In order to really understand how pyrolysis and gasification work, the first thing to understand is that pyrolysis and gasification are technically intermediary processes that change one state of matter into another form of matter. How this is done varies depending on the feedstock, heat, residence time, amount of oxygen, and pressure within a specifically designed reactor. Both pyrolysis and gasification are very good at deconstructing solid materials such as waste plastics, scrap tires, and municipal solid wastes by thermally breaking down the molecular bonds between the various states of matter following the laws of thermodynamics.
The fundamental difference between a pyrolysis process and a gasification process is oxygen. Pyrolysis produces 3 products: solid, liquid, and gas. In order for a good pyrolysis reaction to occur, pyrolysis typically has less than 1% oxygen within the reactor. Gasification on the other hand typically has between 20-30% oxygen which aids in the production of syngas, without the production of any liquid, and very low amounts of solids which are typically vitrified. In practical terms, single-step transformations to a finished product(s) are very difficult to achieve with any form of perfection and this applies to both pyrolysis and gasification processes.
When breaking down materials into their core molecular structure, atoms like to take the easiest path of recombing, and it’s critical that the users of these technologies understand that no two paths are identical and that each process needs to have some form of polishing/finishing and/or upgrading technology as a secondary (or maybe a third) step to produce the ideal product of desire, and this result is also a function of the pyrolysis and/or gasification technology (reactor) used.
A simpler concept to understand is that the end products produced by pyrolysis and gasification are that these resulting products must undergo some form of purification, distillation, and de-agglomeration. Once molecules are broken down, a process of reorganizing these molecules is necessary so that recovered molecules can be put back together and/or combined into the right structure to produce the desired end products. This process allows for the production of specific end products as the molecules are put back together, in the right combination; that is also done in a continuous fashion so that product consistency can be achieved on a consistent quality basis, this is science and chemical engineering.
There are no truly single-step processes that operate commercially, ie take a product of mixed ingredients (non-homogenous nature) and produce a singular product such as pure carbon or singular chain hydrocarbon. The KleanTeam specializes in the integration of various commercialized processes to achieve the single-step transformation by combining several steps into a larger continuous single process known as a system. Klean Industries uses highly specialized know-how, technologies, and process controls that are combined together to achieve the desired end product results.
In this section of our website, we review some of the unique features and projects the KleanTeam has undertaken over the past six decades of designing and building thermal processing plants using “unconventional” feedstocks such as waste plastics, scrap tires, and municipal solid wastes along with the resulting finished end products. We are leaders in thinking outside of the box and believe our solutions and technologies do this better than any other vendors on the market today.