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Energies 2017, 10(4), 539; doi:10.3390/en10040539

Energy Recovery from Waste Incineration—The Importance of Technology Data and System Boundaries on CO2 Emissions

1
Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, University of Gävle, SE 801 76 Gävle, Sweden
2
Division of Environmental Strategies Research–fms, Department of Sustainable Development, Environmental Sciences and Engineering (SEED), School of Architecture and the Built Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: George Kosmadakis
Received: 19 October 2016 / Revised: 10 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 15 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy and Waste Management)
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Abstract

Previous studies on waste incineration as part of the energy system show that waste management and energy supply are highly dependent on each other, and that the preconditions for the energy system setup affects the avoided emissions and thereby even sometimes the total outcome of an environmental assessment. However, it has not been previously shown explicitly which key parameters are most crucial, how much each parameter affects results and conclusions and how different aspects depend on each other. The interconnection between waste incineration and the energy system is elaborated by testing parameters potentially crucial to the result: design of the incineration plant, avoided energy generation, degree of efficiency, electricity efficiency in combined heat and power plants (CHP), avoided fuel, emission level of the avoided electricity generation and avoided waste management. CO2 emissions have been calculated for incineration of 1 kWh mixed combustible waste. The results indicate that one of the most important factors is the electricity efficiency in CHP plants in combination with the emission level of the avoided electricity generation. A novel aspect of this study is the plant by plant comparison showing how different electricity efficiencies associated with different types of fuels and plants influence results. Since waste incineration typically have lower power to fuel ratios, this has implications for further analyses of waste incineration compared to other waste management practises and heat and power production technologies. New incineration capacity should substitute mixed landfill disposal and recovered energy should replace energy from inefficient high polluting plants. Electricity generation must not be lost, as it has to be compensated for by electricity production affecting the overall results. View Full-Text
Keywords: waste; incineration; CHP; efficiency; avoided fuel; natural gas; biofuel; CO2 waste; incineration; CHP; efficiency; avoided fuel; natural gas; biofuel; CO2
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Eriksson, O.; Finnveden, G. Energy Recovery from Waste Incineration—The Importance of Technology Data and System Boundaries on CO2 Emissions. Energies 2017, 10, 539.

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