Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)

Refuse derived fuel is a fuel produced from various types of waste, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Industrial Waste or commercial waste. Refuse Derived Fuel is a renewable energy source that ensures waste simply isn’t thrown into a landfill and instead, put to good use.

Selected waste by-product with calorific value selected waste and by-products with recoverable calorific value can be used as fuels in a cement kiln, replacing a portion of conventional fossil fuel, like coal, if they meet strict specifications. Sometimes they can only be used after pre-processing to provide ‘tailor-made’ fuels for the cement process.

What type of material produced?

RDF consists largely of combustible components of such waste, as non-recyclable plastic (not including PVC), paper cardboard, labels, and other corrugated materials. The variety of materials able to be processed and turned into Refuse Derived Fuel means that this practice poses huge environmental benefits, as less and less fossil fuels will be required in coal fired power plants, lime plants or cement plants.

Materials such as glass and metals are removed during the treatment processing since they are non-combustible. The metal is removed using a magnet and the glass using mechanical screening. After that, an air knife is used to separate the light materials from the heavy ones. The light materials have higher calorific value and they create the final RDF. The heavy materials will usually continue to a landfill.


RDF can be used in a variety of ways to produce electricity or as a replacement of fossil fuels. It can be used alongside traditional sources of fuel in coal power plants.

The main limiting factor for RDF use in cement kilns is its total chlorine (Cl) content, with mean Cl content in average commercially manufactured.

RDF can also be fed into plasma arc classification modules & pyrolysis plants.

RDF can provide a funding source where unused carbon credits are sold on the open market via a carbon exchange.

Boiler fuel for drying, Industries, Agriculture.

Fuel for independent power generation of plant

What are the advantages of RDF?

The main advantage of RDF is conversion of waste into energy which helps in effective handling of Municipal Waste.

The other advantage includes the problem associated with Solid Waste Management and Fossil fuels are eliminated.

RDF is one of the alternative and renewable resources of fuel which is derived from municipal waste. Production and utilization of RDF leads to green environment.

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