Environmental assessment of waste incineration in a life-cycle-perspective (EASEWASTE)

Christian Riber, Gurbakhash Singh Bhander, Thomas Højlund Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A model for life-cycle assessment of waste incinerators is described and applied to a case study for illustrative purposes. As life-cycle thinking becomes more integrated into waste management, quantitative tools for assessing waste management technologies are needed. The presented model is a module in the life-cycle assessment model EASEWASTE. The module accounts for all uses of materials and energy and credits the incinerator for electricity and heat recovered. The energy recovered is defined by the user as a percentage of the energy produced, calculated on the lower heating value of the wet waste incinerated. Emissions are either process-specific (related to the amount of waste incinerated) or input-specific (related to the composition of the waste incinerated), while mass transfer to solid outputs are governed by transfer coefficients specified by the user. The waste input is defined by 48 material fractions and their chemical composition. The model was used to quantify the environmental performance of the incineration plant in Aarhus, Denmark before and after its upgrading in terms of improved flue gas cleaning and energy recovery. It demonstrated its usefulness in identifying the various processes and substances that contributed to environmental loadings as well as to environmental savings. The model was instrumental in demonstrating the importance of the energy recovery system not only for electricity but also heat from the incinerator.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)96-103
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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