Comparing Waste-to-Energy technologies by applying energy system analysis

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Even when policies of waste prevention, re-use and recycling are prioritised a fraction of waste will still be left which can be used for energy recovery. This article asks the question: How to utilise waste for energy in the best way seen from an energy system perspective? Eight different Waste-to-Energy technologies are compared with a focus on fuel efficiency, CO2 reductions and costs. The comparison is carried out by conducting detailed energy system analyses of the present as well as a potential future Danish energy system with a large share of combined heat and power as well as wind power. The study shows potential of using waste for the production of transport fuels. Biogas and thermal gasification technologies are hence interesting alternatives to waste incineration and it is recommended to support the use of biogas based on manure and organic waste. It is also recommended to support research into gasification of waste without the addition of coal and biomass. Together the two solutions may contribute to alternate use of one third of the waste which is currently incinerated. The remaining fractions should still be incinerated with priority to combined heat and power plants with high electric efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWaste Management
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1251-1263
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

IWWG Task Group on “Thermal Treatments” Special Thematic Issue “Thermal Treatment of Solid Waste”

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