microdistribution of the metals in the solid pyrolysis residue is studied using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis (SEM-EDXA). Furthermore, a complete mass balance is calculated over the pyrolysis system. Based on these results a semi-industrial pyrolysis system (pilot plant scale) has been developed consisting of three stages: grinding, packed bed pyrolysis and metal separation. Special types of equipment have been developed to carry out the three stages. A new grinding system has been developed, based on a crushing mechanism rather than a cutting mechanism. The crushed wood is introduced by means of a screw feeding system into a reaction column. In this pyrolysis reactor the wood is heated by subjecting it to a flow of hot gases. This causes an adiabatic pyrolysis, which results in volatilisation of the volatile compounds whereas the mineral compounds (containing the metals) remain entrapped in a coal-type residue which is very rich in carbon. The condensable compounds in the pyrolysis gas condense while leaving the reaction zone due to the inverse temperature gradient. The pyrolysis gas leaving the reactor is used as fuel for the hot gas generator. The charcoal which is extracted at the bottom of the reactor, is cooled, compressed, removed and stored, ready to feed the subsequent stage. A specially developed grinder is used to remove the metal particles from the charcoal and the separation between metal and charcoal particles is accomplished in a pneumatic centrifuge as a result of the difference in density. Using this system the ultimate waste is less than 3% of the initial wood mass. Results obtained with a semi-industrial scale prototype confirm the effectiveness of the process.
ISSN: 0956-053X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Applied Mechanics and Energy Conversion Section
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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