Resources and Energy Management Grow Together

Waste was not always considered as a resource. In the past, waste disposal and waste management was much less organized and developed as today in Germany. At the end of the 19th century the conditions were critical especially in the urban region and hinterland, when waste was dumped directly in front of the house mostly. Thus, waste accumulated into piles of rubbish, resulting in a lack of hygiene. This caused diseases such as cholera. The spreading of such diseases and even epidemics in Germany caused a change in government’s and people’s awareness about the disposal of waste. In order to improve the hygienic standards and to protect the healthiness of the people, illegal waste dumping had to be avoided and a regulated waste management needed to be installed.

The first waste incineration plant in Germany with 36 oven cells was built in Hamburg in 1893 and started its regular operation in 1896. The ovens at that time were feed with waste manually. The plant produced 15 MWth thermal power, while 156 kWel electric power was produced by two steam generators. Already in 1903 one of the first Waste-to-Energy plants with combined heat and power generation was built in Copenhagen, Denmark. On the one hand the produced steam was used to generate electricity, on the other hand the heat was partly used to heat the nearby hospital, orphanage and poorhouse through a tunnel. During the First World War nearly all of the existing waste incineration plants were shut down due to high operation costs. Those were partly caused by the low heating value of waste, which consequently led to more waste being landfilled again. But with the economic recovery, waste incineration came back. The main reason was the increased heating value of waste, based on the implementation of plastics.
Today waste incineration provides a far greater role than just waste disposal. It is one of the important sources of renewable electricity and heat that saves resources and contributes to the protection of the environment.
The following article describes the role of waste and refuse derived fuels (RDF) as an energy resource. Different waste incineration plants for direct waste combustion as well as co-incineration are presented. Furthermore the contribution of waste within the field of resource and energy management will be discussed.

Copyright: © TK Verlag - Fachverlag für Kreislaufwirtschaft
Quelle: Waste Management, Volume 2 (September 2011)
Seiten: 12
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 0,00
Autor: Dr.-Ing. Michael Jakuttis

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