Production of Energy and High-Value Chemicals from Municipal Solid Waste

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Landfills have been used for decades in Puerto Rico as the only alternative for the disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW). In the present, 7,300 metric tons (8,000 tons) of MSW are generated on a daily basis, of which about 43% are generated in the San Juan Metropolitan Area. Garbage dumps in the Metropolitan Area have an estimated useful life of two years from now. Furthermore, Puerto Rico'saverage daily per capita generation exceeds that of U.S. and is almost twice as that of Europe. A novel alternative for the disposal of MSW needs to be implemented. The University of Puerto Rico (Department of Chemical Engineering), in a collaborative effort with the Sandia National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Puerto Rico's Energy Affairs Administration, and theInstitute of Chemical Engineers of Puerto Rico, have conceptualized a research program that would address the utilization of MSW and other agricultural residues for the generation of energy and/or high-value chemical products. The concept, 'biorefinery' would consist of the collection of MSW and other agricultural wastes, separation of materials for recycling (glass, ceramics, metals), and useof gasification and /or hydrolysis of the screened material to produce energy and/or chemicals (such as alcohols and oxyaromatics).
Original languageAmerican English
PagesVol II: 778-784
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1996
EventSeventh National Bioenergy Conference - Nashville, Tennessee
Duration: 15 Sep 199620 Sep 1996


ConferenceSeventh National Bioenergy Conference
CityNashville, Tennessee

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-570-24424


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