Fixed bed downdraft gasification of paper industry wastes

M. Ouadi, J.G. Brammer, M. Kay, A. Hornung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The two main wastes generated from secondary fibre paper mills are rejects (composed mainly of plastics and fibres) and de-inking sludge, both of which are evolved from the pulping process during paper manufacture. The current practice for the disposal of these wastes is either by land-spreading or land-filling. This work explores the gasification of blends of pre-conditioned rejects and de-inking sludge pellets with mixed wood chips in an Imbert type fixed bed downdraft gasifier with a maximum feeding capacity of 10kg/h. The producer gases evolved would generate combined heat and power (CHP) in an internal combustion engine. The results show that as much as 80wt.% of a brown paper mill's rejects (consisting of 20wt.% mixed plastics and 80wt.% paper fibres) could be successfully gasified in a blend with 20wt.% mixed wood chips. The producer gas composition was 16.24% H, 23.34% CO, 12.71% CO 5.21% CH and 42.49% N (v/v%) with a higher heating value of 7.3MJ/Nm. After the removal of tar and water condensate the producer gas was of sufficient calorific value and flow rate to power a 10kWe gas engine. Some blends using rejects from other mill types were not successful, and the limiting factor was usually the agglomeration of plastics present within the fuel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)692-699
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date10 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Applied energy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Ouadi, M, Brammer, J, Kay, M & Hornung, A, 'Fixed bed downdraft gasification of paper industry wastes' Applied energy, vol. 103, (2013) DOI

Funding: Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC); Aylesford Newsprint Ltd.; Smurfit Kappa SSK; Kimberly-Clark Flint


  • gasification
  • CHP
  • de-inking sludge
  • paper wastes


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