Current Status and future role of MBT in Italy.

Mechanical biological treatment in Italy has been used since 20 years ago to solve waste management emergency. By now, the introduction of waste separate collection, and more virtuosos waste management systems, above all in North Italy, reduced MBT use. New scenario and LCA studies, suggested that MBT need to be reduced, unless for simple mechanical treatment (manual treatment used to recover material from residual waste). Despite to this scenario, Italian Landfill directive and the new EU guidelines on SRF could revitalize MBT process, the recurs to landfill for organic streams and the incineration of the dry fractions.

The Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) refers to a process consisting in the mechanical fractionation of MSW into a wet (mostly organic) and a dry fraction (mostly plastic and paper) and in the successive biological treatment of the wet fraction. In the last 20 years these kinds of processes found a wide diffusion in Europe (e.g. Austria, Germany and Italy). The biologically treated wet fraction is known as biostabilized organic or compost-like fraction and its fate is the landfill or its usage as organic amendment for particular uses
(e.g. landfill and land restoration). On the other hand the dry fraction is landfilled or used to produce solid refuse fuel (SRF). More recently mechanical biological processes assumed different forms and have been classified on the basis of the presence or absence of physical separation of waste into different streams before the biological treatment. Therefore it was defined the mechanical-biological treatment with separate fluxes (MBTSF) and the mechanical-biological treatment with unique flux (MBTUF). The MBTSF consists in a mechanical pre-treatment of the waste (sieving) giving a wet (Ø < 50-80 mm; OM > 80 % w/w; moisture > 50 % v/v) and a dry (Ø > 50-80 mm; OM < 25 %; moisture < 25-28 %) fraction, and the successive biological treatment of the wet fraction. This treatment went on for several weeks using an aerobic biological treatment in order to reduce the content of putrescible organic fraction leading to a high degree of biological stability (biostabilized product). The length of the biological treatment can vary, so that a biostabilized product shows different degree of biological stability. In the MBTUF process the entire waste after a bland mechanical treatment used to reduce waste size, is processed by a biological process. Depending on the process management (air, temperature and moisture management) fast and long biological treatments can be indicated (TAMBONE ET AL., 2011). A fast biological process gives a welldried material with a high calorific value and a low degree of biological stability. In this case, the fate of the biodried material is the production, after refining, of SRF. Long biological process gives a product characterized by low calorific value (depending on the process) and high biological stability (Figure 3).

Copyright: © Arbeitsgemeinschaft Stoffspezifische Abfallbehandlung ASA e.V.
Quelle: 9. Recyclingtage 2012 (September 2012)
Seiten: 9
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 4,50
Autor: Prof. Fabrizio Adani

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