Research and development


Application of a thermo-catalytic process in a municipal plastic waste recycling plant, development of a technological solution for the recycling of plastic waste in the material and for the environmentally friendly use of the synthesis gas generated as a by-product for energy purposes

The basic problem is a major technological challenge, but not just a technological problem! The task is the structural organization of the two-stage treatment of plastic waste, the setting up and routing of routes. All those involved in the industry must be involved in the participation and action.

It is advisable to apply a deposit fee, SPECIALLY included in the price of the product, which upon return returns all used plastic products, packaging at the price of a piece or kg… and then mysteriously all plastics are automatically returned to the redemption points… selectively and… for free ”.

If 10 HUF were returned for each PET bottle, the fishermen from the Tisza would not go for the fish. In addition, an additional product fee is required to cover additional handling and operating costs and expected benefits.

What is the goal, what can be the goal?

  • Get rid of plastic, destroy it, make it disappear. This is only possible once.
  • It is typically converted into some kind of energy, but it is the primary energy stored in the raw material
  • Much of it is wasted, and it puts a heavy burden on the environment.
  • There is currently no better clue for humanity to solve this problem.
  • Recycle, make raw material from it, feed it back to the very beginning of the system,
  • Wait for stocks to run out… until humanity comes up with something more practical

Incineration in an incinerator

Mature widespread technology, nearly 500 plants across Europe. Modern power plants operating with a special flue gas cleaning process (Rákospalota: 400 thousand tons / year). Energy recovery. During energy production, the power plant saves (triggers) fossil energy. Conventional caloric equipment, classic turbines are the basic tools of cogeneration energy production. Controlled technology, but there is a constant issue of dioxin and NOX emissions. There are high investment and continuous technological costs, maintenance and operation of equipment. Synergies: waste transport, district heating, urban environment, large supply area, thermal energy utilization outside the heating period, energy efficiency indicators deteriorate greatly.

Difficulties: in small-scale, urban environments, it is only occasionally profitable, and extremely capital-intensive investments usually die on the table at a theoretical structure level. Waste travel a short distance, energy must be consumed locally. They make it costly due to additional equipment, technologies, energy and material flow, there is a lot of civil resistance, no one dares to accept a confrontation with consequences within their own territory.

Advantages: There is no need for sorting, sensitivity, it has a working structure and tools. Omnivorous. Significant waste volume reduction

The main disadvantage: in addition to the emissions, there is no actual recycling, “only” energy recovery, most of the available canned energy is lost. Certainly incineration does not remain the long-term general solution. Expensive flue gas cleaning technology.

It is not possible to shift the date and manner of use of the incoming material for quantitative reasons.

Many countries are characterized by waste exports … to incinerators.

One possible, but energy- and tool-intensive method for recycling, into a plastic technological raw material, re-granulation

Old-new but important route.

Collection, transport, storage, sorting, grinding, washing, drying, granulation, refrigeration, recrystallization, refrigeration, storage, transport + significant invested electricity.

There are Hungarian players mainly PET, PP. Only 12-14% of the total mixed plastic.

Limited capacity… for processing the large amount of mixed plastic waste generated.

Disadvantages: Scaling capacity for changing conditions, starting from 20… 30 tons per plant per day… is still a challenge regardless of technology availability.

The profitability of the plant depends on a lot of external parameters. Import price of plastic raw material (why there is no protective duty in favor of regranulate), oil price development (significant risk in the business plan), electricity price, quality fluctuation of supplier raw material plastic mix… constant human and technological readiness.

Energy recovery, transformation into primary energy carrier / raw material:

The problem is the capacity of the plant, plants with a sustainable capacity of 10..30 t / day are needed which, without sorting (composition, color, shape, contamination, etc.), can transform mixed plastic into some resellable, usable raw material, energy carrier or any marketable energy.

It fits a normal route, but under much more favorable conditions: Collection, transport, storage, sorting, grinding, washing, drying, granulation, refrigeration, recrystallization, refrigeration, product storage, transport significant invested electricity.

Result: a positive energy balance, following the typically thermo-catalytic conversion, primary energy carriers of varying quality and content are generated.

The most typical components of mixed plastic waste: HDPE, LDPE, PP, PS, PVC, PET, PUR.

Advantages of continuous closed system technology over existing pyrolysis-based waste recycling technologies

  • Ester, acid or special toxic auxiliaries and accompanying gas free technology , no large amounts of contaminated water are generated. Non-chemical degradation.
  • Continuous low energy balance at low operating costs through the use of multi-component chlorine gas for operation in a discharged high calorific gas engine.
  • No need for significant expansion of utilities, construction of a high-capacity gas and electricity collection point, no need for purchased energy (in addition to reserve and home-based energy)
  • Positive self-sustaining and economy indicators for different funding models
  • Fully closed reactor, no discharge
  • Continuous operation, production does not stop due to loading and unloading, continuous material flow
  • Limited technological unit capacity, can be increased by multiplication
  • There are no dangerous gases or vapors that would endanger the workers or the residents of the area
  • No hazardous and highly carcinogenic dioxins PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) released into the atmosphere during combustion
  • No environmental charge!
  • Simpler licensing procedure, less civil resistance.
  • There is no environmental load during operation
  • Can be installed in scales available locally and regionally
  • Can be economically installed next to existing landfills
  • Favorable installation as an extension of waste sorter and processing plants
  • For the production of electricity and / or liquid hydrocarbon products

Primary and secondary products produced:

  • The resulting products as a function of the processed input material.
  • The end product is a gas mixture or coke with a multi-component heavy oil and a high methane content
  • Depending on the composition and moisture content of the input material 200… 700 l / oil and 120… 40 m3 / ton of accompanying gas
  • 1 ton of input material can produce 800 kWh… 2.5 MWh of electricity as a secondary product
  • Pure plastic results in higher productivity
  • Currently widespread technologies produce 7… 17 units of heat, as opposed to the technology offered, which produces 2… 5 units of waste heat compared to one unit of electricity produced.

Project evolution:

Initially, our goal was to find similar projects in Hungary, to look for the possibility of professional collaboration, to explore experiences, results, the causes of possible failures, to find and involve professional experts and designers: to initiate a consultation. Conclusion: similar projects have already achieved different results, but a complete, technologically stable solution has not been found.

Getting started:

Determining energy balance and material flow parameters, defining expected, basic numbers, concept plans, detailed plans, simulations.

Exploring critical details.

Special machine design and manufacturing technology requirements, unique equipment, high temperature, explosion-proof design. Multidisciplinary engineering background. A complex challenge.

Find tools, manufacturers, instruments, technology partners at home and abroad. The supply will be reduced in two steps, devices above 280C and 450C.

Planning tasks:

  • Raw material drying, shredding
  • Controlled dosing, creation of a gas-tight boundary
  • Reactor sizing, shaft sealing, cooling, mantle heating
  • Air – cooled condenser, excevation
  • Water cooled condenser
  • Separator and dryer
  • Gas scrubber and absorber
  • Absorbent liquid neutralizer and regenerator
  • Solid NaOH mixing tank
  • Waste heat recovery, refrigerated container with air filtration
  • Container mounting
  • Refrigeration circuits and related equipment
  • Coke removal and storage
  • Design of gas pressure booster pump and buffer tank
  • Inerting gas network
  • Design of oil storage tanks and measurement
  • Waste heat recovery
  • Deflagration
  • Operational and extinguishing inerting
  • Gas and diesel group with additional equipment
  • Distillation unit with single – phase oil scrubber
  • Design of demister (wire mesh) and cyclone soot separator (lamella)

Development of main units:

Caloric and fluid sizing for each unit, CFD simulations:

Project indicators:

Raw material fractions of 1000 kg mixed inhomogeneous plastic waste:

  • 195 kg gas + 143 kg light oil + 530 kg heavy oil + 89 kg coke + 43 kg water
  • 195 kg gas = 637 kWh of electricity, from a gas engine, for self-consumption
  • 143 kg light oil = 14720 HUF *
  • 30 kg heavy oil = 54560 HUF * 5
  • so the secondary value of 1 ton of mixed plastic waste is HUF 69,280

Consequences and conditions:

  • 10,000 tons of processed mixed plastic waste / year
  • Salary of 17 employees in 3 shifts, HUF 80 million
  • 31,473 m3 of recycled oil derivatives (797 trucks) are generated
  • Site, equipment and operating costs in proportion to revenue 15%

+ product fee

* 1 barrel Brent $ 50, 159 dm3, 136 kg, approx. HUF 103 / kg

The result of the project is a 1 MW unit with a capacity of 250 kg / h and 17 containers

  • Complete technology from bale dismantling to oil storage with waste heat recovery
  • Complete technological implementation plan
  • Complete product plan and 3D plan
  • Specification and design cost estimation for individual devices
  • P&ID and control engineering plans, impact diagrams, detailed technological plans
  • ATEX design