Pyrolysis Syngas

Creating Energy and Byproducts from Waste

CleanCap brings to market the best technologies commercially available for conversion of waste products into usable energy and valuable byproducts. The processes deployed achieve minimum Carbon Intensity (CI) scores and create valuable business models to flip otherwise expensive disposal methods into revenue generating facilities that help organizations meet Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives.

Pyrolysis refers to the thermal decomposition of materials via the application of heat in an oxygen deficient (inert) atmosphere. With this process chemical bonds in the feed material are broken by scission between cross-linked sites at susceptible locations within the base polymer structure. This mechanism results in the production of lower molecular weight substances.

CleanCap has the capability to provide Pre-FEED, FEED, Technology, Construction, Operations, and Maintenance to a Pyrolysis facility. The majority of our experience revolves around the treatment of Medical Waste and Tire Disposal.

Pyrolysis vs Incineration infographic

Medical Waste Pyrolysis

With the Medical Waste Pyrolysis design, the patented facility avoids being classified as incineration by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowing for a more streamlined permitting process with less annual reporting. Through Pyrolysis of medical waste, environmentally hazardous emissions are avoided even when processing hazardous medical waste while also reducing capital costs compared to incineration. A usable Syngas and Biochar material are created as the byproducts of this pyrolysis process.

Facts around the medical waste industry that are worth noting:

  1. 99% of incineration facilities have closed since 1995
  2. Although much of the $7B U.S. industry is controlled by one company, the rest is highly fragmented
  3. Medical waste volumes continue to grow at a rapid pace, especially with the unfortunate advent of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus
  4. 29 lbs of medical waste per bed per day equals 4.1 million tons of medical waste produced each year in the U.S., not including hazardous waste
  5. The technology is protected by 2 patents and all intellectual property is controlled

Tire Pyrolysis equipmentTire Disposal Pyrolysis

The Tire Disposal Pyrolysis technology uses a feed material higher in hydrocarbons for the generation of more energy contained byproducts. The chemical bonds in the waste tires, or vulcanized rubber, are broken apart from a process called vulcanization. The lower molecular weight compounds are hydrocarbons collected as a gas and condensed into Syngas and Hydrocarbon Liquid fractions. Non-volatile materials are collected as a solid from the reactor and separated into Steel and Carbon Black product streams.

Facts around the tire waste industry to note include:

  1. Approximately 250 million waste tires are produced every year in the U.S.

  2. Through this technology, harmful emissions are avoided that are associated with burning waste tires and energy costs are reduced with typical batch pyrolysis
  3. Syngas is reusable in the process as heat or can be converted into Hydrogen and/or Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) using biogas upgrading technologies
  4. Petroleum Liquids are sellable as a marine fuel blending stock
  5. Scrap Steel is a vital feedstock in steel product manufacturing
  6. Carbon Black is a basic building block in rubber products
  7. The technology is commercially and operationally proven already

Syngas from Gasification

CleanCap deploys basic gasification technologies to further process the waste products into usable byproducts. CleanCap also works with syngas created from upstream gasifiers in certain facilities. Gasification is the process of converting any carbonaceous (carbon-based) raw material into a fuel gas. This process is also called synthesis gas or syngas. Gasification occurs in a gasifier, which is a high pressure, high temperature vessel where oxygen (air) and steam are in direct contact with the material causing a series of chemical reactions creating syngas and the resulting residue, usually in an ash or slag mineral residue form.

Syngas derives its name from history as an intermediate in the production of synthetic natural gas. Syngas’ have a large variety of uses as feedstock for final materials. Composed primarily of colorless, odorless, highly flammable gasses, carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H), syngas can be easily shifted into:

  • Methane: Methane is the foundational chemical in natural gas, a clean burning fuel used around the world.
  • Hydrogen: When removing carbon monoxide from the syngas pure hydrogen remains. This hydrogen can be refined to make ammonia, fertilizer, refining oils (such as gasoline & diesel fuel), energy & [c9] more. When refining hydrogen, poly-generation plants are commonly producing multiple byproducts through the gasification process.
  • Carbon Dioxide: During the above processes, the CO2 is often captured for other uses such as Enhanced Oil Recovery.

One of the most common gasification processes is that of coal into syngas which occurs in a Coke oven.

The process we use begins when pressurized feed gas is led through a series of filtering packages to remove contaminants which protects the membrane fiber from liquids, certain chemicals, and particulates. These membranes separate the gas specific rich permeate and lean residue. The separation of permeate and residual gas is driven by the partial pressure difference between the feed gas and permeate gas as well as the advanced polymer material. Additional gas rejection systems are typically required after gas separation to meet certain final product specifications.