Waste-to-Energy: Integrated Approaches and Future Perspectives

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Abstract

Many conversion technologies and processes for bioenergy generation from wastes have been reported and discussed in the previous chapters. These conversion technologies are being selected and applied depending on the type of wastes, chemical composition of the available waste and the desired energy vector. For example, anaerobic digestion (AD) is used for biogas production from mixed biological wastes with varied chemical compositions. Fermentation for bioethanol production is used for wastes that are rich in simple sugars and/or starch. Pyrolysis, combustion and gasification are used for crude bio-oil and/or syngas production from a wide range of wastes, especially those that contain high lignocellulosic compounds. These are environmentally friendly technologies for waste management and bioenergy production, but their economic feasibility is usually limited using a process of a single conversion route. Recent research and prospects suggested that integrating processes for bioenergy production from waste could increase the efficiency of the system in terms of economy, energy recovery and beneficial impact on the environment. This chapter discusses waste biorefinery as a recent trend towards circular bioeconomy. The chapter provides suggestions for future integrated systems for the simultaneous production of multiple energy vectors and high-value chemicals from different types of wastes. In the integrated system, the by-products from the first conversion process are used as substrates for the subsequent conversion process and so on. The importance of catalysis in offering flexibility in an integrated biorefinery system by providing novel routes and downstream environmental solutions for flue gas and exhaust gas cleaning was also covered in the chapter. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the role of models with bioenergy and biomass resource decision making, with focus on bioenergy from waste case studies. This includes assessment of the key issues that determine the economic feasibility and environmental impacts of feedstock choices and technology options. Also covering the social and political frameworks that will enable and drive transitions towards increased bioenergy from waste activities. The chapter presents policy case studies from the EU, China, USA and India, and highlights how social acceptance will be key to the success of any bioenergy from waste sector.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
PublisherSpringer London
Number of pages613
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-91570-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-91569-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022