Climate impact analysis of waste treatment scenarios-thermal treatment of commercial and pretreated waste versus landfilling in Austria
Waste Management and Research, 27(9), 914-921
A major challenge for modern waste management lies in a smart integration of waste-to-energy installations in local energy systems in such a way that the energy efficiency of the waste-to-energy plant is optimized and that the energy contained in the waste is, therefore, optimally utilized. The extent of integration of thermal waste treatment processes into regular energy supply systems plays a major role with regard to climate control. In this research, the specific waste management situation looked at scenarios aiming at maximizing the energy recovery from waste (i.e. actual scenario and waste-to-energy process with 75% energy efficiency [22.5% electricity, 52.5% heat]) yield greenhouse gas emission savings due to the fact that more greenhouse gas emissions are avoided in the energy sector than caused by the various waste treatment processes. Comparing dedicated waste-to-energy-systems based on the combined heat and power (CHP) process with concepts based on sole electricity production, the energy efficiency proves to be crucial with regard to climate control. This underlines the importance of choosing appropriate sites for waste-to-energy-plants. This research was looking at the effect with regard to the climate impact of various waste management scenarios that could be applied alternatively by a private waste management company in Austria. The research is, therefore, based on a specific set of data for the waste streams looked at (waste characteristics, logistics needed, etc.). Furthermore, the investigated scenarios have been defined based on the actual available alternatives with regard to the usage of treatment plants for this specific company. The standard scenarios for identifying climate impact implications due to energy recovery from waste are based on the respective marginal energy data for the power and heat generation facilities/industrial processes in Austria.
Thermal waste treatment