Advanced Recycling to 1-MW Municipal Solid Waste of Electricity Generation

Converting municipal solid waste into energy

Taylor Energy


Riverside, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Result

Design, fabrication and installation of the major equipment, consisting of Process Development Unit, reformer, gas-flare and gas conditioning, at the host site was completed. Testing of the gasification system was completed. Initial startup of the gasification was performed using 8 lbs. of wood pellets, and then refuse derived biomass. The rate of char conversion was increased to 9.47% by operating pulse burner at 900 degrees C and a modification to the gasifier that allows char particles to stay longer in the gasification zone. This modification also resulted in increased syngas production. The Levelized Cost of Electricity was estimated at $118/MWh for 10-MW scale compared to grid supplier power that will likely average $150/MWh through 2024. This project was completed in March, 2019. The gasifier technology is now being refined and upgraded for future commercialization.

The Issue

In California, 30-million tons of organic materials are added to landfills each year. There is a broad gap in available technology and scientific knowledge required for economic use of municipal solid waste as a gasification feed, particularly in the 1-MWe to 20-MWe power output range. There is a market need to address refuse derived biomass as an opportunity feedstock and to address the equipment size range needed for distributed power generation in California communities.

Project Innovation

This project designs, develops and tests a waste-to-energy Process Development Unit (PDU), involving conversion of Refuse Derived Biomass into clean fuel gas by thermal-catalytic gasification, reforming, and pulse detonation technology. This is a two-stage process, with a primary gasification stage, followed by a reforming stage; and hot filtration, followed by wet scrubbing of the process gas. This project tests a 3-pound per minute PDU, evaluates the results, and provides engineering data to design a 30 ton/day plant generating 1-MW electric power.

Project Benefits

The project researches, develops, and verifies thermal catalytic gasification technology that will overcome technical and economic barriers preventing the use of refuse derived biomass (RDB) as an energy resource in California. Completion of the current gasification/reforming test program enables future scale-up to 30-ton/day RDB-to-energy (1-MWe scale), in preparation for commercial scale design at 300-ton/day, generating 10-MW of electricity with costs of less than $3,750/kWh of installed capacity.

Lower Costs


The Levelized Cost of Electricity is estimated at $118/MWh for 10-MW scale, which results in ratepayer savings of approximately $30/MWh compared to grid supplier power that may average approximately $150/MWh through 2024.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental Sustainability

The project will divert MSW from landfills and generate electricity, reducing NOx emissions from flaring or direct combustion by approximately 6.5 TCO2e/year.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Donald Taylor

General Manager



CE-CERT, Bourns College of Engineering-Center for Enviornmental Research and Technology


Tech Fab


Match Partners


Taylor Energy


Contact the Team