'Waste' fuel

A research team from Tomsk Polytechnic University is studying how industrial and domestic wastes can be used to create new types of composite fuels. The project is supported by the RF President Scholarship for 2018-2020.



Among the studies supported by the Scholarship, here was the project called ‘Development of Technology for Joint Utilization of Industrial and Domestic Waste with Energy Production via Combustion as Part of Composite Fuels’. The project is conducted by the engineer of the Heat-Mass Transfer Simulation Lab from the School of Energy & Power Engineering Kseniya Vershinina under the supervision of Prof. Pavel Strizhak from the Research School of High-Energy Processes.


According to expert estimates, a large amount of industrial and domestic wastes has accumulated in Tomsk region. Most of them are wastes from oil and natural gas production, domestic and mixed water treatment, office debris, cutting and wood processing. These are the wastes, which TPU scientists propose to utilize for the production of a new fuel.


Kseniya Vershinina says:


‘In the framework of the project we will focus on the waste that is typical for our region, for example, petroleum wastes (oil sludge, oily soil, and water-oil emulsions), wood processing wastes (for example, sawdust), and domestic/office wastes (paper, cardboard, plastic, textile, rubber, etc.).


It is also planned to put wastes of process and municipal wastewater treatment and wastes of used automobile tires processing in the list.’


The study is carried out in several stages. The first was devoted to the study and systemization of knowledge already accumulated by other researchers (waste accumulation rate, waste properties, etc.), as well as to the identification of promising components and fuel composition based on them. The database collected will make it possible to understand the efficiency, merchantability and eco-friendliness of new types of fuel. Several experiments will be conducted to reveal all characteristics: fuels made out of wastes provided by some Tomsk companies for the study will be burnt in model combustion chambers.


‘We will study the combustion heat, amount of energy needed for effective ignition, amount of emissions from fuel combustion, potential expenses for their preparation, transportation, storage, and other characteristics. All this will allow revealing both advantages and disadvantages of a new composite fuel out of waste in comparison with the most widespread and most environmentally dangerous fuel, e.g. coal.


By 2020, the project is expected to be completed, i.e. a full database will be collected.


The database will help to develop and advance applied technology for fuels from waste, to design predictive models for their ignition and combustion. To add, some dedicated organizations are interested in our study. Perhaps, these waste utilization technologies may be offered to large companies in Tomsk and the region,’ summarizes the young researcher.