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Conversion Technologies

  • Thermal

    • Use or produce heat to change the composition of MSW

    • Products include synthesis gas or fuel gas, fuels, vitrified residue or char, and recovered metals

    • Descriptors: gasification, pyrolysis and plasma

  • Digestion (Aerobic and Anaerobic)

    • Decomposes organic fraction of MSW using microbes

    • Anaerobic digestion produces biogas and compost

    • Aerobic digestion produces compost

  • Hydrolysis

    • Chemical reaction in which water (typically with acid) reacts with another substance to form new substances

    • Extracts cellulose from MSW to form products or sugar which is fermented to ethanol

    • Some products include ethanol, levulinic acid

  • Chemical Processing

    • Example: depolymerization converts organic fraction into energy, oil, specialty chemicals, carbon solids

  • Mechanical Processing

    • To create a fuel or other reusable products

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