Modeling of Gasification of Refuse Derived Fuel: Optimizations and Experimental Investigations

  • Dawit MusseEmail author
  • Wondwossen Bogale
  • Berhanu Assefa
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 308)


Nowadays, renewable energy technologies for decentralized electrification are promising in addressing electrification issues. In this study, gasification of Refuse Derived Fuel is investigated for its potential to generate good quality producer gas for use in internal combustion engines for electricity generation. Representative Municipal Solid Waste is separated, screened, prepared and characterized. Lower heating value of the RDF is 16.63 MJ/kg which is an acceptable yield. The gasification was modeled using non-stoichiometric thermodynamic equilibrium model and implemented on MATLAB for optimization. Optimal values of temperature and equivalent ratios were determined to be 850 °C and 0.2, respectively, at a moisture content of 6%. A downdraft gasifier with the gas cleaning and conditioning system has been designed, manufactured and tested experimentally to validate the model. Based on the result, the producer gas heating value was 8.164 MJ/m3, which is acceptable for utilization in ICEs. The capacity of the gasifier is 147 kW at feed rate of 46 kg/h and product gas flow rate of 65.14 m3/h to meet engine requirements. The cold gas efficiency of the gasifier is 70%. In conclusion, a good agreement was observed between experimental and simulation results for gas characterization. Catalytic gasification gives promising results for future investigations on the use of Dolomite as a primary cleaning along with advanced secondary gas cleaning system.


Gasification Modeling Refuse Derived Fuel Equivalence ratio (E.R) Gas cleaning 



Equivalence Ratio


Computational Fluid Dynamics


Internal Combustion Engines


Mega Watts of electricity


Micro Meter


Kilo Watts


Lower Heating Value


Municipal Solid Waste


Packaging Derived Fuels


Process Engineered Fuels


Parts Per Million


Refuse Derived Fuels


Refused Fuels


Waste – to – Energy

C, H, O, N

Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen


Molecular weight of the RDF


Moisture content of the RDF


Number of moles of water vapor in dry basis


Number of moles of species ‘I’ in the producer gas.


Total number of moles of gases

x, y, z

Normalized coefficient of atomic Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen for RDF molecule.


Number of moles of air


Equilibrium Constant for Water – Gas Shift Reaction


Equilibrium Constant for Methane Formation Reaction

ΔG (T)

Gibbs free energy [KJ/Kmol]

\( \Delta {\text{g}}_{{{\rm{f}},{\text{i}}}}^{\rm{o}} \left( {\text{T}} \right) \)

Change in Gibbs free energy for individual gas, i at a given temperature.

\( {\text{H}}_{{{\rm{f}}, {\text{i}}}}^{\rm{O}} \)

Enthalpy of formation for spices i

a, b, c, d, e, f

Coefficients for Gibbs free energy empirical correlation.


Specific heat capacity for species i



We thank AAU – Vice President for Research and Technology for funding (Under Thematic Research Grant), Ethiopian Minerals, Petroleum and Biofuels Corporation for offering sample Dolomite mineral for free, AUU, Faculty of Natural and Computational Sciences and Department of Chemistry, Geological Survey of Ethiopian laboratories.


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawit Musse
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wondwossen Bogale
    • 1
  • Berhanu Assefa
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Addis Ababa Institute of TechnologyAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.School of Chemical and Bio Engineering, Addis Ababa Institute of TechnologyAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia

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