What is RDF?
RDF stands for Refused Derived Fuel is generated from domestic and business waste and it also comprises biodegradable materials and plastics also. Even the fuel is produced from combustible components that are called Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). However, non-combustible materials such as glass and metals are removed and after that, the leftover material is then shredded. After that, the fuel is used as an option to fossil fuels in power plants that will produce electricity. Most importantly, it acts as a renewable energy source that makes sure that the waste isn’t just thrown into a landfill site and used in a good manner.
What is the process of converting waste to energy?
Energy collected from RDF eradicates a large amount of carbon dioxide equivalent gases (mostly carbon dioxide and methane) that are emitted every year because of the burning of fossil fuels. Another essential thing is that every tonne of waste that is shifted from the landfill site then it results in eliminating 0.54 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Further, it also acts as an extensive saving in greenhouse gas emissions which is very good for the environment. When it comes to energy from waste process then it can take different forms that are mentioned below-
Using waste-to-energy incinerators -The entire process comprises mixing and shredding the waste and it must happen before burning at temperatures over 850 degrees C. Afterward, the waste is shifted to a combustion chamber where oxygen is added and the heat is primarily used to create steam. As a result of this, the steam is then used to produce electricity also.
Gasification and Pyrolysis -The fuel is heated by using minimal oxygen in order to produce syngas and it can also be used to produce energy.
Anaerobic digestion – With the use of microorganisms that will convert organic waste into methane-rich biogas. Therefore, the natural process breaks down waste in the absence of oxygen, producing biogas that can power homes and businesses. Moreover, it is mainly used for food waste and this process provides a significant advantage in producing bio-fertilizer.
What Production Steps Are Involved in RDF?
As Refused Derived Fuel production begins with separating non-combustible wastes such as metal and glass from combustibles. When the separation is done all the larger items are into smaller pieces. Afterward, the next stage is the collection of un-segregated municipal waste, which includes organic waste that is primarily food waste) and various other materials like paper, cloth, plastic, and wood that provide the calorific value required to burn. During the separation stages, hazardous materials are removed completely. As Refused Derived Fuel can process different materials and there are numerous techniques that make sure the creation of a homogenous material and it is also used as a substitute fossil fuel. The most common method of extracting RDF from Municipal Solid Waste is to combine mechanical and biological treatment methods. Some of the methods are-
- Size screening
- Coarse shredding
- Bag splitting
- Magnetic separation
- Refining separation
RDF in waste management
In India, there is a major need for effective solid waste management because of rapid industrialization. The process of co-processing of refused derived fuel (RDF) becomes an excellent option for environment management for non-biodegradable, non-recyclable organic waste as well that will contribute tremendously in order to reduce emissions as fossil fuels used in cement kilns. Besides this, the government has also introduced policies for processing also. Most importantly, the quality of RDF leaves its impact on its utilization when it concerns cement kilns. There are many cement industries in India that are using RDF as a substitute for fossil fuels.
RDF covers a wide range of waste materials that have been processed. Most importantly, the RDF production technology contributes to an approach of waste to approach and reduce the carbon footprint as it is necessary for diverting waste from all the landfill sites. Another vital thing is that RDF captures the energy in non-recyclable and combustible waste and converts it into a replacement for fossil fuels like coal or oil which can greatly help. Besides this, it can be used to produce energy and it can be used in cement plants also.
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