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Environmental System Analysis of Waste Management: Experiences from Applications of the ORWARE Model
KTH, Superseded Departments, Chemical Engineering and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5535-6368
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Waste management has gone through a history of shiftingproblems, demands, and strategies over the years. In contrastto the long prevailing view that the problem could be solved byhiding or moving it, waste is now viewed as a problem rangingfrom local to global concern, and as being an integral part ofseveral sectors in society. Decisive for this view has beensociety’s increasing complexity and thus the increasingcomplexity of waste, together with a general development ofenvironmental consciousness, moving from local focus on pointemission sources, to regional and global issues of more complexnature.

This thesis is about the development and application orware;a model for computer aided environmental systems analysis ofmunicipal waste management. Its origin is the hypothesis thatwidened perspectives are needed in waste managementdecision-making to avoid severe sub-optimisation ofenvironmental performance. With a strong foundation in lifecycle assessment (LCA), orware aims to cover the environmentalimpacts over the entire life cycle of waste management. It alsoperforms substance flow analysis (SFA) calculations at a ratherdetailed level of the system.

Applying orware has confirmed the importance of applyingsystems perspective and of taking into account site specificdifferences in analysis and planning of waste manage-ment,rather than relying on overly simplified solutions. Somefindings can be general-ised and used as guidelines to reduceenvironmental impact of waste management. Recovery of materialand energy resources from waste generally leads to netreductions in energy use and environmental impact, because ofthe savings this brings about in other sectors. Waste treatmentwith low rate of energy and materials recovery should thereforebe avoided. The exact choice of technology however depends onwhat products can be recovered andhow they are used.

Despite the complexity of the model and a certain degree ofuser unfriendliness, involved stakeholders have expressed thevalue of participating in orware case studies. It providesimproved decision-basis, but also wider understanding of thecomplexity of waste management and of environmental issues ingeneral.

The thesis also contains a first suggestion of a frameworkto handle uncertainty in orware, based on a review of types ofuncertainty in LCA and tools to handle it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2000. , x p.
Series
Trita-KET-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2000:15
Keyword [en]
municipal solid waste (MSW), waste management, waste management planning, model, environmental systems analysis, life cycle assessment (LCA), substance flow analysis (SFA), substance flows, environmental impact, energy, uncertainty
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-3055OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-3055DiVA: diva2:8806
Public defence
2000-12-08, 00:00 (English)
Note
QC 20100413 NR 20140805Available from: 2000-12-07 Created: 2000-12-07 Last updated: 2010-04-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Waste Modelling Using Substance Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Waste Modelling Using Substance Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment
1998 (English)In: Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association’s Annual Meeting, Stockholm: KTH , 1998, 15pp- p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Computer models of municipal waste management have been developed initially to focus on cost minimization. As focus in local planning changed, the objective of these models now include environmental optimization. The development of life-cycle assessment (LCA) as a standard means to quantify environmental impact, and of substance flow analysis (SFA) as a means to track down causes of environmental problems has offered new possibilities in this field. The ORWARE (ORganic WAste REsearch) connects LCA and SFA for evaluation of environmental impact in waste planning. Despite the holistic approach of waste planning models, they do not necessarily facilitate decision making.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 1998
Keyword
Environmental Engineering, Waste modeling, Substance flow analysis, Life cycle assessment, Mathematical models, Life cycle, Municipal engineering, Computer simulation, Environmental impact, Optimization, Management, Strategic planning, Standards
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12382 (URN)
Conference
91st Annual Meeting & Exposition of the Air & Waste Management Association; San Diego, CA, USA; 14 June 1998 through 18 June 1998
Note
QC 20100414Available from: 2010-04-14 Created: 2010-04-14 Last updated: 2011-02-07Bibliographically approved
2. Planning Biodegradable Waste Management in Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Planning Biodegradable Waste Management in Stockholm
1999 (English)In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, Vol. 3, no 4, 43-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The environmental impact of the management of biodegradable waste in Stockholm, based mainly on incineration and landfilling, was compared to systems with significant nutrient recycling; large-scale composting, anaerobic digestion, and separate collection and utilization of urine. The systems' emissions, residual products, energy turnover, and resource consumption were evaluated from a life-cycle perspective, using a computerized model, ORWARE (ORganic WAste REsearch model).

Transportation was of relatively low importance to overall environmental impact, even at high rates of nutrient recycling. This is remarkable considering the geographical setting of Stockholm, with high population density and little nearby farmland. Ancillary systems, such as generation of electricity and district heating, were crucial for the overall outcome.

Increased recycling of nutrients in solid biodegradable waste in Stockholm can reduce net environmental impact, whereas separation of human urine to be spread as fertilizer cannot yet be introduced without increased acidification. Increased nutrient recycling from solid biodegradable waste inevitably increases spreading of metals on arable land. Urine is by far the least contaminated residual product. Spreading of all other residuals would be limited by their metal content.

Keyword
biosolids, life-cycle assessment (LCA), municipal waste management, nutrient recycling, ORWARE, substance flow analysis (SFA)
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12390 (URN)
Note
QC 20100415Available from: 2010-04-15 Created: 2010-04-15 Last updated: 2011-02-07Bibliographically approved
3. Evaluating a municipal waste management plan using ORWARE
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluating a municipal waste management plan using ORWARE
1999 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 7, no 4, 271-280 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Environmental consequences of implementing Uppsala's waste management plan have been analysed using ORWARE, a computerized static substance flow model based on life cycle assessment methodology. Normalizing emissions from waste management to total emission loadings in the municipality was tested as a means to improve the evaluation. It was found that anaerobic digestion of biodegradable waste can reduce net environmental impact, while large-scale composting either increases environmental impact or gives less reduction than anaerobic digestion. In either case, metal contamination of digester sludge or compost may limit the feasibility of the systems. Increased materials recycling has the potential of reducing environmental impact, provided that processing of recycled materials causes equal or less environmental impact than extraction and processing of virgin raw materials. Normalization showed that all impact categories were of roughly equal importance. It was shown that easy accessible data published by a Swedish municipality were sufficient to do a relatively comprehensive normalization.

Keyword
environmental impact, normalization, waste management planning
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12391 (URN)10.1016/S0959-6526(99)00086-4 (DOI)
Note
QC 20100415Available from: 2010-04-15 Created: 2010-04-15 Last updated: 2011-02-07Bibliographically approved
4. Hydrogen as a transportation fuel produced from thermal gasification of municipal solid waste: an examination of two integrated technologies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hydrogen as a transportation fuel produced from thermal gasification of municipal solid waste: an examination of two integrated technologies
2001 (English)In: International journal of hydrogen energy, ISSN 0360-3199, Vol. 26, no 11, 1209-1221 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Innovative technologies are required to offset increasing consumption and declining stocks of non-renewable resources. This study examines a possible enhancement of waste management and transportation by integrating two emerging technologies: municipal solid waste (MSW) gasification and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), by fueling FCVs with hydrogen produced from gasified MSW. Material and energy flows were modeled in four MSW management scenarios (incineration, landfill, gasification, gasification with recycling) and four transportation scenarios (hybrid gasoline-electric, methanol FCVs, hydrogen FCVs using hydrogen from natural gas or municipal solid waste). Technological performance deemed feasible within 2010–2020 was assumed. Greenhouse gas emissions and non-renewable energy use were used to assess overall system performance. Gasification with hydrogen production performs as efficiently as incineration, but is advantageous compared to landfilling. Taking into account additional environmental criteria, the model suggests that hydrogen from MSW gasification for FCVs may provide benefits over conventional MSW treatment and transportation systems.

Keyword
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles; Municipal solid waste; Thermal gasification; Life cycle perspective; Energy; Environmental impact
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12393 (URN)10.1016/S0360-3199(01)00074-X (DOI)000171589700010 ()
Note
QC 20100415Available from: 2010-04-15 Created: 2010-04-15 Last updated: 2011-02-08Bibliographically approved
5. ORWARE – A simulation model for organic waste handling systems.: Part 1: Model description
Open this publication in new window or tab >>ORWARE – A simulation model for organic waste handling systems.: Part 1: Model description
Show others...
1997 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, Vol. 21, no 1, 17-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A simulation model, ORWARE (ORganic WAste REsearch), for the handling of organic waste in urban areas has been constructed. The model provides a comprehensive view of the environmental effects, plant nutrient utilisation and energy turnover for this large and complex system. The ORWARE model consists of several sub-models; sewage plant, incineration, landfill, compost, anaerobic digestion, truck transport, transport by sewers, residue transport and spreading of residues on arable land. The model is intended for simulating different scenarios, and the results are: emissions to air and water, energy turnover and the amount of residues returned to arable land. All results are presented, both as the gross figure for the entire system and figures for each process. Throughout the model all physical flows are described by the same variable vector, consisting of 43 substances. This extensive vector facilitates a thorough analysis of the results, but involves some difficulties in acquiring relevant data. In this paper, the model is described. Results from a hypothetical case study are presented in a companion paper.

Keyword
Systems analysis; Modelling; Waste management; Environmental impact; Plant nutrient recycling; Integrated waste management
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-12389 (URN)10.1016/S0921-3449(97)00020-7 (DOI)
Note
QC 20100415Available from: 2010-04-15 Created: 2010-04-15 Last updated: 2011-02-08Bibliographically approved

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