Techno-economic feasibility of micro-channel Fischer-Tropsch production using carbon-neutral hydrogen from municipal solid waste plasma gasification for producing liquid hydrocarbons

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Combining photovoltaic power with municipal sold waste plasma gasification, carbon monoxide can be produced along with hydrogen at nearly the same molar ration as required to produce long-chain liquid transportation fuels. Any fuel produced from a sustainable source such as solid waste diverts carbon away from new extraction, mitigating emissions. If 1 ton of fuel is burned that is produced from solid waste, 1 ton less fuel is extracted. Using micro-channel technology rather than classic tubular reactors, the size of the F-T reactor is reduced by an order of magnitude, reducing CAPEX and material usage. Low-cost non-noble cobalt catalysts provide high activity and long life. Graphite electrodes using 10 kV AC plasma torches provides high temperature 2000-3000C gasification temperature generating 513 and 400 Nm3 of CO and H2 respectively using 1.6 MW. 1.2 tons of solid waste can generate 0.27 tons of sulfur-free diesel fuel per day.

Sustainable diesel fuel market price: $946/ton ($3/gal)

Hydrogen source: Photovoltaic 40 kWh/kg-H2 140 kg-H2/t-diesel

Carbon source: Municipal solid waste plasma gasification: 243 kg/t-MSW @1,600 kWh plasma/t-MSW = 6.5/kWh/kg, 5600 kWh/t-diesel p. Hydrogen production: 32 kg/t-MSW

Solar plant CAPEX @0.20/watt: $60,000

DC/AC invertor: $15,000

Treated wood panel support structure: $8000

Plasma gasifier CAPEX: $10,000

Microchannel Fischer-Tropsch reactor: $8,000

Purification: $5,000

Total CAPEX: $106,000

Annual maintenance: $15,000

Revenue per ton MSW: $178

Power consumption: 6000 kWh/ton

MSW consumption: 1.2 tons per day,

Potential Revenue: $94,600

Return on capital: 75%

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