fbpx '

BioHiTech Education

Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF)

Solid Recovered Fuel

As the United States population continues to grow, so does the quantity of waste produced. One of the ways to utilize this ever-increasing volume of municipal solid waste is to turn it into an alternative source of fuel for generating heat and electricity.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) claims that burning municipal solid waste reduces the amount of waste by up to 87%. Waste-derived fuel is gradually becoming a popular and viable option for replacing fossil fuels. This type of fuel is divided into two major categories: solid recovered fuel (SRF) and refuse-derived fuel (RDF).

What Is Solid Recovered Fuel?

SRF is a fuel produced by drying, filtering, and shredding solid waste. Solid recovered fuel usually consists of the combustible components obtained from municipal solid waste. SRF may be derived from food and kitchen waste, paper, green waste, plastic bottles, toys, fabrics and composite waste.

SRF is usually produced to meet the standards in Europe. The EN 15359 document gives the specifications for classifying SRF. You can obtain other technical details from the Technical Report (CEN/TR 15508).

Typically, a solid recovered fuel plant is located close to a source of municipal solid waste. Most derived fuels are used by companies located close to the processing plant. This reduces transportation costs and carbon emissions associated with transport.

The SRF produced by Entsorga West Virginia, LLC, is used by Argos US to generate heat in their cement kiln. SRF provides an effective way to achieve “zero to landfill” initiatives. Cement manufacturers may even use the ash produced by burning the fuel to replace natural aggregates in the cement production process.

What Are the Differences Between SRF & RDF?

The major difference between SRF and RDF is that SRF is produced to meet quality standards and criteria set by regulatory authorities. On the other hand, RDF is usually the product of the unrefined shredding, filtering, or sorting of waste treatment operations.

Companies producing SRF put in quality control measures during the production process to ensure the fuel matches the required specification. RDF is non-specified waste fuel, so its composition and quality cannot be guaranteed. Before municipal waste can be used for RDF production, valuable recyclable materials such as metal, glass, wood, and paper should be extracted for recycling.

What Are the Benefits of Solid Recovered Fuel?

Using solid recovered fuel as a substitute for coal or petcoke helps reduce carbon emissions and preserves the earth’s natural resources. This type of fuel can help cement producers attain their sustainability goals by substituting more than half of their fossil-based fuels. SRF is a sustainable fuel that minimizes the need to mine coal deposits.

The benefits to business and the environment include:

  • Less reliance on finite fossil fuels that have a higher unit cost
  • Reduced carbon footprint and lower greenhouse gas emissions
  • A constant supply of high-quality fuel at a relatively stable price
  • Reduced need for “dirty” fuels like coal

Benefits Offered by Our Solid Recovered Fuel Plant

The solid recovered fuel we offer at our Martinsburg, WV, facility provides the community and our clients with the following benefits:

  • Provides employment: Full-time workers and employees working on contracts are employed to run the facility and provide ancillary services.
  • Prevents air pollution: SRF has lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal or petcoke.
  • Makes fuel supply consistent: Fluctuations in fossil fuel supplies won’t affect the amount of this renewable fuel available.
  • Increases materials for recycling: During processing, many elements like plastics, glass, metal, PVC, and aluminum are extracted for recycling.
  • Provides alternative fuels for heat generation: Cement factories use this fuel in the kiln to generate heat.