What is pyrolysis?

Pyrolysis reactor

Pyrolysis is a technology of thermal decomposition of organic and inorganic substances without access of air and exhaust gas. Pyrolysis can happen at low temperatures and at high temperatures. A human body that digests food and breaks it up into proteins, fats and carbs is in fact a pyrolysis factory.

Pyrolysis is perfect for waste treatment. Sorted waste mixture is loaded into a cistern and heated. Low temperature pyrolysis starts at 450C. Decomposing waste produces exhaust gas channeled into a separate column. Thus pyrolysis gas is formed which can be used for pyrolysis process to heat the reactor and it also be cleaned and used as fuel. Exhaust gas can be pumped onto a turbine to produce energy. In pyrolysis process water is formed which can be cleaned to receive H2O. The remaining mixture turns into diesel fuel and at higher temperatures and with deeper cleaning it turns into water and coal. Therefore, incineration does not happen at all in pyrolysis process, nor does formation of dioxins.

When garbage is burned exhaust gas containing a huge amount of dioxins gets onto dust filters where dioxins stick to dust molecules. Since this process does not involve chemical adsorption, but physical adsorption, there’s not enough energy to keep the molecules together. Dioxins can easily detach and get into the air and soil when the residue is buried. This presents a huge hazard for the environments and the people living in the neighborhood and working at waste incineration plants.

It turns out that pyrolysis is a waste-free and environmentally safe technology that does not produce any atmosphere contamination. Waste incineration plants are not equipped with chimneys because they do not need any chimneys to throw out gas. Also, pyrolysis plants do not produce any dioxin slag that has to be buried afterwards.

Pyrolysis is not a new technology. In Nazi Germany, before hydrocarbon prices dropped, there were four pyrolysis plants for fuel production. In the Soviet Union, pyrolysis technology was successfully implemented in various industries, for example, in coal mining industry with the purpose of raising productivity of mines. Nowadays, many scientists say that with pyrolysis plants Russia can effectively solve the problem of waste. However, due to corruption, pyrolysis technology does not get any progress.

In the last few years, China has been quite successful in using pyrolysis for treatment plastic waste and tires. In Europe, pyrolysis is not so popular, although many countries, especially in Eastern Europe are paying more and more attention to pyrolysis technology as the only efficient and safe option to waste incineration and landfills.

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