Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)


Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)

refuse derived fuel process diagramSolid waste can be utilized to produce electricity by converting it to a fuel that can be used to power furnaces and generators. The process of producing refuse derived fuel (RDF) can reduce the volume of waste sent to landfills by more than 85%. Refuse derived fuel is also considered carbon neutral because the carbon released during combustion of the biomass fuel is part of the natural carbon cycle. For every ton of waste processed, an average of one barrel of oil or one-quarter ton of coal is saved, thereby avoiding one ton of greenhouse gas emissions.

RDF can help municipalities reach the goal of having municipal solid waste (MSW) no longer be a wasted resource. It can be a source from which to extract raw materials and energy on an industrial scale.

To produce refuse derived fuel, MSW is first processed to remove hazardous and nonprocessible materials. Recyclables are collected with large magnets and separators. The remaining high-Btu material is shredded and dehydrated to a maximum of 15% moisture content so it will process well. The resulting refuse-derived fuel can be processed to produce steam, powering a turbine and producing electricity.

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