BioSynEnergy LLC

Turning a New Leaf with Biologically Synergistic Technologies
BioSynEnergy LLC 
 
Dr. Richard C. Newbold 
Managing Principal
 
5247 Point Pleasant Pike
Doylestown, PA 18902
 
Phone: (267) 898-2223    
 
Mobile: (267) 337-3010  
 
 
Pyrolysis (Thermolysis) as a Preferred BioSynENERGY Technology for Generating Value from Waste
 
Incineration (combustion/burning) of waste material converts input waste into energy and ash but is always associated with emissions of greenhouse gases, unhealthy particulate matter and toxic residues. Even with the most advanced and sophisticated emission controls, combustion can never achieve the environmental standards available with the best engineered pyrolytic platforms. In contrast to combustion/incineration, pyrolytic/gasification "bakes" waste materials at relatively low temperatures (generally, 300 to 650 degrees centigrade) under highly controlled conditions that reduce or eliminate oxygen - so waste conversion is conducted without combustion.
 
Instead, a variety of waste materials are broken down into smaller carbon-containing compounds; these molecules  are collected and sold "as is" or further cost-effectively transformed into valuable end-products that can be used to generate energy (electricity, heating and cooling), oils/solvents, recyclable materials for resale (such as metals) and other bio-products such as biochar - all of which can create substantial profits and new jobs while generating carbon credits and environmental benefits.
 
The process of pyrolysis (or thermolysis) of waste materials takes place in special chambers with reduced or no oxygen, resulting in thermal decomposition of all organic materials without combustion. Most pyrolytic processes produce solids (char and ash), gases and oils. Depending on the waste feedstock and pyrolysis technology used, these end-products can be sold "as is" or cost-effectively converted into other by-products of greater commercial value. When pyrolysis (a relatively low temperature process) is coupled with gasification (a higher temperature process, but still combustion-free), organic waste compounds into a clean "synthetic gas" (often called syngas or producer gas) that can then be combusted to create steam to generate electricity in special gas engines or turbines.
 
Conventional incineration/combustion in conventional power plants - whether burning coal or natural gas - also produce steam to drive turbines to generate electricity; however, they operate at lower efficiency and produce environmentally destructive emissions. Coal burning also produces significant amounts of "fly ash", an unavoidable consequence of combustion that can contain toxic metals (including arsenic and mercury); the recent accidental  spillage of millions of gallons of stored fly ash in Tennessee underscores the many environmental threats associated with coal burning.
 
In contrast to incineration/combustion, pyrolysis is the decomposition of organic materials during heating in oxygen-free atmosphere to produce gas, liquid and solid residuals. Decomposition products of the pyrolysis depend upon the heat, pressure and time the material is held within the vessel.
 
There are many variations of pyrolysis technologies in commercial operation; they vary greatly in their efficiency, cost-effectiveness, environmental impact and range of converting waste materials to profitable products. Some of the advantages of pyrolysis over incineration/ combustion include:
  • Greatly increased possibilities for recycling:

    • with incineration, the only practical product is energy;

    • in pyrolysis, gases, oils/solvents and carbonized materials are produced;

    • gas and liquid products can be used as a combustion fuel;

    • carbonized material can be pelletized for use as fuel, carbon black for industry, and activated carbon for smokestack scrubbing.

  •  Emissions from pyrolysis are considerably lower:

    • depending on the technology variant employed, up to 99% of the material treated is recovered, with virtually no effluents escaping into the environment;

    • no smokestack is necessary.

  • By displacing fossil-fuels, waste pyrolysis can help meet renewable energy targets, address concerns about global warming, contribute to achieving Kyoto Protocol commitments and generate renewable energy/carbon credits for sale or trading.
  • Pyrolysis systems have been developed for a wide range of capacities and wastes, including recovering materials and energy from residues left from materials recycling e.g. electrical and electronic scrap, tires, mixed plastic waste and packaging residues.
  • Pyrolysis is the only process that is basically insensitive to its input material:

      • if properly engineered, pyrolysis equipment can accept unsorted MSW (municipal solid waste), dioxins, contaminated soils, medical wastes and liquid materials such as municipal sluedge with high levels of water content.
    • Pyrolysis facilities require lower capital investment and have lower operating costs than combustion plants and can be operational within 5 to 6 months of breaking ground:

        • These facilities have excellent operator safety records and function  continuously at very low noise levels;

        • Combined with low profile building requirements and no smokestack, these characteristics allow faclities to be placed in senstive locations.
      • The pyrolytic technologies employed by BioSynEnergy are modular and scalable from 10 tons up to hundreds of tons of waste processing capabilities daily.

      The following table describes some areas of proven (commercialized) implementation of pyrolysis technology.

       

       Application

      Raw Materials 

      Product of the Pyrolysis 

      Waste-to-Energy
      Agricultural and Food Processing Waste
       
      Waste Plastics

      Waste Tires

      Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

      Biomass

      Medical Waste

      Oil/Solvents

      Carbonized Materials

      Gases (e.g. butane)

      Electricity

      Carbonization System

      Wooden Chips

      Organic Sludge

      Carbonized Materials
      Drying System

      Organic Sludge

      Waste Food

      Dried Materials
      Soil Remediation System Contaminated Soil (dioxin, PCB, oil)

      Clean Soil

      Recovered Materials

       

      Summary: BioSynEnergy recommends ONLY environmentally permitted, efficient, patented pyrolystic systems that have been proven to be safe and economical in operation.