Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Shahbazi, Abolghasem Dr.


The management of municipal solid waste (MSW) has become a significant environmental problem, especially in fast-growing cities. Hence the thermo chemical conversion of Municipal solid waste (MSW) has been proven as an attractive method of waste management to recover energy from MSW. This would minimize its environmental impact and decrease disposal costs. In this thesis, the MSW is characterized to determine the feasibility for thermo chemical conversion. The samples are collected from different MSW transfer locations across North Carolina. Selected physical and chemical properties such as the moisture content, heating value, elemental composition and thermal degradation characteristics of the samples are measured to evaluate their feasibility for thermo chemical conversion. The moisture content in the samples was determined at 105 °C and it ranged between 45-55 %. Proximate analyses and Ultimate analysis are conducted to determine the contents of volatile, fixed carbon, ash and elemental composition of the samples. A TGA is used to determine the contents of volatiles under nitrogen for pyrolysis, air for combustion and carbon dioxide for gasification. The temperature ranged from 25 °C to 900 °C at a gas flow rate of 20 ml/min. It is observed that the maximum weight loss rates of samples increase obviously with the increase of heating rate. An adiabatic oxygen bomb calorimeter is used to determine the energy contents of the samples. The composition of Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen are measured by an elemental analyzer under combustion of the materials at 990 °C