A technology assessment of thermal treatment technologies for wastes was performed in the form of scenarios of chains of technologies. The Swedish assessment tool, ORWARE, was used for the assessment. The scenarios of chains of thermal technologies assessed were gasification with catalytic combustion, gasification with flame combustion, incineration and landfilling. The landfilling scenario was used as a reference for comparison. The technologies were assessed from ecological and economic points of view.
The results are presented in terms of global warming potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, consumption of primary energy carriers and welfare costs. From the simulations, gasification followed by catalytic combustion with energy recovery in a combined cycle appeared to be the most competitive technology from an ecological point of view. On the other hand, this alternative was more expensive than incineration. A sensitivity analysis was done regarding electricity prices to show which technology wins at what value of the unit price of electricity (SEK/kW h).
Within this study, it was possible to make a comparison both between a combined cycle and a Rankine cycle (a system pair) and at the same time between flame combustion and catalytic combustion (a technology pair). To use gasification just as a treatment technology is not more appealing than incineration, but the possibility of combining gasification with a combined cycle is attractive in terms of electricity production.
This research was done in connection with an empirical R&D work on both gasification of waste and catalytic combustion of the gasified waste at the Division of Chemical Technology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden.
2005. Vol. 46, no 5, 797-819 p.
Technology assessment; Material flow analysis; Substance flow analysis; Life cycle assessment; Life cycle costing; Thermal technologies; ORWARE