New techniques for the characterization of refuse-derived fuels and solid recovered fuels
Solid recovered fuel (SRF) today refers to a waste-derived fuel meeting defined quality specifications, in terms of both origin (produced from non-hazardous waste) and levels of certain fuel properties. Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) nowadays is more used for unspecified waste after a basic processing to increase the calorific value and therefore this term usually refers to the segregated, high calorific fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW), commercial or industrial wastes. In comparison with conventional fuels, both types of secondary fuel show waste of inherently varying quality and an increased level of waste-specific contaminants.The transition from RDF to SRF in the emerging national and European market requires a quality assurance system with defined quality parameters and analytical methods to ensure reliable fuel characterization. However, due to the quality requirements for RDF and SRF, the current standardized analysis methods often do not meet these practical d emands. Fast test methods, which minimize personnel, financial and time efforts and which are applicable for producers as well as users can be an important supporting tool for RDF- and SRF-characterization. Currently, a fast test system based on incineration and correlation analyses which enable the determination of relevant fuel parameters is under development. Fast test methods are not aimed at replacing current standardized test methods, but have to be considered as practical supporting tools for the characterization of RDF and SRF.