In recent years there have been an increasing number of attempts to develop commercial-scale gasification of municipal solid waste. The results have been widely disappointing, with many high profile and often catastrophic failures. The causes and analyses of these process failures remain inadequately reported in peer-reviewed literature. This paper identifies and discusses these hazards in the context of modern preferences, using case studies and historic antecedents to explore the engineering challenges which underpin loss prevention in the gasification energy from waste sector. It shows that there are many hazards: flammable, toxic, and corrosive gas mixtures, the auto-ignition of stored feedstocks, multiple explosive atmospheres due to both overpressure and underpressure combined with many ignition sources, plus heightened risk at times of start-up, shut-down or during testing. It also identifies how risk is heightened by preferences for novelty, lack of stakeholder understanding, a desire to operate at high outputs, and a reluctance to learn from history.
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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