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Comparison between material and energy recovery of municipal waste from an energy perspective: A study of two Swedish municipalities
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Energy Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2004 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, Vol. 43, no 1, 51-73 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to compare material recovery to waste incineration with energy recovery from the criteria of energy efficiency. Material recovery saves virgin material and also energy since production processes using recovered material are less energy intensive than processes using virgin material, whereas energy recovery saves other fuels that differ among various energy systems. Optimisations are made for the district heating systems in two Swedish municipalities, showing that it is profitable for the energy utilities in the municipalities to invest in plants using waste as a fuel for electricity and heat production. The fuels replaced by the waste differ between the municipalities. For one it is mostly wood chips, and for the other, a lot of biomass is replaced, but the largest saving is in oil. Energy savings by material recycling of the waste are calculated. Non-combustible waste, such as metals and glass save energy in various extensions when material recycled, but give no heat contribution when incinerated. It is more complicated to compare material and energy recovery of combustible waste fractions, such as cardboard, paper, plastics and biodegradable waste since they can be recycled in both fashions. For these fractions it is important to consider the configuration of the energy system. The conclusions from the two municipalities are that even if there is a district heating system able to utilise the heat, from the energy-efficiency view point; paper and hard plastics should preferably be material recovered, whereas cardboard and biodegradable waste is more suited for energy recovery through waste incineration. These calculations are done with the assumption that biomass should be regarded as a limited resource and when saved eventually eliminates fossile fuel combustion in other facilities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 43, no 1, 51-73 p.
Keyword [en]
Waste management, Material recovery, Waste incineration, Energy recovery, District heating, Energy savings
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14205DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2004.05.001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14205DiVA: diva2:22892
Available from: 2007-01-04 Created: 2007-01-04
In thesis
1. A System Perspective on District Heating and Waste Incineration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A System Perspective on District Heating and Waste Incineration
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Energy recovery by waste incineration has a double function as waste treatment method and supplier of electricity and/or heat, thereby linking the systems of energy and waste management. Both systems are undergoing great changes, mainly due to new regulations. Important regulations within waste management in Sweden are a ban on landfill of combustible waste and organic waste, and a tax on landfill of waste. New waste incineration facilities are being built in order to increase capacity to meet these demands.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate impacts on Swedish district heating systems of increased use of waste as a fuel in economic and environmental terms, the latter mainly by assessing emissions of carbon dioxide. Of importance is the influence of various policy instruments. To highlight the connection between the energy and waste management systems and how these influence each other is another goal, as well as the function of district heating systems as user of various waste heat supplies. An important assumption for this thesis is a deregulated European electricity market, where the marginal power production in the short term is coal condensing power and in the long term natural gas based power, that affects the conditions for combined heat and power in district heating systems. The method used is case studies of three Swedish municipalities that utilise waste in their district heating systems. In two papers, the scope is broadened from the energy utility perspective by comparing the energy efficiency of energy recovery and material recovery of various fractions, and the effect of including external costs for CO2 as well as SO2, NOx and particles. The ambition is that the results can be part of the decision making process for energy utilities and for policy makers in the energy sector and waste management.

It is economically advantageous to use waste as a fuel in the energy sector and regulations in the waste management sector and high taxes on fossil fuels contribute to profitability. Waste incineration plants are base suppliers of heat because they derive revenue from receiving the waste. Economic conditions for waste incineration are altered with the introduction of a tax on incinerated municipal waste. A conflict may arise between combined heat and power production in district heating systems and waste incineration, since the latter can remove the heat sink for other combined heat and power plants with higher efficiencies. Combined heat and power is the main measure to decrease carbon dioxide emissions in district heating systems on the assumption that locally produced electricity replaces electricity in coal condensing plants. It can be difficult to design policy instruments for waste incineration due to some conflicting goals for waste management and energy systems. Comparing the energy efficiency of material recovery and energy recovery is a way to assess the resource efficiency of waste treatment methods. From that perspective, if there is a district heating system which can utilise the heat, biodegradable waste and cardboard should be energy recovered and plastics and paper material recovered. To put costs on environmental effects, so called external costs, is a way to take these effects into regard in traditional economic calculations, but the method has drawbacks, e.g. the limited range of environmental effects included and uncertainties in the monetary valuation of environmental effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för konstruktions- och produktionsteknik, 2006
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1053
Keyword
Energy recovery, District heating, Waste incineration, Waste management, Environmental, Material recovery
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-7992 (URN)91-85643-61-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-11-17, C3, Hus C, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-01-04 Created: 2007-01-04 Last updated: 2009-02-26

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Holmgren, KristinaHenning, Dag

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