Environmental burdens associated to different Technologies for the biological Treatment of OFMSW

Waste management, a complex system involving at least waste collection and waste treatment, has been analyzed fromdifferent points of view. Obviously, the economics of waste management systems are mainly required by the authoritieswhile engineers also appreciate technical/engineering information on the system. However, in the last years, a numberof authors have also been studying waste management systems by focusing on their environmental impact (mainlyenergy and material burdens). This impact can be added as a new parameter in the decision matrix when evaluating thesuitability of different treatment technologies.

Further Authors:
J. Colón, E. Cadena, M. Pognani, C. Maulini, A. Sánchez, X. Font, A. Artola

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool commonly used to calculate These impacts. Reliable results in LCA studies require the use of reliable data relating the system under study. In the case ofwaste management it is important to obtain data at local level since the characteristics of the municipal waste depend ondifferent factors: eating habits, collection system, etc.The objective of the present study is to identify and quantify the input and output flows (water, energy, treated waste,compost produced, refuse generated, gaseous emissions, etc.) of different full-scale biowaste biological treatmentfacilities based on different technologies in order to have representative local data for a Life Cycle Inventory. Gaseousemissions (Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), NH3, CH4 and N2O) have been determined on site following amethodology specially designed for this purpose. Gas chromatography has been used in the analysis of total VOC, CH4and N2O while ammonia was determined with a specific sensor. Main families of VOC present in gaseous emissionshave also been determined in one of the plants studied by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry.Four industrial plants located in Catalonia (Spain) treating the Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Wastes (OFMSW)have been studied over a period of two to three months each, covering a wide range of plant size (from 100 to 18000Mg OFMSW y-1): an in-vessel composting plant (CT), an aerated windrows composting plant (CCW), a turnedwindrows composting plant (TW) and a plant including anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting of the digestate(ADC). A Mechanical Biological Treatment installation (MBT) has also been studied treating OFMSW (109006 Mg y-1) and municipal solid waste (MSW, 130518 Mg y-1) in two separate lines. The degree of technological complexity ofthe studied facilities has been also taken into account. Thus, low technology composting plants based on turnedwindrows to complex facilities with mechanical and biological (anaerobic digestion plus composting) processes havebeen analysed.The Life Cycle Inventory could be summarized as: energy consumption ranging between 235 and 870 MJ t OFMSW-1when computing diesel consumption and electricity. Plants including anaerobic digestion present a net electricityproduction due to biogas energy transformation. The ADC plant generates produces 550 MJ Mg OFMSW-1 while theMBT plant produces 792 MJ Mg OFMSW-1. Emissions of the different contaminants considered per Mg OFMSWranging between 3.5·10-5-8.9 kg VOC, 0-8.63 kg NH3, 1.5·10-4-4.37 kg CH4 and 1.4·10-5-0.251 kg N2O, respectivelywith the MBT plant presenting the lowest values. Predominant VOC families in MBT plant emissions are aromatichydrocarbons and nitrogen compounds. The use of emission control equipment to avoid gaseous pollutants releasederives in a significant increase in the energy consumption and complexity of the installation. However, when the treatment facility is located near to inhabited areas the use of emission control equipment is mandatory.

Copyright: © European Compost Network ECN e.V.
Quelle: Orbit 2012 (Juni 2012)
Seiten: 8
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 8,00
Autor: Raquel Barrena
Adriana Artola

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