Tri-generation System based on Municipal Waste Gasification, Fuel Cell and an Absorption Chiller
The present work focuses on the design of a novel tri-generation system based on gasification of municipal solid wastes, a solid oxide fuel cell and an ammonia-water absorption chiller. Tri-generation systems can be implemented in buildings such as hospitals and hotels, where there is a continuous and large demand for electricity, heating and cooling. The system is modelled in Aspen Plus and the influence of different operating parameters on the system performance was studied. The findings suggest that low air equivalent ratios and high gasification temperatures enhance the overall system performance. Syngas cleaning with metal sorbents zinc oxide and sodium bicarbonate for the removal of hydrogen sulfide and hydrogen chloride concentrations proved to be very effective, reducing the concentration of contaminants to < 1 ppm (part per million) levels. The possibility of covering the demand profiles of a specific building was also investigated: the system could fully meet the electricity and cooling demands, whereas the heat requirements could be satisfied only up to 55%. Moreover, assuming 20 years of operation, the payback period was 4.5 years and the net present value exceeded 5 million euros.