Waste to Energy WTE includes any form of energy recovery from waste such as (1) direct combustion with or without heat recovery, (2) combustion of methane produced in landfill sites, or (3) controlled AD of organic waste to produce methane for burning. From: Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 2019Related terms:
View all Topics Download as PDF Set alert About this page
Ishrat Mubeen, Alfons Buekens, in Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 20194.2.2 Socioeconomic Impacts WTE facilities always face public resistance to being built near urban settlements [79–81] because of health-related issues. There is a wrong impression among the public about the WTE market promoting more waste production, compared with the encouragement of waste recycling and zero-waste economy policies. However, there is no such evidence against WTE facilities above the fears of the public, as countries with the most advanced WTE technologies always encourage recycling and stricter policies for waste reduction. When implementing a WTE facility, there is a strong recommendation to consider all possible factors, such as the sociopolitical climate for a particular area. View chapterPurchase bookPermitting Issues Marc J. Rogoff PhD, Francois Screve Meng, MBA, in Waste-To-energy (Third Edition), 2019Abstract
Waste-to-Energy, Third Edition, is the only fully up-to-date survey covering the planning, project management, and operational phases of waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities—with a selection of international case studies highlighting operating facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia. For ease of readability, we have used both the terms WTE and EfW in the text because these acronyms are used interchangeably by waste management professionals throughout the world.
Waste-to-Energy, Third Edition, covers programs and proven technologies for converting the organic content of traditionally landfilled solid wastes into energy providing the only fully up-to-date survey covering the planning, project management, and operational phases of WTE facilities. During the development of this new edition, the authors consulted many industry experts to gather and verify the information presented here. Engineers, project managers, and decision-makers alike will find this book to be a good guide to the planning and implementation of WTE facilities. Rogoff and Screve have considerably expanded the original work and thus provide a practical tool for solid waste managers throughout the world. View chapterPurchase bookWaste to energy (WTE): an introduction N.B. Klinghoffer, ... M.J. Castaldi, in Waste to Energy Conversion Technology, 20131.3.2 WTE facilities in the US
WTE is currently classified as a renewable source of electricity by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the US Department of Energy and 24 state governments. It has been proven through carbon-14 methods (ASTM D6866 protocol) that typical WTE stack emissions contain ~ 65% biogenic CO2, i.e. bio-carbon. Waste to energy has the potential to provide disposal for more than 140 million tons of US municipal solid waste, approximately 35% of projected 2030 generation. This would prevent the emission of over 140 million tons of greenhouse gases annually. An expanded WTE industry at this scale would produce over 2% of US electricity in 2030, up from 0.5% in 2007. In addition, use of WTE is compatible with increasing recycling rates, both of which reduce landfill rates. There are 87 WTE facilities in the US, which collectively process more than 90 000 tons of MSW each day and supply electricity to more than 2 million US homes generating 2.3 GW of electricity. The US WTE industry has been in existence for more than 25 years and has developed state-of-the-art technology, making it one of the cleanest forms of energy generation, meeting or exceeding all standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. WTE has two big advantages over other renewable electricity sources. It operates 24/7 to reduce baseload fossil-fuel generation and it is located in populated areas where the power is needed the most. As the US begins to focus on conservation and renewables, WTE has already proved to be a reliable technology. Excluding hydroelectric power, only 2% of the US electricity is generated from renewable energy sources. A third of this renewable energy is due to WTE. The World Economic Forum’s Davos Report identifies eight emerging clean energy sectors including wind, solar and waste to energy. The National Research Council of the National Academy of Science has recognized that the ideal vision for sustainability in the year 2100 is to transition to an ‘atom economy–zero waste.’ Until we reach that highly integrated system, the waste that is generated today should be processed to extract energy. View chapterPurchase bookPromoting Waste-to-Energy Hiroshan Hettiarachchi, Chandrashekar Kshourad, in Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 20196 Conclusion and Perspectives
WTE is one of the main waste disposal methods and is currently underutilized. This could be due to the negative connotation it has earned based on emission issues, but this is no longer a problem. The key advantage of WTE is that, in addition to serving the waste management community as an efficient final disposal method, it also contributes to the energy sector by being a source of energy. It is even more attractive as a source of renewable energy, because we have the option to make the process carbon neutral by restricting incineration to non–fossil fuel–derived waste material. From the environmental implications perspective, this carbon neutrality helps WTE to outperform landfilling in the waste management sector and coal- or oil-based energy production in the energy sector. Promotion of WTE needs to follow a carefully designed policy framework. For this we need policy instruments that can motivate all stakeholders involved in the waste management process. Going with the nexus thinking, the impact is much higher and long-lasting when such instruments are designed to work across disciplinary boundaries. A few such policy instruments have been discussed in this chapter: banning combustible waste from landfills, financial incentives to reduce the existing landfill footprint, WTE certificates, variable tax rates for different wastes, and mandatory labeling of energy potential. While the instruments such as banning combustible waste from landfills and WTE certificates are designed to make a direct impact on WTE, the other instruments are expected to contribute passively by promoting a culture that recognizes and supports WTE. With growing populations and ever-increasing waste flows, WTE is likely to be the only practical waste disposal solution for large cities. From the sustainability point of view, WTE also deserves more attention in the future. Energy is the centerpiece of the WEF nexus and in the ongoing dialogue about nexus thinking. Waste also plays a key role in the same nexus as a resource that can be useful to all three elements in it: water, energy, and food. Unlike other resources, waste is a guaranteed supply source that is not expected to shrink in volume any time soon. One example that has already picked up momentum in utilizing the guaranteed supply of (liquid) waste is the use of treated wastewater in agriculture. The use of waste to produce renewable energy using WTE might very well be the next example qualified to reach its maximum potential. View chapterPurchase bookAspen Plus Modeling Approach in Solid Waste Gasification Dwi Hantoko, ... Chong Chen, in Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering,
20196 Conclusion and Perspectives Waste to energy plays an important role in fulfilling the world's future demands. Awareness over the issues on energy supply and environment has prompted the research on the topic of waste to energy conversion. Numerous researchers have been involved in the development of biomass or waste to energy conversion process, either through experimental investigation or process modeling. The modeling approach using Aspen Plus serves an important function for investigating the process behavior, including design optimization and performance evaluation. The current results show the great potential usage of Aspen Plus for establishing simulations of waste-to-energy plants. Nevertheless, reliable thermodynamic data, realistic operating conditions, and sensible engineering judgments are essential for the aforementioned problems. View chapterPurchase bookEnvironmental and social impacts of waste to energy (WTE) conversion plants T. Michael, in Waste to Energy Conversion Technology, 20132.4 Greenhouse gas profile of WTE
Waste to energy achieves a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through three separate mechanisms: (1) by generating electrical power or steam, waste to energy avoids carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel-based electrical generation; (2) the waste to energy combustion process effectively eliminates all potential methane emissions from landfill, thereby avoiding any potential release of methane in the future; and (3) the recovery of ferrous and nonferrous metals from municipal solid waste by waste to energy is more energy efficient than production from raw materials. These three mechanisms provide a true accounting of the greenhouse gas emission reduction potential of waste to energy. A life cycle analysis, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency’s municipal solid waste decision support tool, is the most accurate method for understanding and quantifying the complete accounting of any waste management option. A life cycle approach should be used by decision makers to weigh and compare all of the effects of greenhouse gas emissions associated with various activities and management options. Life cycle analysis is discussed in Chapter 3. The decision support tool is a peer-reviewed tool (Harrison et al., 2001), which lets the user directly compare the energy and environmental consequences of various management options for a specific or general situation. Technical papers authored by the EPA (Thorneloe et al., 2005, 2007) report on the use of the decision support tool to study municipal solid
waste management options.
These studies used a life cycle analysis to determine the environmental and energy impacts for various combinations of recycling, landfilling and waste to energy. The results of the studies show that waste to energy yielded the best results – maximum energy with the least environmental impact (emissions of greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxide, fine particulate precursors, etc). In brief, waste to energy has been demonstrated to be the best waste management option for both energy and environmental parameters and specifically for greenhouse gas emissions. When the decision support tool is applied to the US inventory of waste to energy facilities, which process 28 million tons of trash, it has been shown that the waste to energy industry prevents the release of approximately 28 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents that would have been released into the atmosphere if waste to energy were not employed (Thorneloe et al., 2002).
The ability of waste to energy to prevent greenhouse gas emissions on a life cycle basis and to mitigate climate change has been recognized in the actions taken by foreign nations trying to comply with Kyoto targets. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Nobel Prize winning independent panel of scientific and technical experts, has recognized waste to energy as a key greenhouse gas emission mitigation technology. The World Economic Forum in its 2009 report, ‘Green Investing: Towards a Clean Energy Infrastructure,’ identifies waste to energy as one of eight technologies likely to make a meaningful contribution to a future low-carbon energy system. In the European Union, waste to energy facilities are not required to have a permit or credits for emissions of CO2, because of their greenhouse gas mitigation potential. In the 2005 report, ‘Waste Sector’s Contribution to Climate Protection,’ the German Ministry of the Environment stated that ‘waste incineration plants and co-incineration display the greatest potential for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases’ (Dehoust et al., 2005). The report concluded that the use of waste combustion with energy recovery coupled with the reduction in landfilling of biodegradable waste will assist the European Union 15 in meeting its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. In a 2008 briefing, the European Environment Agency attributes reductions in waste management greenhouse gas emissions to waste to energy (EEA, 2008). Under the Kyoto Protocol, by displacing fossil-fuel-fired electricity generation and eliminating methane production from landfill sites, waste to energy plants can generate tradable credits (certified emission reductions or CERs) through approved clean development mechanism protocols (UNFCCC, 2008). These CERs are accepted as a compliance tool in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme.
The ability of waste to energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been embraced in the United States as well. The US Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution in 2004 recognizing the greenhouse gas reduction benefits of waste to energy. In addition, the US Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement supports a 7% reduction in greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2012. The agreement recognizes waste to energy technology as a means to achieve that goal. As of 31 October 2010, 1044 mayors have signed the agreement (US Conference of Mayors, 2010). The Global Roundtable on Climate Change (GROCC), convened by Columbia University’s Earth Institute, issued a statement on 20 February 2007 identifying waste to energy as a means to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by the electricity generating sector and methane emissions from landfill. The GROCC, which brought together high-level, critical stakeholders from all regions of the world, recognized the importance of waste to energy’s role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. View chapterPurchase bookWaste Treatment Processes/Technologies for Energy Recovery Rucha V. Moharir, ... Sunil Kumar, in Current Developments in Biotechnology and
Bioengineering, 20193.2 Need for Waste-to-Energy Treatments The generated waste is mainly disposed of in open lands, called landfilling, or it finds its way into natural river bodies, which creates a negative impact on the environment and is responsible for water pollution. These problems caused by generated waste can be significantly reduced by availing of environmentally friendly processes such as WTE, in which the waste is first processed and treatment facilities are provided before final disposal. By applying this WTE concept we can mitigate the environmental drawbacks that can happen when no prior treatment of waste before disposal is given. WTE is a reliable process in which renewable fuel is generated, which helps in reducing the reliance on fossil fuels as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as in the combustion of fuels harmful gases are released as greenhouse gases [28,29]. If these measures are taken they will be helpful in reducing the quantity of waste generated, they will assist in generating useful products from waste, like fuel, and they will be beneficial in reducing environmental pollution. WTE can fetch substantial monetary aids in addition to energy generation. Some of the financial profits from WTE business are as follows: •Government inducements: For WTE projects the government of India has already offered substantial incentives, in the form of tariffs and capital subsidies. Taking into account climatic conditions, sanitation facilities and waste management have become of prime interest (to consider this concern, the Ministry for Drinking Water and Sanitation was exclusively formed), and the government will be providing incentives for this sector in future.•Productivity: WTE is a profitable business if proper technologies and processes are implemented for societal benefit, from which valuable products can be extracted. This business gains a lot of attention when government-provided incentives are factored in.•Associated opportunities: MSW management success will be helpful in grabbing any other opportunities in the waste stream, such as hazardous waste, sewage waste, and industrial waste. Attractive products such as compost, fuel, and charcoal can be obtained, depending upon the technology or the route used for energy recovery.•Emergent opportunities: Nowadays, with increasing concern and rising awareness about waste management and the WTE concept, there is a chance for many opportunities for industry as well as for investors to give support to this treatment and process. The WTE concept is grabbing attention not only in India but all over the world. Consequently, there could be possibilities for expansion of international companies, which also increases business. View chapterPurchase bookValue Creation With Waste to Energy
Periyaswamy Lakshmikanthan, in Current Developments in Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 20192 History and Market Trends in Waste to Energy WTE technologies consist of any waste treatment process that creates energy in the form of heat or electricity from waste. Generally, WTE technologies consist of energy production from either thermal conversion of waste to energy or biological conversion of organic waste to energy. WTE based on thermal energy conversion has been leading the global WTE market and accounted for about 88.2% of the total market revenue in 2013. Europe has been the largest market for WTE technologies, with 47.6% of total market revenue in 2013. Japan has been leading the Asian market by incinerating almost 60% of its produced waste. However, China has been identified as the fastest growing market by significantly doubling its WTE capacity during 2011–15. In the African countries and other developing countries, the WTE market is largely dependent on the initial costs, awareness, and infrastructure facilities. WTE technology was best understood as a waste volume reduction process and a mitigating process that could prevent harmful effects on the environment and human health in the past. In more recent times energy recovery has been given prime importance, as this serves as a more sustainable and economical option given the present-day energy crisis. Denmark and Sweden have established themselves as pioneers in incineration technology and utilizing the energy generated from it for more than a century. In 2005, energy produced from waste incineration contributed to 4.8% of the electricity consumption and 13.7% of the total domestic heat consumption in Denmark . WTE technologies use several types of waste ranging from solids to gas, such as thickened sludge from effluent treatment plants, municipal sewage, and flue gases or refinery gases. However, MSW is the most commonly used waste type by WTE technologies . MSW generation is ever increasing, due to increased urbanization, industrialization, and a rapidly growing population. The quality, quantity, and rate of MSW generation vary from place to place and region to region depending on the economic status of the country. The literature suggests that waste generation is higher in the developed countries compared with the developing countries. The waste per-capita generation increases with increase in the gross national income of a country. It is observed that developing countries like India are at the bottom, indicating low income and subsequently lower waste generation per capita. Countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States have high waste generation rates  (Fig. 15.1). Sign in to download full-size image Figure 15.1. Waste generation rate per capita (kg per day) versus gross national income (GNI) ratio in 2014 for selected countries.Based on Navigant research, World Bank Urban development series, No. 15 Knowledge Papers. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTURBANDEVELOPMENT/Resources/3363871334852610766/What_a_Waste2012_Final.pdf. With the increasing energy demand, energy recovery from waste has been looked at as an option having immense potential for a sustainable future. A study conducted by the World Bank compared the rates of waste generation in different countries of the world in 2012 and 2025 (Table 15.1). It can be seen that goods consumption and waste generation in kg per capita-day increase with the standard of living, whereas the underdeveloped countries (such as the South Asian Region) reflect lower waste generation rates per capita. Table 15.1. Urban Waste Generation in 2012 and Projected Waste Generation in 2025RegionUrban Waste Generation per Capita (kg per day)20122025Africa0.650.85East Asia and Pacific0.951.52Eastern and Central Asia1.121.48Latin America and Caribbean1.091.56Middle East and North Africa1.071.43OECD countries2.152.07South Asia0.450.77Total1.191.42 OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Based on Hoornweg and Bhada-Tata (2012). The composition of MSW plays a significant role in deciding the WTE technology and varies according to time, place, and economic status. The waste generally comprises organic fractions along with discarded material like glass, textile, papers, plastic, metal, inerts, and ash. It can be seen that the rate of waste generation is predicted to increase to 1.42 kg per capita and the total quantity of waste produced could reach 6 million tons by 2025. The typical MSW constituents are paper, plastic, textile, glass, metal, rubber, wood, ash, organic waste, and others. Owing to its heterogeneous composition, a wide range of particle sizes are covered, from soil particles to large objects. However, the composition of waste is highly dependent upon the lifestyle of the people and the economy of the country, the locality, the climatic conditions, and the rules and regulations made by the local governing body. In most of the developed and developing countries, the waste is not treated as the waste but is used as a source of energy for generation of electricity, methane gas collection, manufacture of compost from organic waste, etc. In India, it is mandatory to pretreat waste before landfilling. Several reports have reported the physical composition of MSW . Typical physical compositions of MSW in various countries are given in Table 15.2 . Table 15.2. Composition of Municipal Solid Waste for Various Countries in PercentageWaste
ComponentUSA 2001Singapore 2000UK 2004NigeriaBangladeshIndiaPaper2820.6199.1Metals7.43.284.31.5Plastics14.95.8712.93.528Glass184.108.40.206.81.28Food15.838.8Yard waste7.52.7Compostable/organics4173.774.454.6Wood7.48.965.56Rubber0.8 (leather and rubber)0.88Textiles8.50.924.31.9 (textiles and wood)6.34Soil1.96AshOther215.3138 According to the sustainable waste management hierarchy, WTE is placed in the middle level of the pyramid, having recycling at the top and landfilling at the bottom. Landfill is the preferred option in most of the underdeveloped countries and some of the developing countries, whereas WTE is a more convenient option in the developed economies, due to the potential energy recovery from waste. The waste sector is given significant importance and is strongly related to the energy sector in these countries. But in the developing countries, generally, the energy sector is seldom related to the waste sector (Fig. 15.2). Sign in to download full-size image Figure 15.2. Sustainable waste management hierarchy.From L. Qiu, N.J. Themelis, Analysis of the economics of Waste-to-Energy plants in China, Earth EngineeringCenter, Columbia University, 2012. Although WTE technologies have been developed and are being implemented in several countries, landfills remained the most adopted option, followed by recycling, WTE, and composting, until 2012 . The development and installation of WTE technologies largely depend on the income and development of the respective countries. The most advanced and established technologies are present in the high-income countries. There are different drivers that lead to the development of the WTE market. These drivers include: 1.growing use of renewable energy resources;2.increasing amounts of waste generation globally;3.environmental degradation;4.waste management regulations;5.taxes and subsidies;6.climate change policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions;7.technological advancements;8.new financing opportunities;9.high fossil fuel prices. View chapterPurchase bookW
In Dictionary of Energy (Second Edition), 2015waste-to-energy Renewable/Alternative. describing a process that generates energy, usually power generation, from waste materials, especially by the incineration of municipal solid wastes (MSW). Thus, waste-to-energy system, waste-to-energy technology. See next column. waste-to-energy The process in which waste is used to generate useful energy—electricity, heat, or both. This is possible (and convenient) when the heat generated by burning the waste is high enough to warrant satisfactory combustion conditions and make available enough energy to overcome losses and auxiliary consumption: in practice, a lower heating value of at least 4 MegaJoules per kg. Waste-to-energy is the offspring of waste incineration, which was originally introduced to sterilize and reduce the volume of waste by combusting it in a furnace. Modern waste-to-energy plants allow the export of energy, with very low environmental impact. The plant comprises four basic sections: waste combustor, recovery boiler, flue gas treatment and steam cycle. The design of the combustor varies widely with the waste characteristics: physical state (solid versus liquid), size distribution, heating value, ash and moisture content, etc. Municipal solid waste typically is burned on a moving grate, where it is kept 20–30 minutes until it is completely combusted. The hot gases generated in the combustor go through the recovery boiler to generate steam, which is used directly as heat carrier or sent to a steam turbine to produce power. Flue gases are treated by adding reactants called sorbents and by filtering the particulate matter. A modern, large plant treating half-million tons of municipal solid waste per year can generate more than 400 million kWh per year, meeting the electricity needs of more than 150,000 families.
Stefano Consonni Politecnico di Milano, Italy View chapterPurchase bookSelecting the facility site Marc J. Rogoff, Francois Screve, in Waste-to-Energy (Second Edition), 20220.127.116.11 Environmental considerations Air quality. The impact of a WTE plant at a particular site on the local or regional air quality is an important consideration in site selection. WTE facilities incorporate some form of combustion process that results in various gaseous and solid emissions to the atmosphere. Good combustion control and the addition of air pollution control equipment, such as electrostatic precipitators, bag houses, and acid gas scrubbers, will help minimize the overall air pollution potential of a proposed facility, although there will still be some quantity of air emissions which could degrade the existing local and regional air quality. Areas designated by regulatory officials as not meeting existing standards for specified air pollutants will generally require more expensive air-pollution control equipment than plants located on sites in areas designated as attaining these regulatory standards. Computer modeling of the area’s air quality and meteorological data can go a long way to help evaluate the potential impact of the facility upon ambient air quality. Such models assist in determining whether the plant can meet minimum regulatory air emission standards with respect to a particular site’s specific configuration. In addition, knowledge of an area’s atmospheric flow characteristics can help predict whether normal wind patterns will assist in dissipating the plant’s emissions away from sensitive human receptors. Water quality. Water quality is also a very important issue in the siting of WTE facilities. WTE facilities utilize significant quantities of water for cooling and process needs. Project developers should consider the impact of the eventual disposal of liquid wastes from a WTE facility upon the water quality of nearby bodies of water and groundwater aquifers. Some states have recently considered promulgating stringent regulations restricting the development of certain land areas, located near designated high-quality waters, for construction of certain public works projects such as wastewater treatment plants and solid waste facilities. Biological resources. There are a number of unique flora and fauna species protected by federal, state, and local regulations. It is important during the initial screening of sites for a WTE facility to identify the habitats of these threatened or endangered species to ensure that these areas be avoided for development. View chapterPurchase book