Waste to Energy

Thursday, Oct 17, 2013
Waste to Energy
Waste to Energy

Waste-to-Energy (WTE) is the use of modern mechanical and biochemical technologies to recover energy from waste.

These technologies include:

  • Combustion, in which the residual waste burns and the energy recovered as electricity or heat;
  • Gasification and pyrolysis, where the fuel is heated with little or no oxygen to produce “syngas”, which can be used to generate energy or as a feedstock for producing methane, chemicals, biofuels or hydrogen ;
  • Anaerobic digestion, which uses microorganisms to convert organic waste into a methane-rich biogas that can be combusted to generate electricity and heat.

Besides recovery of a substantial amount of energy, these techniques can lead to the reduction of up to 90 % of the original waste volume (depending upon composition and use of outputs), which then can be managed in a more efficient scheme. These systems also provide significant, cost-effective and long-term opportunities for greenhouse gas emission reductions.
Supplementary benefits offered are green jobs employment, reduction of a country’s dependency on imported energy carriers and potentially benign effects regarding biodiversity, desertification, recreational value, etc. In addition, energy is the driving force for development in all countries of the world. Combining the increasing necessity for energy increasing with sources of conventional and renewable resources is a big challenge.
The growing use of waste-to-energy as a method to dispose of solid and liquid wastes and generate power has greatly reduced environmental impacts of municipal solid waste management, including emissions of greenhouse gases, but also significantly costs with waste management. It is important to highlight that waste-to-energy is an essential part of the waste management process and its success is dependent on sorting of recyclable material, content of waste and a regulatory waste framework directive. On October, our section “Theme of the Month” will inform you about recent technologies and approaches regarding waste-to-energy. Specialists from different fields present their approaches, expertise and experiences.
We would welcome your contribution with own experiences, good practices or even your suggestions and recommendations to the presented cases.
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We hope you enjoy reading,
Your SWEEP-Net Team


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