From Waste to Energy—Challenges and Opportunities

A special issue of Recycling (ISSN 2313-4321).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2022) | Viewed by 13484

Special Issue Editors

Department of Theoretical and Applied Sciences—DiSTA, Insubria University of Varese, Via G.B. Vico, 46, 21100 Varese, Italy
Interests: resources; renewable energy; environmental sustainability; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The waste-to-energy sector represents a major opportunity to improve the waste cycle, include circular economy principles and reduce the environmental impacts associated with waste management practices. This sector has become even more important during the SARS-CoV-19 pandemic with increased waste from hospital masks and gloves and other health-related items. The energy sector in general could also benefit from the integration of waste-to-energy in the energy mix.

The valorization of wastes (municipal, industrial, raw materials, sludge, etc.), their reuse and the possibility of generating energy from their disposal represents a more practical and potentially sustainable path to reducing pressures on landfill and decreasing the environmental impacts associated with these forms of waste products.

The potential for using waste at its end-of-life in energy production is increasingly being investigated. This Special Issue will look at the many issues facing successful waste to energy production, including the role of waste distribution, environmental and economic efficiency, the variety of waste-to-energy technologies being developed and the policy approaches being considered to increase interest in this developing sector. This issue will include a multi-disciplinary review of the challenges and benefits of international waste-to-energy production—the challenges and the opportunities. 

Dr. Elena Rada
Prof. Dr. Elena Magaril
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Recycling is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • municipal solid waste
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • industrial waste
  • sewage sludge
  • fuels
  • energy
  • circular economy
  • economic sustainability
  • environmental impact
  • environmental sustainability
  • life cycle assessment
  • management
  • innovation
  • social impact
  • strategies
  • educational issues

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 3192 KiB  
Article
Rudimentary Assessment of Waste-to-Wealth of Used Tires Crumbs in Thermal Energy Storage
by Hussain H. Al-Kayiem, Bilawal A. Bhayo, Elena Magaril and Pavithra Ravi
Recycling 2022, 7(3), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7030040 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3016
Abstract
Disposing of waste tires is a major environmental and economic issue. Different recycling methods have been studied to account for its re-usage. This project aims to evaluate the possible usage of shredded waste tires in thermal energy storage (TES) applications, whether they are [...] Read more.
Disposing of waste tires is a major environmental and economic issue. Different recycling methods have been studied to account for its re-usage. This project aims to evaluate the possible usage of shredded waste tires in thermal energy storage (TES) applications, whether they are sensible or latent materials. An experimental setup has been developed with seven compartments. Each compartment contains different TES materials, including tire crumbs, paraffin wax, paraffin wax with shredded tires, pebbles, pebbles with shredded tires, concrete, and concrete with shredded tires. In all cases of the mixture, the base materials are 60%vol, and the tire crumbs are 40%vol. The experimental included three locations for temperature measurements in each compartment, solar irradiation, and ambient temperature. The tests were carried out from 9:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m. and repeated for five days to account for the weather’s daily change. Results revealed that mixed 60%vol pebbles and 40%vol shredded tires have the highest recorded temperature, at 112.5 °C, with a 39.5% increment compared to pure pebbles. The interesting finding is that the added tire crumbs reduced the storage capacity of the paraffin wax, which is latent TES material. At the same time, it increased the storage capacity of the concrete and pebbles, which are sensible TES materials. Adding 40%vol of tire crumbs to the paraffin wax has a negative effect, where the thermal storage capacity is reduced by 43%, and the discharge capacity is reduced by 57%. In contrast, the concrete and the pebbles show enhanced storage capacity. Adding 40%vol of crumbs to the concrete increased the charging capacity by 54% and discharging capacity by 33.7%. The 40%vol added tire crumbs to the pebbles increased its charging capacity by 25% and the discharging capacity by 33%. The rudimentary assessment encourages further investigations on using the wasted tires crumbs for TES. The results reveal the probability of a circular economy using wasted tires with sensible TES for solar-to-thermal energy conversion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Energy—Challenges and Opportunities)
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15 pages, 1862 KiB  
Article
Energy Potential Assessment of Excavated Landfill Material: A Case Study of the Perm Region, Russia
by Iuliia Shcherbinina, Stepan Polygalov, Galina Ilinykh, Vladimir Korotaev, Natalia Sliusar, Ivana Mihajlovic and Nemanja Stanisavljevic
Recycling 2022, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7010007 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3073
Abstract
The paper presents results of field and laboratory studies of thermal characteristics to excavated landfill waste in Perm region, Russia. The peculiarity of the study includes the following aspects: waste composition with a high share of polymers, the climatic conditions of the territory [...] Read more.
The paper presents results of field and laboratory studies of thermal characteristics to excavated landfill waste in Perm region, Russia. The peculiarity of the study includes the following aspects: waste composition with a high share of polymers, the climatic conditions of the territory and the lack of engineering infrastructure at the waste disposal facility. When determining the waste composition and thermal properties of waste, it is proposed to include a stage of removal of contamination from landfilled waste fraction, since their share of contamination can reach up to 33%. This stage will allow researchers to adjust the net calorific value of the excavated waste without overestimation, which may affect decision-making when implementing waste management technology. Among combustible components with the highest moisture content are waste paper (69.1%) and diapers (65.8%), whereas wood (11.2%), PET bottles (3.1%) and other 3D plastics (13.4%) have rather low ash content on a dry basis. Calculation of thermal properties and analysis of the energy potential of the waste samples was conducted based on the obtained data. The calorific value of the individual components and excavated waste depends not only on the moisture and ash content of the individual components, but also on the presence of contaminants. The average net calorific value of the excavated waste is 4.9 MJ/kg, and for the separate mixture of combustible components, it is 7.5 MJ/kg at a moisture content of 44%. Excavated landfill waste can be regarded as a resource for the manufacture of secondary fuel only after pretreatment that includes at least sorting and drying. The results of this study may be useful in developing technologies needed to eliminate old MSW dumps and old landfills, for the development of the concept of circular economy and prevention of environmental degradation problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Energy—Challenges and Opportunities)
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12 pages, 883 KiB  
Article
Baseline Data of Low-Density Polyethylene Continuous Pyrolysis for Liquid Fuel Manufacture
by Aleksandr Ketov, Vladimir Korotaev, Natalia Sliusar, Vladivir Bosnic, Marina Krasnovskikh and Aleksei Gorbunov
Recycling 2022, 7(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling7010002 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3122
Abstract
The recycling of end-of-life plastics is a problem, since small parts can be returned into circulation. The rest is burned, landfilled or recycled into low-quality heating oil by pyrolysis methods. The disadvantages of this method are the need to dispose the formed by-product, [...] Read more.
The recycling of end-of-life plastics is a problem, since small parts can be returned into circulation. The rest is burned, landfilled or recycled into low-quality heating oil by pyrolysis methods. The disadvantages of this method are the need to dispose the formed by-product, pyrolytic carbon, the poor quality of produced liquid fuel and the low productivity of the method associated with the periodicity of the process. In this work, methods of thermogravimetry and chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) have been used to study the co-pyrolysis products of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and oxygen-containing substances at the pressures of 4–8 MPa and temperatures of 520–620 °C. Experiments have highlighted the conditions needed for producing of high-quality liquid fuel. Initial data have been prepared for the design of a continuous pyrolysis reactor to dispose polymer waste for the production of bio-oil which would be available to enter the petrochemical products market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Energy—Challenges and Opportunities)
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Review

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16 pages, 2155 KiB  
Review
Industrial Symbiosis through the Use of Biosolids as Fertilizer in Romanian Agriculture
by Lucian-Ionel Cioca, Alina-Oana Ciomoş, Daiana Șeitoar, Roxana Maria Druță and Geanina Maria David
Recycling 2021, 6(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling6030059 - 07 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2996
Abstract
Biosolids’ use in agriculture is an example of industrial symbiosis. The application of biosolids (BS) in agriculture is considered one of the most sustainable sewage sludge (SS) management options, but the quality of biosolids has to meet certain requirements regarding the characteristics of [...] Read more.
Biosolids’ use in agriculture is an example of industrial symbiosis. The application of biosolids (BS) in agriculture is considered one of the most sustainable sewage sludge (SS) management options, but the quality of biosolids has to meet certain requirements regarding the characteristics of the sludge, those of the land and of the type of crop. Web of Science database has been used to search for the relevant literature. The review of studies undertaken in order to determine the economic effects of the use of biosolids in agriculture shows, in the majority, an increase in crop yield and the reduction in costs, due to the reduction in the requirements for the application of chemical or synthetic fertilizers. If the entire sewage sludge production in Romania for 2019 had been used as fertilizer, the estimated cost reduction for farmers would have been almost 3 million Euros—considering the 230.59 thousand tons of dry matter produced in 2019. The estimated savings for 2019 of the sewage and water utilities, if the sewage sludge had been used in agriculture instead of depositing it at the landfill, would have been about 3.9 million Euros. However, the limits of the symbiosis are due to the size of the farms, the type of plants cultivated, pH, slope inclination, heavy metal content and social acceptance. It is impossible to use all the sewage sludge in agriculture, but these figures are a good estimation of the economic effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Waste to Energy—Challenges and Opportunities)
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