Waste treatment process

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Collection

The first stage of waste management consists of its collection and transfer to a landfill site. Each municipality can manage this process through a public or private company (concessions).

Depending on the degree of development, citizens collaborate in the collection process by selecting the type of waste and separating it at the source using specific containers for glass, cardboard, batteries, etc. that are available on the streets of many cities.

In many other countries with fewer resources, MSW is not separated and is taken to public landfills, where only a fraction of the waste is treated. In those cases, recovery rarely reaches 10%.

Waste sorting

Once the trucks enter the landfill site loaded with Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), the first step is to select and separate all the materials, which are going to be processed in the waste treatment plant.

Inert materials, also called aggregates or improper materials such as metals, sands, stone, ceramics that cannot be treated by our processes in the REVALUO plant and that do not have any calorific value, are removed. The same applies to a large part of the water that is in the waste.

Among the materials that are recovered, and to name but a few, we can highlight the recovery of ferrous and other metals with market prices to be taken into account, such as aluminium and copper.  We also obtain glass, paper, cardboard and other recycled materials. […]

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Hydrolysis

Within our REVALUO system, once all the waste has been sorted and classified, all the organic part goes through a Hydrolysis process where all the possible sugars are extracted. These sugars may be inside the MSW (free sugars), may be in the form of starch originating from food scraps and may be in the form of cellulose present in packaging, disposable diapers and small pieces of paper and cardboard.

Once the sugars are obtained, we are able to produce BioEthanol […]

Pelletizing

All the waste already filtered and crushed goes through a pelletization process before entering the Thermolysis plant. In this step, the already selected and crushed waste is dried, pressed, compressed and condensed producing small pellets of medium uniform size and composition, free of air, water and humidity.

Depending on the degree of environmental humidity, these pellets may go through a drying process before entering the Thermolysis plant. In that case, the pellets enter inside an industrial dryer that is fed with the heat from the plant itself. Drying ends when the humidity level is between 7% and 20%. A humidity level of less than 30% increases efficiency.

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Thermolysis

Thermolysis does thermal-decomposition of the waste by means of pressure and temperature between 650ºC to 1200ºC (heating, not burning) and, in the absence of oxygen, the union of the molecules contained in the solid waste is broken, regrouping the atoms of gases and combustible carbons, releasing the oxygen.

Thermolysis has minimum emissions as waste is controlled and transformed into energy, thus avoiding the release of toxins to the atmosphere.

An indicative comparison of harmful emissions from other technologies is shown below […]

Storage

With MSW, the purified and cooled gases are stored in a tank where they are mixed and homogenized, thus avoiding their arrangement in layers according to their weight and density, which would imply that the hydrogen is always on top, and that would be a problem

The produced carbon smoke or Biochar (when only organic matter has been treated), is removed through conveyor belts into a container. The same happens with the soil improver obtained from the treatment of leached sludge.

If the plant is used to treat tyres, rubbers or plastics (never PVC), the obtained bunker fuel is accumulated in tanks.

The same applies to BioEthanol.

If there is a market for it, the distilled water produced during Hydrolysis can be bottled.

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Exploitation & Treatment

In the process of separation and classification, certain products that have an economic value on the market are recovered that would otherwise be buried and forgotten in the landfill. To name a few examples:

– Paper and cardboard that can be recycled.

– Ferrous and other non-ferrous metals such as copper and aluminium can be melted and reused.

– Specific plastics to be recycled.

– Glass, which can be sold to manufacturing factories and recycled, put to a second use in worktop factories, outdoor tables or sprayed and sold to paint factories for horizontal road signs, […]

Landfill Deposit

Depending on the morphology of the waste, thanks to our system we can reduce by up to 85 – 90% the amount of waste that ends up in a landfill. Through the different processes that form part of REVALUO, a large percentage of the total is separated and used to obtain recoverable products:

Sorting: Metals. glass, cardboard, specific plastics that are to be recycled or given another use, tires,…

Hydrolysis: All the organic part is used to obtain BioEthanol.

Thermolysis: Other materials are used to obtain syngas for the production of electricity, bunker fuel, coal smoke, etc.

Finally, if we want to make the most of REVALUO, only the unsuitable and arid materials (earth, sand, building rubble, etc.) end up in the dump.

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