Separation of substitute fuel for environmentally friendly energy generation

According to the Federal Statistical Office, more than 50 million tons of industrial and commercial waste were generated in Germany in 2019. This represents an enormous burden for the environment. A large part of this waste is stored in landfills. Incineration in the waste incineration plant is also a popular disposal method. However, there are also ways to make the waste usable. For example, there is the possibility of obtaining energy from them and using them for cement production. Commercial and industrial waste are ideal for this.

A lot of waste contains a lot of energy

For most people, garbage is a worthless item that just needs to be disposed of as quickly as possible. However, the waste is often not quite as worthless as it appears at first glance. Many of the substances that are no longer needed contain a lot of energy. For example, waste contains plastics, paper, wood and some other materials that can be used as fuel. This can not only pay off financially. The environment also benefits from it. On the one hand, in this case it is not necessary to store the waste in landfills. Therefore, the landscape is not polluted in the process. On the other hand, this energy makes it possible to replace fossil fuels. The corresponding materials are called substitute fuels.

Separation of waste is very important

Using the waste as fuel is not a fundamentally new idea. This has been implemented in waste incineration plants for decades. However, the waste is usually incinerated unsorted. However, since it also contains many non-flammable substances, this means that the combustion process cannot run optimally. This severely limits the possible uses. It is therefore very important to separate the flammable substances beforehand. This enables a better combustion process and thus many additional application possibilities. 

Sorting is usually carried out on the basis of the density of the substances. Light materials like paper or plastic are usually flammable, while heavy materials like metal or glass are not suitable for combustion. Most waste, however, only contains around 20 percent light substances. The vast majority of 80 percent is heavy waste. This also shows how important sorting is, as most of the waste is unsuitable for energy generation. However, the heavy waste can often be recycled in other ways. For example, after this pre-sorting, it is much easier to separate metals or glass and then to recycle these materials.