Moisture Content in Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)
Moisture is important in any manufacturing process, but when it comes to waste alternatives, excess moisture can ruin products.
RDF is produced from domestic and business waste, which includes biodegradable material as well as plastics. Non-combustible materials such as glass and metals are removed and the residual material is then shredded. Refuse derived fuel is used to generate energy at recovery facilities, many of them in Europe where they produce electricity and hot water for communal heating systems.
With continuous online moisture measurement, waste-to-energy plants will find huge money savings. From savings in transportation due to weight of excess moisture, to savings in water usage for dust suppression and clean-up. Plants also reduce the amount of wear and tear on equipment due to the dust and ash build up and prevent blockages on the conveyor resulting in shutting down the boiler.
Typical accuracy is about ±0.2% for ash moisture applications with a moisture range of 0-30% moisture. The sensor should be installed several inches above the conveyor belt. Once installed operators can continuously monitor the process and control the moisture content either manually or automatically. For monitoring and control, the sensor(s) can be directly connected to the users PLC or any laptop.
Unlike other instrumentation of this type, some of the unique features of the IR3000 is that can monitor the product even with small gaps in product flow and is unaffected by the ambient light without impacting the accuracy. The IR3000 is also ideal for installations on chain conveyors and screw conveyors. Additionally, since waste-to energy plants can be an extremely dusty environment at times, a small amount of air may be necessary to prevent dust collection on the lens of the sensor.