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Combustion of a Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) Produced from the Polymeric Fraction of Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR)

The use of alternative fuels derived from residues in energy-intensive industries that rely on fossil fuels can cause considerable energy cost savings, but also significant environmental benefits by conserving non-renewable resources and reducing waste disposal. However, the switching from conventional to alternative fuels is challenging for industries, which require a sound understanding of the properties and combustion characteristics of the alternative fuel, in order to adequately adapt their industrial processes and equipment for its utilization. In this work, a solid recovered fuel (SRF) obtained from the polymeric fraction of an automotive shredder residue is tested for use as an alternative fuel for scrap preheating in an aluminium refinery. The material and chemical composition of the SRF has been extensively characterized using proximate and ultimate analyses, calorific values and thermal degradation studies. Considering the calorific value and the chlorine and mercury contents measured, the SRF can be designated as class code NCV 1; Cl 2; Hg 2 (EN ISO 21640:2021). The combustion of the SRF was studied in a laboratory-scale pilot plant, where the effects of temperature, flow, and an oxidizer were determined. The ash remaining after combustion, the collected liquid, and the generated gas phase were analysed in each test. It was observed that increasing the residence time of the gas at a high temperature allowed for a better combustion of the SRF. The oxidizer type was important for increasing the total combustion of the vapour compounds generated during the oxidation of the SRF and for avoiding uncontrolled combustion.


Funding: This research was conducted as part of the REVaMP project, which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 869882. The authors want to thank the funding by the Basque Government for financing the activity of the “Sustainable Process Engineering” group as a consolidated research group (GIC15/13, IT993-16).


Esther Acha (UPV/EHU); Alexander Lopez-Urionabarrenechea (UPV/EHU); Clara Delgado (AZTERLAN); Lander Martinez-Canibano (UPV/EHU); Borja Baltasar Perez-Martinez (UPV/EHU), Adriana Serras-Malillos (UPV/EHU); Blanca María Caballero (UPV/EHU); Lucía Unamunzaga (AZTERLAN); Elena Dosal (Fundación Inatec); Noelia Montes (Fundación Inatec); Jon Barrenetxea-Arando (Fundación Inatec).


Combustion; automotive shredder residue; solid recovered fuel; alternative fuels; sustainable energy; waste-to-energy.


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