A comparison between the most promising design configurations for the industrial application of gasification based, plastics-to-energy cogenerators in the 2-6. MWe range is presented. A pilot scale bubbling fluidized bed air gasifier, having a feeding capacity of 100 kg/h, provided experimental data: the syngas complete composition, the characterization of the bed material, the entrained fines collected at the cyclone and the purge material from the scrubber. Mass and energy balances and material and substance flow analyses have been therefore drawn to assess and compare design solutions utilizing two mixed plastic wastes (MPW) obtained from separate collection of plastic packaging, after different levels of pre-treatments. The related techno-economic performances have been finally estimated on the basis of the manufacturer's specifications. The study concludes that the MPW obtained after a very simple pre-treatment and fed to a gasifier coupled with a steam turbine is the solution that currently offers the higher reliability and provides the higher internal rate of return for the investigated range of electrical energy production. © 2011.
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