This paper, for the first time, reports integrated conceptual MBCT/biorefinery systems for unlocking the value of organics in municipal solid waste (MSW) through the production of levulinic acid (LA by 5 wt%) that increases the economic margin by 110-150%. After mechanical separation recovering recyclables, metals (iron, aluminium, copper) and refuse derived fuel (RDF), lignocelluloses from remaining MSW are extracted by supercritical-water for chemical valorisation, comprising hydrolysis in 2 wt% dilute H2SO4 catalyst producing LA, furfural, formic acid (FA), via C5/C6 sugar extraction, in plug flow (210-230 °C, 25 bar, 12 s) and continuous stirred tank (195-215 °C, 14 bar, 20 min) reactors; char separation and LA extraction/purification by methyl isobutyl ketone solvent; acid/solvent and by-product recovery. The by-product and pulping effluents are anaerobically digested into biogas and fertiliser. Produced biogas (6.4 MWh/t), RDF (5.4 MWh/t), char (4.5 MWh/t) are combusted, heat recovered into steam generation in boiler (efficiency: 80%); on-site heat/steam demand is met; balance of steam is expanded into electricity in steam turbines (efficiency: 35%).
- Circular economy
- Combined heat and power (CHP)
- Metal and energy and material resource recovery from MSW
- Municipal solid waste management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Waste Management and Disposal