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Title: A review of technologies and performances of thermal treatment systems for energy recovery from waste

Highlights: • The topic of energy recovery from waste by thermal treatment is reviewed. • Combustion, gasification and pyrolysis were considered. • Data about energy recovery performances were collected and compared. • Main limitations to high values of energy performances were illustrated. • Diffusion of energy recovery from waste in EU, USA and other countries was discussed. - Abstract: The aim of this work is to identify the current level of energy recovery through waste thermal treatment. The state of the art in energy recovery from waste was investigated, highlighting the differences for different types of thermal treatment, considering combustion/incineration, gasification and pyrolysis. Also different types of wastes – Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) or Solid Refuse Fuels (SRF) and some typologies of Industrial Waste (IW) (sludge, plastic scraps, etc.) – were included in the analysis. The investigation was carried out mainly reviewing papers, published in scientific journals and conferences, but also considering technical reports, to gather more information. In particular the goal of this review work was to synthesize studies in order to compare the values of energy conversion efficiencies measured or calculated for different types of thermal processes and different types of waste. It emergedmore » that the dominant type of thermal treatment is incineration associated to energy recovery in a steam cycle. When waste gasification is applied, the produced syngas is generally combusted in a boiler to generate steam for energy recovery in a steam cycle. For both the possibilities – incineration or gasification – cogeneration is the mean to improve energy recovery, especially for small scale plants. In the case of only electricity production, the achievable values are strongly dependent on the plant size: for large plant size, where advanced technical solutions can be applied and sustained from an economic point of view, net electric efficiency may reach values up to 30–31%. In small-medium plants, net electric efficiency is constrained by scale effect and remains at values around 20–24%. Other types of technical solutions – gasification with syngas use in internally fired devices, pyrolysis and plasma gasification – are less common or studied at pilot or demonstrative scale and, in any case, offer at present similar or lower levels of energy efficiency.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Niccolò Cusano University, via Don Carlo Gnocchi, 3, 00166 Rome (Italy)
  2. Industrial Engineering Department, University of Florence, via Santa Marta, 3, 50129 Florence (Italy)
  3. Department of Information Engineering and Mathematics, University of Siena, via Roma, 56, 53100 (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22470211
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Waste Management; Journal Volume: 37; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; BOILERS; COMBINED CYCLES; COMBUSTION; ELECTRICITY; ENERGY CONVERSION; ENERGY EFFICIENCY; ENERGY RECOVERY; GAS TURBINES; GASIFICATION; HEAT TREATMENTS; INDUSTRIAL WASTES; LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT; PLASTICS; PYROLYSIS; REFUSE DERIVED FUELS; RESIDUES; SCRAP; SLUDGES