Abstract—Solid waste management has become an ever
growing problem world-wide due to rapid urbanization and
population growth. South Africa was found to have generated
59 million tons of general waste in 2011 with the Western Cape
generating 675kg/capita/annum. The convention of
management has been that of landfilling, however this method
is fast becoming insignificant due to the lack of space and
detrimental nature to environment. In light of the energy
security issue South Africa is facing, and the global drive of
finding alternate sources of fuel with the depletion of fossil fuel,
attention has turned to MSW as a sustainable source of energy
while remediating its effect on the environment.
Thermochemical conversions of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW),
thus presents an attractive means of harnessing the potential
value in this waste stream thus thermochemical conversion pose
an attractive means of converting this waste stream into
valuable fuel products. Study was conducted making use of
RDF pellets produced from the MSW. Pellet density was varied
by varying the starch binder to MSW ratio, thus the effect of
this on energy content and thermal degradation behavior was
studied. The energy content of MSW in Cape Town was
investigated using a bomb calorimeter and the thermal
degradation behavior was studied using Thermogravimetric
Analysis (TGA). The MSW calorific value was found to average
at 19MJ/kg and 3 distinguishable major mass loss regions were
found between temperatures 55 – 265oC, 270 - 410oC and 410 -
502oC. The total mass reduction was found to be 76%.
Index Terms—Calorific value (CV), proximate analysis, refuse derived fuel (RDF), thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), derivative thermogravimetry (DTG).
The authors are with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: A. Hlaba, A. Rabiu, and O. A. Osibote, "Thermochemical Conversion of Municipal Solid Waste — An Energy Potential and Thermal Degradation Behavior Study," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 7, no. 9, pp. 661-667, 2016.