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Synergistic Effects by Thermal and Biological Waste Treatment Facilities at Integrated Sites

the protagonists of conventional waste disposal have faced off against their opponents who wanted to recycle materials exclusively. In the mean time, there are many reasons to abandon these contrary positions and think about synergies between the concepts of thermal and material recycling processes. The latest impulse for this is surely the most recent legal development in the European Union in accordance with national objectives of having a waste management system that is more directed at the protection of the climate and resources.

Bio-waste treatment facilities are sources of greenhouse gases, like methane or nitrous oxide, which were formerly neglected and are now under discussion. The European Waste Framework Directive and following national laws will develop the separate collection of bio-wastes in the future and as a consequence also the greenhouse gas emission problem.
An approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from bio-waste treatment facilities is the integration of these plants into the infrastructure and operation of existing municipal solid waste incineration plants (MSWIP). The evaluation of this concept was carried out by a consortium of the consulting engineers ia GmbH, Munich and Qonversion, Bamberg, commissioned by the Association of the Bavarian waste incineration plants ATAB. The project was funded by the Bavarian Ministry for Environment.
Focus of the study was the minimization of the climate unfriendly greenhouse gas emissions methane and nitrous oxide from anaerobic digestion (AD) plants for bio-waste. Other synergy effects arising by the joint usage of infrastructure and manpower in the WSWI and AD plant were also investigated.
The ecological and economical effects of the integrated concept were studied exemplarily for three waste incineration sites with different capacities, each in connection with a digestion technology, specific for the different local conditions. The study clearly demonstrates that the integrated concept has a significant higher ecological efficiency:
• Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced between 53 % and 69 %,
• Treatment costs can be reduced by 25 % in average.
For all three examples could be proven that the integrated operation of an anaerobic digestion plant for bio-waste on the site of a municipal solid waste incinerator has advantages compared with a green field plant for anaerobic digestion. The realization of such concept is advised – also for reasons of public acceptance.

Copyright: © TK Verlag - Fachverlag für Kreislaufwirtschaft
Source: Waste Management, Volume 2 (September 2011)
Pages: 15
Price: € 0,00
Autor: Dipl.-Ing. Uwe Athmann
Dipl.-Ing.(TU) Werner P. Bauer
Dipl.-Umwelting. (FH) Thomas Kroner
Gerhard Meier
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Quicker

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