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Producción de briquetas para recuperación de energía de residuos de muebles que contienen espumas de poliuretano


Oferta Tecnológica
Un equipo de investigación español ha desarrollado un nuevo proceso de producción de briquetas a partir de residuos de muebles (madera y espuma de poliuretano) que permite la gestión y recuperación de energía, evitando los problemas medioambientales y facilitando el transporte, manejo y almacenamiento. Las briquetas, con alta densidad de energía, pueden emplearse como combustible en centrales térmicas o calderas industriales. Se buscan empresas del sector de tratamiento de residuos o de la industria del mueble interesadas en explotar la tecnología y establecer acuerdos de licencia o cooperación técnica.


Production of briquettes for energy recovery of furniture waste with polyurethane foams
A Spanish research group has developed a new production process of briquettes from furniture waste, enabling the management and energy recovery, avoiding the environmental problems and easing transport, handle and store. The briquettes, with high energy density, can be used as fuel for thermal power plants or industrial boilers. Companies in waste treatment sector or furniture industry interested in exploitation of this technology through licensing agreements or technical cooperation are sought.
Lignocellulosic wastes, such as wood, are being widely used as a renewable energy due to the significant reduction in the emission of acid gases and greenhouse, as well as improved management of natural resources. However, one of the main disadvantages of this waste is that energy is limited because of their low density.

On the other hand, current European legislation does not allow the burning of chemically treated wood such as furniture waste, demolition wood, etc. for domestic use. Likewise, landfilling of these wastes should be avoided because of their high energy content, low density and environmental problems they cause. Alternatively, these wastes can be energy recovered in power plants and industrial boilers through direct combustion or co-firing with coal, the latter having great environmental benefits.

A common problem in the municipal solid waste treatment plants is the management of bulky waste such as furniture waste, and it does not currently exist an appropriate solution to this problem. Furniture waste is mainly composed of wood and upholstery foam, which show a high calorific value (the Net Calorific Value of wood and polyurethane foams are 16 and 24 MJ/kg, resp.) even though foams having a low density.

The main technical drawback of co-firing is the density difference between the fuels used, being able to cause problems of feed fuel to the boiler. In this regard, densification of biomass into pellets or briquettes with high energy density appears as a solution, while reducing costs in transportation, handling and storage.

A Spanish research group has developed a new compact material and a production process of briquettes with high energetic content in order to carry out a proper and viable treatment and energy recovery from waste from furniture industry (wood and upholstery foams mainly).

Due to the flexible character of polyurethane foams, a densification of separate foam is not simple. The solution provided in the present invention uses a mixture of the two components (wood and polyurethane foams) for briquettes.
The compacted material developed is formed mainly by biomass and foam (Fig1). Whereas biomass (lignocellulosic) consists of waste wood or timber products, the foam is composed of polyurethane foam or similar from sofas, cushions, pillows, chairs, mattresses, etc.

The method for producing briquettes of the present invention comprises the following steps:
1) Crushing of wood waste and foam to a certain size.
2) Compacting of the material obtained into the shape of briquettes by a hydraulic piston press briquette machine.

In the different laboratory assays, the research group has studied and defined the process parameters, which are the most influential on the physicochemical characteristics of the briquette such as percentage of mixture of materials, the size of crushing, appropriate humidity and compaction pressure.

As a result of this research, the research group has obtained briquettes with physicochemical characteristics similar to conventional briquettes (wood) in terms of resistance to fragmentation and abrasion, durability (DU - according to European standard CEN-TS 14588:2003), density and calorific value appropriate for use as industrial fuel (Fig2).

Through this procedure can be obtained briquettes of 53 mm diameter and variable height between 20 and 60 cm, although the process is applicable to any size briquettes. Furthermore, the briquette can have any shape, either in brick, cylindrical, tablet-shaped, square or the like.

The research group is looking for companies interested in the exploitation of this technology. Depending on the needs of the company, this technology transfer can be performed by license, R-Y-D or subcontracting agreements.
Advantages and Innovations:
· The new briquetting process from waste furniture solves the current problem of management of this waste.

· The process allows energy recovery and treatment of this waste in a simple and feasible way to avoid the environmental problems associated with disposal in landfills.

· The densification of the material in the shape of briquettes makes the transportation, handling and storage of this waste easier and cheaper.

· The briquettes produced have high energy density and have physicochemical characteristics (resistance to fragmentation and abrasion, durability, density, etc.) similar to conventional ones.

· The briquettes can be used as fuel in thermal power plants or industrial boilers, solving the drawbacks of low density, uniformity of size and shape, as well as the feeding problems in these combustion plants associated with these materials.

· This process can be applied to briquettes of any size and shape.
Stage of Development:
Prototype available for demonstration
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
This technology is protected by a Spanish patent application.

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The new process can be used to obtain briquettes with physicochemical characteristics similar to the conventional and high energy density being able to be used as fuel for thermal power plants or industrial boilers.

The research group is looking for companies in waste treatment sector or furniture industry interested in acquiring this technology for use and / or commercial exploitation, through the following:
· License agreements to transfer the patent rights to use, manufacture of the technology to third parties.
· Agreement R-Y-D project (technical cooperation) for the use or application of technology in other waste or in other sectors.
· Subcontracting agreement for technical assistance, training, etc.


Type and Size of Client:
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
04008001 Combustión, llamas
02002005 Forming (rolling, forging, pressing, drawing)
04005007 Incineración de residuos
10003002 Incineración y pirólisis
04005006 Solid biomass