Material and energy balance of solid recovered fuel production: Dissertation

Muhammad Nasrullah

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles


The quality of solid recovered fuel (SRF) holds the key to its market demand and utilization for power production. However, the lack of consistency in the quality and availability of SRF may limit its applications in power producing industries. In the SRF production, proper sorting of input waste's components into the relevant output streams is a decisive factor in defining the quality and yield of the SRF. The objective of this research work was to establish the material and energy balance of SRF production based on an in-depth analysis and detailed evaluation of physical and chemical characteristics of the input and output streams and waste components produced in industrialscale SRF production. The SRF was produced from three different types of waste materials: commercial and industrial waste (C&IW), construction and demolition waste (C&DW) and municipal solid waste (MSW). In the case of SRF produced from MSW, higher yields of material were recovered in the form of SRF as compared with that recovered from C&IW and C&DW. Of the MSW input to the process, 72 wt. % was recovered as SRF, equivalent to 86 % energy recovery. In the case of SRF produced from C&IW, a higher mass fraction of the input chlorine (Cl), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) was found in the SRF as compared with the SRFs produced from C&DW and MSW, namely 60 %, 58 % and 45 %, respectively. The SRF produced from C&DW was found to contain the lowest mass fraction of the input chlorine, lead and mercury in comparison with the SRFs produced from C&IW and MSW, namely 34%, 8% and 30%, respectively. In each case of the SRF production, a higher mass fraction of the input cadmium (Cd) was found in the SRF than in the other output streams. Among the waste components, rubber, plastic (hard) and textile (synthetic type) were identified as the potential sources of polluting elements and potentially toxic elements (PTEs). In C&IW, C&DW and MSW, rubber was measured to contain 8.0 wt. %, 7.6 wt. % and 8.0 wt. % of chlorine, respectively. In C&DW, plastic (hard) and textile (especially synthetic type) were measured to contain 7.0 wt. % and 3.8 wt. % of chlorine respectively. The results of this thesis can be used by the SRF manufacturers and users in order to enhance and implement their understandings about the quality and yield of SRF and the research institutes/organisations to make use of the generated data, in waste management and wasteto- energy related modelling and decision making tools.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Oinas, Pekka, Supervisor, External person
  • Vainikka, Pasi, Advisor
  • Hurme, Markku, Advisor, External person
Award date11 Dec 2015
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Print ISBNs978-951-38-8369-0
Electronic ISBNs978-951-38-8368-3
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • solid recovered fuel
  • material and energy balance
  • polluting and potentially toxic elements


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