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Title: System dynamics of the competition of municipal solid waste to landfill, electricity, and liquid fuel in California

A quantitative system dynamics model was created to evaluate the economic and environmental tradeoffs between biomass to electricity and to liquid fuel using MSW biomass in the state of California as a case study. From an environmental perspective, landfilling represents the worst use of MSW over time, generating more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to converting MSW to liquid fuel or to electricity. MSW to ethanol results in the greatest displacement of GHG emissions per dollar spent compared to MSW to electricity. MSW to ethanol could save the state of California approximately $60 billion in energy costs by 2050 compared to landfilling, while also reducing GHG emissions state-wide by approximately 140 million metric tons during that timeframe. MSW conversion to electricity creates a significant cost within the state's electricity sector, although some conversion technologies are cost competitive with existing renewable generation.
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Conference: Naples (Italy), 3-5 Jun 2014
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States