Recycling possibility of the salty food waste by pyrolysis and water scrubbing

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Salty food waste is difficult to manage with previous methods such as composting, anaerobic digestion, and incineration, due to the hindrance of salt and the additional burden to handle high concentrations of organic wastewater produced when raw materials are cleaned. This study presents a possibility of recycling food waste as fuel without the burden of treatment washing with water by pyrolyzing and scrubbing. For this purpose, salty food waste with 3% NaCl was made using 10 materials and pyrolysis was conducted at temperature range between 200-400 °C. The result was drawn from elementary analysis (EA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis, atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) analysis, water quality analysis and calorific value analysis of char, washed char, and washing water. The result of the EA showed that NaCl in food waste could be volatilized at a low pyrolysis temperature of 200-300 °C and it could be concentrated and fixed in char at a high pyrolysis temperature of 300-400 °C. The XPS analysis result showed that NaCl existed in form of chloride. Through the Na content result of the AAS analysis, NaCl remaining in char after water scrubbing was determined to be less than 2%. As the pyrolysis temperature increased, the chemical oxygen demand (COD) value of scrubbing water decreased rapidly, but the total phosphorus and nitrogen contents decreased gradually. The cleaned pyrolysis char showed an increase of higher heating value (HHV) approximately 3667-9920 J/g due to the removal of salt from the char and, especially at 300-400 °C, showed a similar HHV with normal fossil fuels. In conclusion, salty food waste, which is pyrolyzed at a temperature of 300-400 °C and cleaned by water, can be utilized as high-energy refuse derived fuel (RDF), without adverse effects, due to the volatilization of Cl and an additional process of contaminated water.




Lee, Y. E., Jo, J. H., Kim, S. M., & Yoo, Y. S. (2017). Recycling possibility of the salty food waste by pyrolysis and water scrubbing. Energies, 10(2).

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