The waste management is become a very crucial issue in many countries, due to the ever-increasing amount of waste material, both domiciliary and industrial, generated. The main strategies for the waste management are the increase of material recovery (MR) which can reduce the landfill disposal, the improvement of energy recovery (ER) from waste and the minimization of the environmental impact. Recent studies have focused on an innovative technology, the plasma gasification, that has been demonstrated as one of the most effective and environmentally friendly methods for solid waste treatment and energy utilization. In this paper, a plasma gasification process based on plasma torch technology has been investigated by developing a thermochemical model (EPJ, EquiPlasmaJet) able to estimate both the syngas composition and the energy required for the gasification reactions. The EPJ model has been employed to predict the syngas composition and the energy balance of a RDF (refuse derived fuel) plasma arc gasification reactor using air as plasma gas, and, in order to define the optimal operating conditions three different configurations have been investigated. Results show that, in the better plant solution, the plasma gasification efficiency is 69.1% (LHV) and the lower heating value of the syngas generated is about 9 MJ/kg. Furthermore in order to evaluate the suitability of this technology for energy recovery from solid wastes, the integration of the optimum plasma gasification system (PGS) with a gas turbine combined cycle (GTCC) has been analysed and the performance of the resulting integrated plasma gasification combined cycle (IPGCC) has been evaluated. The system efficiency (31% LHV) is very high in comparison with the efficiency of conventional technologies based on waste incineration (20%).
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