Waste-to-Energy: Technologies and Project Implementation

Waste-to-Energy: Technologies and Project Implementation


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Waste-to-Energy: Technologies and Project Implementation by Marc J. Rogoff, Francois Screve, Francois Unknown

This book covers in detail programs and technologies for converting traditionally landfilled solid wastes into energy through waste-to-energy projects.

  • Modern Waste-to-Energy plants are being built around the world to reduce the levels of solid waste going into landfill sites and contribute to renewable energy and carbon reduction targets. The latest technologies have also reduced the pollution levels seen from early waste incineration plants by over 99%.
  • With case studies from around the world, Rogoff and Screve provide an insight into the different approaches taken to the planning and implementation of WTE.

The second edition includes coverage of the latest technologies and practical engineering challenges as well as an exploration of the economic and regulatory context for the development of WTE.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780323165686
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Publication date: 06/29/2011
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 184
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)

About the Author

has held a number of senior positions in the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the American Public Works Association. Following on from his BS and MS at Cornell University, Marc completed a PhD at Michigan State University and an MBA at the University of Tampa. His career has embraced all aspects of solid waste management, and he has directed engineer’s feasibility reports for nearly two dozen public works projects, totaling $1.2bn in project financing. His name is well known in the field of Waste-to-Energy, where his consultancy work has covered feasibility studies on more than 50 facilities worldwide, operations assessments, and advising on key procurement decisions.

is the founder of Deltaway Energy, Inc, San Francisco. He has 20 years experience in the municipal sold waste-to-energy plant design and operation field with six years in Europe, 12 years in the USA, and two years in Asia.
Francois holds mechanical engineering and MBA degrees, as well as a WTE chief operator certificate from the ASME/EPA in the USA.
• He managed the Long Beach Steinmuller 1,400 TPD waste-to-energy facility in California.
• He was responsible for the operation of the 4,200 TPD refuse-derived fuel facility of Miami-Dade County, Florida, one of the largest facilities in the world.
• He was vice president for Onyx, a subsidiary of Vivendi Environnement, overseeing the operation of eight facilities and the design of three new plants in Asia.
• INSA Lille, MBA , 1983
• Ecole nationale supérieure d'Arts et Métiers, MS , Mechanical, Electrical , 1975-78

Read an Excerpt


Technologies and Project Implementation
By Marc J. Rogoff Francois Screve

William Andrew

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4377-7872-4

Chapter One

Introduction and overview

Chapter Outline

1.1 The growing solid waste disposal problem 1 1.2 The trends towards WTE 2 1.3 Climate change and WTE 6 References 6

1.1 The growing solid waste disposal problem

Over the past several decades, various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – such as the Asian Development Bank, United Nations, World Bank – and international research agencies supported by various European nations have estimated that solid waste that is generated worldwide may total between 2.5 to 4 billion metric tons. However, on the basis of this extensive research on the growing solid waste problem, these investigators have also concluded that it is currently impossible to arrive at a more accurate estimate given the paucity of existing waste stream data in the developing nations, and the inaccuracy of common definitions of different waste streams from country to country. Inadequate collection and uncontrolled disposal of solid waste is extremely serious in low- (US$905 per capita or less) and middle-income (US$906 to US$11,115 per capita) countries, especially in rural areas, where solid waste is disposed of in uncontrolled dumps.

What appears somewhat more reliable are: estimates of municipal solid waste (MSW), collected in most developed countries; and samples of waste collection in urban areas, comparisons of gross national product (GNP), and solid waste generation per inhabitant for the rest of the world. Recent research suggests that the amount of MSW is strongly correlated to income level and lifestyle. Using the working definition of MSW and this estimation methodology, as of 2004 (the most recent data), the total MSW collected worldwide is projected to be 1.2 billion metric tons (Table 1.1).

How to dispose of the cans, cereal boxes, newspapers, tires, bottles, and other castoffs of communities in the industrialized and the developing world in an environmentally sound and economically efficient way has become a problem of critical proportions. Until recently, resources were considered as something scarce, which needed to be reused with little, if any, going to waste. To assist in this effort, 'rag men' and piggeries can be found in most urban areas of industrialized countries and form the basis of an active recycling industry.

With population growth and waste generation rates spiraling upward, many communities worldwide have now begun to search for alternative long-term solutions to the methods they once employed to dispose of their solid wastes. Sanitary land-filling of solid waste has become the traditional approach in the industrialized world where it has progressed from an earlier era of dumps and open burning to its present state of engineered landfills.

These days, sanitary landfills can be designed to be an environmentally acceptable means of waste disposal, provided they are properly operated. However, new regulations regarding landfill liners, leachate control systems, landfill gas collection and control systems, and long-term closure requirements have dramatically increased the cost of 1andfilling. In addition, suitable land for landfill sites close to nearby urbanizing areas is now less available for many communities, thereby resulting in these communities having to locate more distant landfill sites. The Not-In-My-Back-Yard (NIMBY) attitude on the part of citizen opposition groups, however, has increased the difficulty of many communities in the siting and permitting of these new landfills.

Consequently, as existing landfill capacity has been reduced, there has been increased interest in the concept of recovering energy and recyclable materials from MSW rather than relying on sanitary landfilling as the primary long-term method of solid waste disposal. Further, the European Union (EU) goal to reduce landfilling by 65 per cent of biodegradable MSW and the EU Directives on Waste Incineration and Landfilling has prompted new construction of waste-to-energy (WTE) plants and upgrading of existing plants to meet EU Directives.

1.2 The trends towards WTE

Producing and utilizing energy from the combustion of solid waste is a concept that has been practiced in Europe since the turn of the last century. Prompted by concerns for groundwater quality, and the scarcity of land for landfilling, Japan and many European countries embarked on massive construction projects for WTE programs in the 1960s. Transfer of this technology to the United States first began in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In addition, other projects utilizing American technology in the area of shredded and prepared fuels were constructed. However, most of these projects were problematic, because they were unable to overcome materials handling and boiler operations problems. It was these failures that made local government leaders initially cautious in funding construction of WTE projects.

Nevertheless, several WTE projects were developed in the mid to late 1970s in communities such as Saugus, Massachusetts; Pinellas County, Florida; and Ames, Iowa; all of which were experiencing severe landfill problems. Success of these projects helped the WTE industry gain acceptance by local government leaders, and the financial community. Tax incentives made available by the federal government for WTE projects attracted private capital investment in such projects assisting in the maturing of this industry in the United States and sparked the development of many new projects.

At the time of writing, there are about 1,300 WTE facilities worldwide (Table 1.2), which are estimated to provide almost 600,000 metric tons per day of disposal capacity. Large numbers (Figure 1.1) are located in Europe (440), primarily because of the EU's directive that requires a 65 per cent reduction in the landfilling of biodegradable MSW. Nonetheless, a large part of the EU's waste stream (40%) is still landfilled. In 2009, these WTE plants converted about 69 million metric tons of MSW (or about 20% of the EU waste stream), generating 30 TWh of electricity and 55 TWh of heat. This is roughly equivalent to supplying the annual needs of 13 million inhabitants with electricity and 12 million inhabitants with heat in these countries. Given the EU's directive on landfilling, estimates of new WTE facility construction range from 60 to 80 new plants by 2020. Scandinavian counties (Denmark and Sweden) have historically been significant proponents of WTE.

Asian countries (Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and China) have the largest number (764) of WTE facilities worldwide. All of these countries face limited open space issues for the siting of landfills and have high urban populations. For example, Japan has addressed its solid waste issue by processing an estimated 70 per cent of MSW in WTE facilities.

One of the largest markets for WTE plant construction is in China. The Chinese WTE capacity increased steadily from 2.2 million tons in 2001 to nearly 14 million tons by 2007, although landfilling remains the dominant means of waste disposal in China. Since the beginning of the 21st century, this has made China the fourth largest user of WTE, after the EU, Japan, and the USA, with most plants located in the heavily industrialized cities in southeastern China. This is projected to increase to one hundred by 2012 according to the latest five-year plan. Despite the relatively high capital cost of WTE, the central government of China has been very proactive with regard to increasing WTE capacity. One of the measures brought in has provided a credit of about US$30 per MWh of electricity generated by means of WTE rather than by using fossil fuel.

In the United States, there are currently 87 WTE plants operating in 25 states managing about 7 per cent of the nation's MSW, or about 90,000 tons per day. This is the equivalent of a baseload electrical generation capacity of approximately 2,700 megawatts to meet the power needs of more than two million homes, while servicing the waste disposal needs of more than 35 million people.

During the 1990s, the WTE industry in the United States experienced a number of setbacks, which resulted in no new WTE facilities being constructed between 1995 and 2006. Expiration of tax incentives, significant public opposition in facility siting, and the US Supreme Court decision in Carbon dealing with solid waste flow control, forced many communities in the United States to opt for long-haul transport of their solid waste to less costly regional landfills. A subsequent Supreme Court decision on flow control restored the ability of communities to enact flow control ordinances and enable them to direct their wastes to WTE facilities. As a result, some WTE facilities began to expand by adding new processing lines to their existing operations. These facilities are basing their requests for financing and permitting on their successful records of operation and environmental compliance.

1.3 Climate change and WTE

WTE is internationally recognized as a powerful tool to prevent the formation of greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate climate change. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Nobel Prize winning independent panel of scientific and technical experts, has recognized WTE as the key greenhouse gas emission mitigation technology. The World Economic Forum, in its 2009 report, Green Investing: Towards a Clean Energy Infrastructure, identifies WTE as one of the eight technologies likely to make a meaningful contribution to a future, low-carbon energy system. In the EU, WTE facilities are not required to have a permit or credits for emissions of CO2 because of their greenhouse gas mitigation potential. Further, the German Ministry of the Environment has projected that the application of the EU Landfill Directive will result in the reduction of 74 million metric tons of equivalent CO2 emissions by 2016. WTE is designated as 'renewable' by the 2005 Energy Policy Act, by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), and by 23 state governments.

Over the years, there have been a number of quantitative assessments made to compare the environmental benefits associated with the processing of MSW in WTE facilities after recyclable materials have been removed rather than disposing of MSW in landfills. A state-of-the-art WTE facility is roughly estimated by most models to save CO2 in the range of 100 to 350 kg CO2 equivalent per ton of waste processed. The variability is often expressed in such models as the differences in:

• Waste composition (% biogenic);

• Amount of heat and electricity supplied (i.e., the more energy supplied as heat the higher the CO2 savings);

• The country/energy substitution mix.

Recently, markets have developed around the world to compensate WTE operators for the reduction in these CO2 emissions. Currently, this CO2 credit is higher in developing countries due to poor landfill practices. Further, the more efficient the WTE facility, the more CO2 credit it will generate.

Chapter Two

Project implementation concepts

Chapter Outline 2.1 Introduction 9 2.2 Developing the project team 11 2.2.1 Internal project team 11 2.2.2 Consultants and advisors 12 2.3 Risk assessment 12 2.3.1 Waste stream 14 2.3.2 Energy and materials market 14 2.3.3 Legal and regulatory 14 2.3.4 Facility construction 15 2.3.5 Facility operation 15 2.4 Implementation process 15 2.4.1 Project phases 16 Phase I – Feasibility analysis 16 Phase II – Intermediate phase 17 Phase III – Procurement 17 Phase IV – Plant construction 17 Phase V – Plant operations 17 2.5 Implementation project scheduling 18 2.6 Implementation project costs 18 2.7 Public information programs 19 References 20

2.1 Introduction

The successful implementation of a WTE project rests primarily upon the following essential building blocks or key elements:

• A reason or need for the project because of a critical community solid waste disposal problem or crisis;

• An implementing government agency or private project developer with political commitment willing and able to undertake the project;

• An adequate supply of solid waste for the project or means to assure waste stream control or attract sufficient quantities from other communities;

• Markets for the recovered energy and recovered materials; and

• A project site that is environmentally, technically, socially, and politically acceptable.

Perhaps the most critical element that must be in place if a WTE project is to succeed is that a need for the project exists. That is, a situation exists such that community leaders perceive that the community is facing an immediate or long-term solid waste disposal problem, and that planning for an alternative to sanitary landfilling should be undertaken.


Excerpted from Waste-to-Energy by Marc J. Rogoff Francois Screve Copyright © 2011 by Elsevier Inc.. Excerpted by permission of William Andrew. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Overview
Project Implementation Concepts
Waste-to-Energy Technology
Solid Waste Composition and Quantities
Waste Flow Control
Selecting the Facility Site
Energy and Materials Markets
Permitting of Waste-To-Energy Facilities
Procurement of Waste-to-Energy Systems
Ownership and Financing of a Waste-To-Energy Facility

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