Thermal Conversion 101


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A brief overview of municipal solid waste thermal conversion technologies will be discussed. Upon completion of this course, the attendee will be able to:

  • Describe important conversion terminology
  • Discuss the following thermal conversion processes: waste-to-energy, gasification, pyrolysis, and hydrothermal carbonization
  • Define the temperature range and product formation associated with waste-to-energy, gasification, pyrolysis, and hydrothermal carbonization
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages associated with thermal conversion technologies

Course Length

60 minutes

Additional information



Presenter Biography

NICOLE D. BERGE, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Faculty Advisor with the Society of Women Engineers. She received a M.S. from the University of South Carolina and her Ph.D. from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Berge’s research focuses on improving our understanding of how physical, chemical, and biological processes can be manipulated to promote sustainable waste treatment techniques that lead to carbon sequestration, energy generation, and/or value-added product production. Specific areas of exploration include: the fate of disposed nanomaterials, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and endocrine disrupting compounds in bioreactor landfills; thermochemical conversion of municipal solid waste; increasing the energy yield from waste streams; resource recovery from waste streams; leachate treatment processes; and the development and subsequent evaluation of innovative groundwater remediation technologies.


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