Greenhouse Gas saving
Our High Efficiency Waste-to-energy technology is defined by European Commission, as the best performing at the moment. In the same document the EU also states the most efficient waste-to-energy techniques maximize the contribution to climate and energy objectives. Therefore, among all the waste-to-energy incineration technologies, the high efficiency technology has the largest contribution to climate objective and energy saving.
High Efficiency Waste-to-Energy technology decreases greenhouse gas emission in 2 ways:
- Open dumpsites and landfill are top sources of methane; methane is problematic because its impact is 34 times greater than CO2over a 100-year period (UNFCCC). In addition to emitting pollutants like methane, uncontrolled landfills also bring health risks to adjacent communities. Because due to urbanization these landfills often ends up in the middle of a city.
- Alternative energy: The burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for electricity and heat is the largest single source of global greenhouse gas emissions (US Environmental Protection Agency). Nevertheless, most energy in the world is generated by combusting fossil fuels (World Energy Council, A waste to energy plant can run as a base power plant replacing other base load power often coal fired.
The figure shows the average of the emissions over 2017 in dark blue of the reference plant in Amsterdam. It is well below the EU directive 2010 standard. For all of the measured values they are below 40%, but for the most they are even below 20% of the allowed emissions (the light grey lane at 100%). The red dots are the norms put as a design minimum for the reference plant. For the emissions the design goals were ALARA: As Low As Reasonable Achievable
These figures are achieved with an advanced dry and wet flue-gas treatment system. The design paradigm was maximum recovery, to produce as less residue as possible and turn residue into commodities. For example, the gypsum produced in the SO2 scrubber can be used in the construction industry. The blow down effluent of the wet system is about 5 m3/hr and contains only calcium chloride of less than 5% concentrate. The flue-gas system needs no additional water, actually, it can produce water. The only residues produced are from the bag filter and needs to be stored in a special prepared SLF.
(The same emission figures can be achieved with a different type of flue gas cleaning the so called double dry system. This system is easier to operate but produces slightly more residues. Both flue gas treatment systems can be incorporated in a HE-WtE concept, the heat recovery in the flue-gas-path is part of the sophisticated design where the chemical reaction temperatures are optimized together with the overall thermal dynamics.)
The values of these emissions are proven to be sufficient due to an extensive biomonitoring program executed by the Wageningen University for over 10 years. The conclusions are that there is no sign of accumulation in crops caused by waste incinerators in the Netherlands. (Wageningen University; van Dijk, et al: Long term plant biomonitoring in the vicinity of waste incinerators in the NL 2015)