An integrated appraisal of energy recovery options in the United Kingdom using solid recovered fuel derived from municipal solid waste.

Sustainable Systems Department, School of Applied Sciences, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL, UK.
Waste Management (Impact Factor: 3.16). 06/2009; 29(8):2289-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2009.03.031
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper reports an integrated appraisal of options for utilising solid recovered fuels (SRF) (derived from municipal solid waste, MSW) in energy intensive industries within the United Kingdom (UK). Four potential co-combustion scenarios have been identified following discussions with industry stakeholders. These scenarios have been evaluated using (a) an existing energy and mass flow framework model, (b) a semi-quantitative risk analysis, (c) an environmental assessment and (d) a financial assessment. A summary of results from these evaluations for the four different scenarios is presented. For the given ranges of assumptions; SRF co-combustion with coal in cement kilns was found to be the optimal scenario followed by co-combustion of SRF in coal-fired power plants. The biogenic fraction in SRF (ca. 70%) reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions significantly ( approximately 2500 g CO(2) eqvt./kg DS SRF in co-fired cement kilns and approximately 1500 g CO(2) eqvt./kg DS SRF in co-fired power plants). Potential reductions in electricity or heat production occurred through using a lower calorific value (CV) fuel. This could be compensated for by savings in fuel costs (from SRF having a gate fee) and grants aimed at reducing GHG emission to encourage the use of fuels with high biomass fractions. Total revenues generated from coal-fired power plants appear to be the highest ( 95 pounds/t SRF) from the four scenarios. However overall, cement kilns appear to be the best option due to the low technological risks, environmental emissions and fuel cost. Additionally, cement kiln operators have good experience of handling waste derived fuels. The scenarios involving co-combustion of SRF with MSW and biomass were less favourable due to higher environmental risks and technical issues.

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