Emission reduction in waste incineration : A comparison of three applicable measures

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Byggteknik och byggd miljö

Abstract: Utilization of waste as fuel for heat and power production is commonplace in Sweden, and the fossil emissions from the incineration of waste is primarily derived from the share of plastics in the fuel. Reducing the share of fossil material in the fuel should therefore lead to diminished local emissions. Alternatively, district heating with waste incineration have potential for implementation of CCS technology, that have the possibility to create negative emissions. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the potential of emission reduction and cost efficiency for three different measures that can be applied for waste incineration: sorting of waste, requirement specification and implementation of CCS technology. This was made with the case of Stockholm Exergi, a district heating actor in the Stockholm region with a desire to achieve emission reduction sufficient to offset additional emissions from a new waste incineration facility in development. The measures were compared by constructing distinct scenarios where the emissions and costs of the scenarios could be found in comparison to a reference case where no measures had been applied. For this, modelling of the properties of the waste streams used as fuel was necessary. The results showed that the capacity for sorting is not sufficient to achieve the desired levels of emission reduction on its own, while it is a cost-efficient measure. Requirement specification together with sorting can reduce the emissions to desired levels, but the required reduction of plastics in the fuel is significant. The additional quantities of waste required to produce energy at the same level as before limiting the shares of plastic results in an income from gate fees that mitigate the potential decrease in value of the gate fees brought on by requirement specification. Implementation of CCS technology would create significant negative emissions and yield overall net negative emissions for the studied facilities, but the cost of the technology would create a dependency of external incentives to keep it profitable.

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