Topic Editors

Dr. Jingxin Zhang
Associate Professor, China-UK Low Carbon College, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 201306, China
Dr. Le Zhang
NUS Environmental Research Institute, National University of Singapore, 1 Create Way, Create Tower #15-02, Singapore 138602, Singapore

Waste-to-Energy

Abstract submission deadline
30 September 2023
Manuscript submission deadline
31 December 2023
Viewed by
5710

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to rapid economic development and urbanization, huge amounts of resources and energy have been expended annually worldwide, resulting in the generation of solid waste in a big quantity, high-intensity energy consumption, and a number of environmental problems. The traditional approach to the disposal of waste in landfills may not be cost-effective or sustainable in the long term within a city environment. Waste-to-energy approaches, with due consideration given to energy recovery, resource recovery, and volume reduction in waste may be an attractive and viable alternative. Energy recovery from waste could help to alleviate the rapidly increasing energy demand. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop waste-to-energy technologies and systems for energy recovery from city waste, reduce energy reliance on traditional fossil fuel sources and its emission of pollutants, raise the level of energy self-sufficiency, and, at the same time, provide sustainable waste management solutions. This Topic is designed to attract the latest developments in sustainable waste-to-energy technologies, emerging technologies for resources recovery, and low-carbon biotechnologies and bioenergy systems. The editorial team strongly encourages papers providing original research articles, review articles, and case studies, dealing with but not limited to the following research areas:

  • Anaerobic digestion technologies;
  • Microbial biorefinery for biofuels production;
  • Pyrolysis/gasification for bioenergy recovery;
  • Waste-to-energy systems;
  • Resource recovery from residual waste;
  • Biomass energy.

Dr. Jingxin Zhang
Dr. Le Zhang
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • anaerobic digestion
  • biogas
  • biomass
  • solid waste
  • pyrolysis
  • gasification
  • waste-to-energy
  • bioenergy
  • syngas
  • biochar

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Energies
energies
3.252 5.0 2008 15.5 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Fermentation
fermentation
5.123 5.3 2015 13.4 Days 2000 CHF Submit
Materials
materials
3.748 4.7 2008 13.9 Days 2300 CHF Submit
Resources
resources
- 6.4 2012 19.3 Days 1600 CHF Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.889 5.0 2009 17.7 Days 2200 CHF Submit

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Published Papers (9 papers)

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Review
Comprehensive Analysis of the State of Technology in the Field of Waste Heat Recovery from Grey Water
Energies 2023, 16(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16010137 - 23 Dec 2022
Viewed by 490
Abstract
The use of energy from waste can be a key means of reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and thus reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Waste energy can be a worthy alternative to conventional energy sources in construction. This paper presents data on [...] Read more.
The use of energy from waste can be a key means of reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and thus reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Waste energy can be a worthy alternative to conventional energy sources in construction. This paper presents data on energy consumption for the preparation of domestic hot water in residential buildings. A review of the literature sources and inventions in the area of waste energy recovery from grey water was carried out. It also presents the results of research on prototypes of devices used to receive energy deposited in wastewater, published in recent years. The benefits of using drain water heat recovery systems for preheating utility water in residential buildings are presented. An analysis of technical solutions for grey water energy collection units was made, revealing their advantages and disadvantages. Great importance was attached to the review of patent sources as well as devices available on the market. According to the authors, the results of the technical review may be useful for contractors and designers of heat recovery equipment and installations, researchers and potential users of these technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Waste-to-Energy)
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Article
Thermodynamic Assessment of the Impact of Selected Plastics on the Energy Parameters of Explosives
Energies 2022, 15(24), 9583; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15249583 - 16 Dec 2022
Viewed by 382
Abstract
Global economic development and the associated increase in consumption increase the demand for plastics. The result of these changes is the increase in the share of this group of used plastics in the structure of household waste. An innovative way of managing plastic [...] Read more.
Global economic development and the associated increase in consumption increase the demand for plastics. The result of these changes is the increase in the share of this group of used plastics in the structure of household waste. An innovative way of managing plastic waste is to use it as a component of a high-energy material. According to the conceptual assumptions, some plastics introduced into the structure of an explosive (Ex) in appropriate amounts can improve the energy parameters of a high-energy material. Modification of the composition of the explosive causes a change in its explosive and operational parameters. It also becomes necessary to develop a method of introducing an additional component. Computer programs for thermodynamic calculations are a tool for modeling the predicted energy parameters of an explosive. The performed simulations and modeling allow for the selection of appropriate compositions for laboratory and “in situ” tests. This reduces the number of field tests performed. This enables the more effective design of new explosive compositions. The use of waste plastics as a corrector of explosive properties may also be pro-environmental in nature through the use of a detonation method of their disposal and will reduce the cost of manufacturing the product. The conducted analyses showed that for three ANFO-type explosives containing 2% polyethylene—PE 2.0, 1% polypropylene—PP 1.0 and 1% polyurethane—PU 1.0, obtained energy parameters similar to ANFO and qualitatively and quantitatively similar structure of post-detonation gases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Waste-to-Energy)
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Article
Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Bioplastics and Food Waste under Mesophilic and Thermophilic Conditions: Synergistic Effect and Biodegradation
Fermentation 2022, 8(11), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8110638 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 762
Abstract
To mitigate the various problems caused by using conventional plastics, bioplastic (BP) has emerged as a substitute for plastics. BP wastes after use are commonly treated using composting, causing many environmental problems. Anaerobic digestion (AD) has become prominent as an alternative method of [...] Read more.
To mitigate the various problems caused by using conventional plastics, bioplastic (BP) has emerged as a substitute for plastics. BP wastes after use are commonly treated using composting, causing many environmental problems. Anaerobic digestion (AD) has become prominent as an alternative method of producing renewable energy. The aim of this study was to estimate the methane production yield (MPY) of BPs (polylactic acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)) with mechanical pretreatment (particle size < 0.5 cm) and investigate the effect of co-digestion of BPs and food waste (FW). Batch experiments were conducted under mesophilic and thermophilic conditions at various mixing ratios (FW/PLA or PHA = 95:5 and 90:10 on a weight basis). During 20 d of digestion at temperatures of 37 and 55 °C, MPYs of PHA were 153.8–172.0 mL CH4/g chemical oxygen demand (COD), but that of PLA was significantly low (<25.6 mL CH4/g COD). Higher MPYs were attained at 55 °C than at 37 °C. The synergistic effects of FW addition on BP AD were observed at both temperatures, especially at 55 °C. By comparing theoretical (based on mono-digestion results) and actual (based on co-digestion results) MPYs, the synergistic effect of FW addition on MPY of co-digestion reached 8.5–26.6% and 12.7–25.5% for PLA- and PHA-fed tests, respectively. The biodegradation rates (on a volatile solids (VS) basis) of PLA and PHA were 6.0–13.7% and 49.1–52.3% and increased by 1.8–4.3 and 1.2–1.5 times in the PLA- and PHA-fed co-digestion tests, respectively. Co-digestion of FW might be a feasible treatment option for BPs combined with simple mechanical pretreatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Waste-to-Energy)
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Article
Unlocking New Value from Urban Biowaste: LCA of the VALUEWASTE Biobased Products
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 14962; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142214962 - 11 Nov 2022
Viewed by 556
Abstract
The VALUEWASTE project can offer a sustainable solution to transform biowaste into added-value bioproducts, such as proteins from microorganisms and insects and biofertilizers. The present study focused on the environmental impacts linked to obtaining these bioproducts, which was performed by the standardized Life [...] Read more.
The VALUEWASTE project can offer a sustainable solution to transform biowaste into added-value bioproducts, such as proteins from microorganisms and insects and biofertilizers. The present study focused on the environmental impacts linked to obtaining these bioproducts, which was performed by the standardized Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach, using the Environmental Footprint methodology to evaluate the midpoint impact categories considered. At the same time, the bioproducts coming from biowaste were compared to regular ones: other protein sources and mineral fertilizers. The study results show that these new protein sources are firm candidates to reach the market from an environmental point of view. Furthermore, their environmental impacts could be improved by reducing the energy use (the main contributor) within some impact categories, such as ecotoxicity and global warming. In case of the biofertilizers, their environmental performance was overall worse compared to mineral fertilizers, except for the following impact categories: mineral and metal use and water scarcity. Nevertheless, these biofertilizers come from biowaste, extending the circularity concept, and from local places, reducing the dependency on other actors. Hence, the study showed that the obtained bioproducts are real alternatives to implement in a circular economy. However, continuous improvement of the solution should be performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Waste-to-Energy)
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Review
Sensitivity Analysis and Anaerobic Digestion Modeling: A Scoping Review
Fermentation 2022, 8(11), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8110624 - 10 Nov 2022
Viewed by 599
Abstract
A growing awareness of global climate change has led to an increased interest in investigating renewable energy sources, such as the anaerobic digestion of biomass. This process utilizes a wide range of microbial communities to degrade biodegradable material in feedstock through a complex [...] Read more.
A growing awareness of global climate change has led to an increased interest in investigating renewable energy sources, such as the anaerobic digestion of biomass. This process utilizes a wide range of microbial communities to degrade biodegradable material in feedstock through a complex series of biochemical interactions. Anaerobic digestion exhibits nonlinear dynamics due to the complex and interacting biochemical processes involved. Due to its dynamic and nonlinear behavior, uncertain feedstock quality, and sensitivity to the process’s environmental conditions, anaerobic digestion is highly susceptible to instabilities. Therefore, in order to model and operate a biogas production unit effectively, it is necessary to understand which parameters are most influential on the model outputs. This also reduces the amount of estimation required. Through a scoping review, the present study analyzes the studies on the application of sensitivity analysis in anaerobic digestion modeling. Both local and global sensitivity analysis approaches were carried out using different mathematical models. The results indicate that anaerobic digestion model no.1 (ADM1) was the most commonly used model for analyzing sensitivity. Both local and global sensitivity analyses are widely employed to investigate the influence of key model parameters such as kinetic, stoichiometric, and mass transfer parameters on model outputs such as biogas production, methane concentration, pH, or economic viability of the plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Waste-to-Energy)
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Article
Prospective Life Cycle Costing of Electricity Generation from Municipal Solid Waste in Nigeria
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13293; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013293 - 16 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 455
Abstract
Waste management and electricity supply have always been among the main challenges faced by developing countries. So far, the use of waste to energy (WtE) is one strategy that could simultaneously address these two challenges. However, the use of such technologies requires detailed [...] Read more.
Waste management and electricity supply have always been among the main challenges faced by developing countries. So far, the use of waste to energy (WtE) is one strategy that could simultaneously address these two challenges. However, the use of such technologies requires detailed studies to ensure their sustainability. In this paper, the potential of WtE in two cities in Nigeria (Abuja and Lagos) using anaerobic digestion (AD), incineration, gasification and landfill gas to energy (LFGTE), is presented with the aim of evaluating their economic viability using life cycle costing (LCC) as an analytical tool. This economic feasibility analysis includes LCC, levelised cost of electricity (LCOE), net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR) and payback period. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to investigate the influence of several parameters on the economic viability of the selected technologies for the two cities. The economic assessment revealed that all the WtE systems were feasible and viable in both cities except for LFGTE in Abuja where the NPV was negative (−USD 105.42/t), and the IRR was 4.17%. Overall, incineration for both cities proved to be the most favourable economic option based on its positive LCC (Lagos USD 214.1/t Abuja USD 232.76/t), lowest LCOE (Lagos USD 0.046/t Abuja USD 0.062/t), lowest payback period (Lagos 1.6 years Abuja 2.2 years) and the highest IRR (Lagos 62.8% Abuja 45.3%). The results of the sensitivity analysis also indicated that variation in parameters such as the capital cost and discount rate have significant effects on the LCC. This paper provides information for potential investors and policy makers to enhance optimal investment in WtE technologies in Nigeria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Waste-to-Energy)
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Article
Finite Element Analysis of Elastoplastic Elements in the Iwan Model of Bolted Joints
Materials 2022, 15(17), 5817; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15175817 - 24 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 604
Abstract
The Iwan model is composed of elastoplastic elements and is widely used to represent the stiffness degradation of bolted joints under mixed-mode loading (normal and tangential loading). The latest static methods of parameter identification established the relationship between the elastoplastic elements and the [...] Read more.
The Iwan model is composed of elastoplastic elements and is widely used to represent the stiffness degradation of bolted joints under mixed-mode loading (normal and tangential loading). The latest static methods of parameter identification established the relationship between the elastoplastic elements and the contact pressure under normal loading. Under mixed-mode loading, the parameters of the Iwan model are dynamic for the evolution of contact conditions. Therefore, static parameter identification methods are not suitable for the dynamic Iwan model. A new technique was proposed to identify the parameters of the elastoplastic elements in this paper. Firstly, several different finite element models were established. The influence of the contact method and the thread structure were analyzed, and a reliable and efficient bolted-joint modeling method was proposed. Secondly, the evolution of contact conditions was studied. The dynamic elliptical contact model and the ellipticity discrete method were proposed. Finally, the residual stiffness of the Iwan model was analyzed to establish the mapping between the residual stiffness and the bending of the screw. The results can provide a technique for identifying the parameters of the dynamic Iwan model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Waste-to-Energy)
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Article
Thermal Degradation and Organic Chlorine Removal from Mixed Plastic Wastes
Energies 2022, 15(16), 6058; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15166058 - 21 Aug 2022
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Plastic waste accumulation has been growing due to the increase in plastic generation and the lack of infrastructure for recycling. One of the approaches is to treat the mixed plastic waste (MPW) through thermal processes to produce feedstocks for other applications. However, the [...] Read more.
Plastic waste accumulation has been growing due to the increase in plastic generation and the lack of infrastructure for recycling. One of the approaches is to treat the mixed plastic waste (MPW) through thermal processes to produce feedstocks for other applications. However, the presence of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in MPW would produce HCl during processing and has negative impacts (emission, catalyst poisoning, etc.). In addition, due to the high heterogeneity of MPW, it is difficult to generate consistent experimental data. In this study, MPW was homogenized through double compounding–extrusion and then formed into a sheet to be treated at 400 °C. The solid products at various mass losses were characterized by heat and chlorine content, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and elemental composition analysis. It was found that the thermal degradation of MPW started at ~260 °C. The chlorine removal efficiency increased with mass loss and reached an asymptotic value of ~84% at ~28% mass loss, and the remaining chlorine can be attributed to inorganic sources. A PVC de-chlorination model was developed for MPW using TGA data for PVC and MPW to determine organic chlorine removal efficiency. These results show that PVC de-chlorination was not affected by other plastics at this temperature. As the mass loss increases, the heat content first increases and then decreases. It was found that mass loss is a universal parameter for organic chlorine removal efficiency and heat content. The elemental composition analysis and FTIR spectroscopy also shed more light into the chemical changes during MPW thermal degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Waste-to-Energy)
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Article
Usage of Converter Gas as a Substitute Fuel for a Tunnel Furnace in Steelworks
Materials 2022, 15(14), 5054; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15145054 - 20 Jul 2022
Viewed by 566
Abstract
Converter gas (BOFG) is a by-product of the steel manufacturing process in steelworks. Its usage as a substitute fuel instead of natural gas for fueling a metallurgical furnace seems to be reasonable due to potential benefits as follows: CO2 emission reduction into [...] Read more.
Converter gas (BOFG) is a by-product of the steel manufacturing process in steelworks. Its usage as a substitute fuel instead of natural gas for fueling a metallurgical furnace seems to be reasonable due to potential benefits as follows: CO2 emission reduction into the ambient air and savings in purchasing costs of natural gas. Results of theoretical analysis focused on implementing converter gas as a fuel for feeding a tunnel furnace for either steel plate rolling, steel sheet hardening in its real working condition or both, are discussed. The analysis was focused on the combustion chemistry of the converter gas and its potential ecological and economic benefits obtained from converter gas usage to heat up steel in a tunnel furnace. Simulations of combustion were conducted using a skeletal chemical kinetic mechanism by Konnov. The directed relation graph with error propagation aided sensitivity analysis (DRGEPSA) method was used to obtain this skeletal kinetic mechanism. Finally, the model was validated on a real tunnel furnace fueled by natural gas. Regarding exhaust emissions, it was found that nitric oxide (NO) dropped down from 275 to 80 ppm when natural gas was replaced by converter gas. However, carbon dioxide emissions increased more than three times in this case, but there is no possibility of eliminating carbon dioxide from steel manufacturing processes at all. Economic analysis showed savings of 44% in fuel purchase costs when natural gas was replaced by converter gas. Summing up, the potential benefits resulting from substituting natural gas with converter gas led to the conclusion that converter gas is strongly recommended as fuel for a tunnel furnace in the steel manufacturing process. Practical application requires testing gas burners in terms of their efficiency, which should provide the same amount of energy supplied to the furnace when fed with converter gas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Waste-to-Energy)
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