Gasification vs Incineration

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Process Type Batch or Continuous Continuous
Use of External Fuel Constant external fuel requirement for continuous temperature requirement Fuel only required for startup. Becomes fully autothermic (the waste material becomes the fuel) over 550°C.
Temperature 600°C – 1400°C 700°C – 1100°C
Physical Size Large incinerator – Vastly larger emissions treatment system also required typically three times larger than the incinerator its self Approximately 50% size of incineration. Very small filter system required due to low airflow.
End material Ash and large clinkers Ash or Char Optional
Primary use of waste Reduction and total destruction Reduction and total destruction
Efficiency of operation Poor as external fuel and a significant amount of forced air is required to oxidise all components. Good. Continues process 8000hrs cycles. No waiting required
Mechanical Simplicity (maintenance implications ) Complex system that requires significant amounts of moving parts to work in unison continuously. Little or no moving parts – low maintenance requirements.
Fly ash Yes needs a significant amount of extra filtration to deal with fly ash. No fly ash created in the process due to minimal airflows.
Labour requirements Larger maintenance and operational requirements due to complex system due to System complexity. Can be designed to hold two days fuel in hopper. Minimal maintenance required.
Energy recovery Poor due to increased volumes of air flow required. Good – maximum energy recovery in the form of hot water, steam, electricity or chilled water.
Parasitic electrical load Very high – Multiple large compressors and fans required for airflow some in excess of 50kW each. Minimal typically less than 5kW for the gasification system (gasifier, heat exchanger, filtration system).
Emissions SOX and NOX naturally generated that must be treated and filtration system. Oxygen constantly in direct contact with high temp volatiles leading to formation of SOX and NOX.
Particulates high due to increase airflow in combustion chamber that have to be dealt with filters also.
All emissions naturally lower (pre filtration) due to no forced air. The filtration system guarantees the missions under a new directive limits.

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