Hydrogen production from automotive waste via integrated plasma gasification and water gas shift.

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Author: Marco Occhinero; [2019]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: The growing amount of landfilled waste could pose a problem in many parts of the world due to the scarcity of landfilling space and environmental threats. In particular, automotive shredder residue (ASR) waste, a by-product of the dismantling of End of Life Vehicles (ELVs), has been proven to represent an issue in particular in the EU, where countries are struggling to compel to the directives that regulate this type of waste. At the same time, interest for hydrogen production methods is growing in the industries due to the advancement in fuel-cell technology for transportation and for power production. This study aims to investigate the performance of an integrated plasma gasification-hydrogen production system powered by ASR waste through the simulation of the process in ASPEN Plus. The investigation is focused on the potential for hydrogen production from ASR waste in terms of energy efficiency and quantity of hydrogen produced. The integrated system consists of an updraft plasma gasifier to generate clean syngas with high hydrogen content, a water gas shift reactor to furtherly enrich the gas of hydrogen content and a PSA unit to extract the hydrogen from the gas stream. The plasma gasification section of the model has been divided into four sub-systems that are drying, pyrolysis, char combustion and gasification, and melting. These four sub-systems are used to model the plasma gasification using the equilibrium method. On the other hand, the water gas shift reactor and the PSA unit have been modeled around experimental data. A Mass and Energy balance has been produced to understand the mass and energy flows within the system. The results show that the system is able to produce 238,5 kg/h of pure hydrogen from a feedstock of 2231 kg/h of ASR waste mixed with 89,2 kg/h of coke and 30 kg/h of limestone, achieving a 48% energy efficiency. Thus, the integrated system can achieve the production of pure hydrogen. The parameter study on the ER shows that hydrogen production and energy efficiency are higher at lower ER. On the other hand, increasing the SBR, while increasing the hydrogen content in the syngas, does not lead to higher hydrogen production at the system's output, causing a detrimental effect on energy efficiency. The findings of the study imply that ASR waste has the potential for hydrogen production when using a suitable treatment process.

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