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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 7 Issue 2 (2002) pp 66-70

Prediction of the Combustion Enthalpy of Municipal Solid Waste

Laura Meraz, Mercedes Oropeza, and Armando Dominguez*,

CIIEMAD-IPN, Av. Miguel Othón de Mendizábal 485, Col. Nueva Industrial Vallejo, C.P. 07700, México D.F,, and UAM–Iztapalapa, Depto. Química, Av. San Rafael Atlixco 186, Col. Vicentina, C.P. 09340, México D.F
Received November 2, 2001. Accepted February 25, 2002

Published online: 29 March 2002

Abstract. It is important to discuss real-world problems when teaching a subject like thermodynamics in order to show the close relationship between classroom and laboratory work and chemistry as practiced. This manuscript describes the application of thermochemical concepts to the study of a real-world problem: the prediction of the combustion enthalpy of municipal solid waste. Two equations based on thermochemical concepts and two purely empirical formulas that are broadly used in combustion technology are compared with experimental data. Agreements and disagreements are analyzed. This problem is ontended for the first physical chemistry course.

Key Words:  In the Classroom; physical chemistry; chemical engineering; combustion; energy recovery; enthalpy of combustion; fuel; municipal solid waste

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: April 5, 2002

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