From garbage to alternative fuels: how to organize waste recycling in Astana?

Scientists at Nazarbayev University say that 30% of municipal solid waste in Astana could be recyclable, and another 10% of municipal solid waste potentially could be sorted to derived solid fuel for the city’s energy needs. These figures were obtained by a research group studying landfills in Astana for opportunities to obtain energy fuel from solid domestic waste.  

“A lot of solid waste is disposed of on a daily basis, we wanted to explore if some of this waste could be processed as fuel to meet the municipal needs of the city, specifically, we were interested in the production of  heat during the winter season,”- said the NU School of Engineering‘s Postdoctoral Scholar and a Principal Investigator of the project Yerbol Sarbassov.

In the course of the experimental process, samples of the treated fuel were co-fired in a fluidized bed unit to study the combustion parameters with and without coal.

The researchers of the Laboratory of Green Energy and the Environment, National Laboratory Astana and the School of Engineering, NU concluded that the dry combustible residue from solid waste can be disposed of in two ways: by pyrolysis to produce syngas or co-firing in fluidized beds. The second option would be more effective for use in the small district boiler houses of Astana.

Scientists said that the composition of garbage varies, depending on the area of export.  Thus they are extremely optimistic, emphasizing that the disposal of solid waste in Astana will have a positive impact on the ecological situation in the city, as well it will help to increase the service life of sanitary landfills for the disposal of solid waste.