Analysis of MSW
BackgroundMSW stands for municpal solid waste. This category includes wastes produced by households and local businesses. A large proportion of MSW is biodegradable. Biodegradable municipal waste is composed of wood, various papers and cardboards, and organics (all other biodegradable material; principally food and garden wastes).
Many countries have targets for reducing the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that is sent to landfill. For example, the European Union's Landfill Directive (1999) sets progressive targets to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste land-filled, when compared against the waste produced in the baseline year of 1995.
Incineration is one of the currently favoured methods for reducing the quantity of biodegradable municipal waste (and all municipal solid waste) that is sent to landfill. Biorefineries that can produce advanced biofuels (often termed cellulosic fuels) from organic materials are another option for valorising biodegradable municipal waste.
Celignis founder Daniel Hayes has considerable experience in the chemical and near-infrared analysis of MSW and has been involved in a research project, funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency, that involved collecting, preparing, and characterising a variety of MSW samples. Samples that have been analysed include the organic fraction of black bin wastes, brown-bin wastes, and wastes that have been treated by different MBT (mechanical and biological treatment) technologies. Daniel Hayes has also collected many samples of biomass/wastes that contribute to mixed biodegradable municpal waste and characterised these separately. Such samples include numerous papers and cardboards, as well as green wastes (e.g. lawn cuttings and tree trimmings).
Analysis of MSW at Celignis
Celignis Analytical can determine the following properties of MSW samples:
Sugar Alcohols and Uronic Acids
Lignin and Extractives
- Ash (Acid Insoluble)
- Volatile Matter
- Fixed Carbon
- Gross Calorific Value
- Net Calorific Value
- Ash Shrinkage Starting Temperature (Oxidising)
- Ash Deformation Temperature (Oxidising)
- Ash Hemisphere Temperature (Oxidising)
- Ash Flow Temperature (Oxidising)
- Ash Shrinkage Starting Temperature (Reducing)
- Ash Deformation Temperature (Reducing)
- Ash Hemisphere Temperature (Reducing)
- Ash Flow Temperature (Reducing)
Major and Minor Elements
Cellulose Content of MSWThe composition of MSW will vary significantly according to the different types of waste that make up the feedstock. For instance, MSW that contains a large proportion of paper/cardboard will have a high cellulose content and a low lignin content.
The chemical composition of MSW also varies significantly over the course of a year, with more green waste in periods when plant productivity is greatest. Food wastes will also vary according to changes in diet over the year.
Click here to see the Celignis Analysis Packages that determine cellulose content.
Hemicellulose Content of MSWThe hemicellulsoe content of MSW will vary significantly, according to the types of materials present in the waste.
Click here to see the Celignis Analysis Packages that determine hemicellulose content.
Lignin Content of MSWLignin content in MSW is also highly variable. There are also large differences in the composition of MSW between countries and socioeconomic classes.
Click here to see the Celignis Analysis Packages that determine lignin content.
Starch Content of MSWMSW can contain significant amounts of starch and the starch content can be highly variable throughout the year. A greater proportion of food waste in MSW will tend to increase the starch content of the feedstock.
Click here to see the Celignis Analysis Packages that determine starch content.
Uronic Acid Content of MSWThe total concentration of uronic acids in MSW, and the relative proportions of the different uronic acids, will vary substantially according to the different types of wastes that constitute the MSW sample. For instance, many food wastes can contain significant amounts of pectins and so have relatively large uronic acid contents, whereas the uronic acid contents of papers and cardboards are typical;y very low.
As a result of this, uronic acid content of MSW is likely to vary throughout the year and according to location and diet.
Click here to read more about uronic acids and to see the Celignis Analysis Packages that determine uronic acid content.
Ash Content of MSWThe ash content of MSW is highly variable but can be significant in many cases.
Click here to see the Celignis Analysis Packages that determine ash content.
Heating (Calorific) Value of MSWThe heating value of the biomass component of MSW can be low, due to high ash and moisture contents. Non-biomass components in MSW, particularly plastics, can help to increase the heating value of the feedstock.
Click here to see the Celignis Analysis Packages that determine heating value.
Bulk Density of MSWAt Celignis we can determine the bulk density of biomass samples, including MSW, according to ISO standard 17828 (2015). This method requires the biomass to be in an appropriate form (chips or powder) for density determination.
Click here to see the Celignis Analysis Packages that determine bulk density.
Basic Density of MSWAt Celignis we can determine the basic density of some suitable biomass samples. The method requires the biomass to be in an appropriate form (chips) for density determination.
Click here to see the Celignis Analysis Packages that determine basic density.
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