Project Synopsis

Develop an FEL-2 level process design package for a pilot-plant to convert Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to hydrogen.

Project Summary


Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) was subcontracted by a modular process systems fabrication company to provide an FEL-2 level process design package for a Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to hydrogen process for the ultimate client, a renewable energies company.  A preliminary process flowsheet, computer model, and heat and material balance for most of the main process unit operations were available at the beginning of the project, as well as some experimental data for portions of the process.  This project extended the initial work by adding balance of plant equipment items and developing additional detail to allow for a preliminary cost estimate to be developed, as well as providing documentation for initiation of an FEL-3 design (to be performed by the client). Additionally, technologies required for certain portions of the process were identified.

Project tasks included:

  • Generating a process flow diagram (PFD) and a process material balance for converting multiple tons/day (dry basis) of MSW to hydrogen. This included matching the model with the experimental data available from the ultimate client.
  • Developing the process to maximize heat recovery and operate with minimal waste.
  • Identifying and determining the best technical approaches to address process requirements.  This included contacting vendors and searching the technical literature.  Of particular importance were finding best approaches for removing HCl, NH3NH3, and H2SH2S from the process vapor.
  • Preliminary sizing of all process unit operations.
  • Investigating the ability of existing technologies to achieve the hydrogen fuel product purity requirement.
  • Verifying that the vapor emissions from the process will meet regulatory requirements.
  • Estimating costs of all process equipment through modeling and vendor quotations.

Technologies were identified confirming the technical feasibility of the process.  Appropriate equipment was sized for the process, and an installed cost estimate was delivered to allow the client to evaluate the financial viability of the project.

Industry Type

  • Alternative Fuels

Utilized Skills

  • FEL-2 pilot-plant design
  • Process scale-up design from lab data