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Energy From Solid and Liquid Wastes - III

Energy From Solid and Liquid Wastes - III

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Published by Mukul Narayan
It describes about the production of all kinds of energy from solid and liquid wastes.
It describes about the production of all kinds of energy from solid and liquid wastes.

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Published by: Mukul Narayan on Jul 14, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Lecture No: 3Composition of solid and liquid wastes3.1.Composition of solid wastes
It is not possible to give generally valid values for the composition of overall solidwastes both because data in many cases are not available and because waste composition asmentioned in the previous section varies strongly with level of industrialization, type of society and region of the world. For some of the individual types of waste such as residentialwastes some data and available and here it is possible to give some indication of thecomposition of the materials.
3. 2. Composition of residential solid wastes.
The solid wastes generated in residential homes are very often a mixture of severaldifferent materials especially if source separation is not implemented. And the waste istherefore often very complex array of materials.
Figure 3.1
gives an example of generalmunicipal (mainly residential areas) solid waste components in Denmark. The biodegradablefractions are food waste, garden waste, paper, diapers, cardboard, and newsprint, accountingfor almost two third of the combined residential waste stream ( as wet weight). The mainreason why especially the food waste account for such a large fraction (34%) of the totalamount of wastes generated is its relatively high density and water content. Often biodegradable wastes have higher water contents and bulk densities than the inorganicfractions. This is discussed further in the following chapters. The fractions of the wastes thatare considered suitable for treatment and recycling vary with region, tradition, legislation,material types, etc. For instance many of the industrialized countries have already or arecurrently in the process of developing advanced formal programs for recycling of metal,glass, plastic, paper and cardboard. Food and garden waste are often treated biologically. InDenmark for instance only the organic materials in the food and garden waste fractions areconsidered for biological treatment whereas only little paper and cardboard enters the biological treatment facilities as these materials are recycled directly. It is estimated that agrand total of 40% (wet weight) of the total mass of residential solid waste generated inDenmark is suitable for biological treatment such as composting or biogas production. Thisquantity accounts for about 50% of the total amount of residential biodegradable wastesgenerated.
Fig. 3.1. Composition of residential municipal solid waste in Denmark 
The composition of solid wastes generated in residential areas and industries isstrongly affected by the level of development of the society. The general trend in municipalwaste composition across countries with different levels of development is that the percentage of food waste is much higher in developing countries whereas the percentages of  paper and yard wastes are highest in countries with a high level of development.
Table 3.1
gives the average composition of general municipal residential solid waste for different levelsof development and personal income. Some of the reasons for these differences are that indeveloping countries larger amounts of virgin foodstuffs are used at home in food preparationgenerating larger amounts of waste whereas in developed countries more preprocessed foodis used reducing the amount of food waste generated in the residential areas but at the sametime increasing the amount of wrapping materials that needs to be disposed of. In developingcountries larger amounts of organic materials from gardens and parks etc. are disposed of onsite by for instance incineration or composting, and therefore the contents of these wastes inthe general waste stream are lower than in developed countries where they are often handled by the public waste management system.
Table 3.1. Percentage composition (wet weight) of municipal residential solid waste asrelated to regional income( source: Tchobanoglous et al. 1993).ComponentLow- incomecountriesMiddle- incomecountriesHigh-incomecountries
Food waste40-8520-656-30Paper/cardboard1-108-3025-60Plastics1-52-62-8Yard waste1-51-1010-20Other organic2-102-154-15Inorganic1-551-457-35Sum biodegr45-2530-9545-90
The sum of the fractions of biodegradable materials (on a wet weight basis of food, paper and yard wastes) or the inorganic materials in the general waste stream, however, doesnot show any significant trends with level of income and development of the society. The lastrow of Table 3.1 gives the sum of biodegradable wastes as a fractional value for the threelevels of income. On average approximately tow thirds of the general waste stream consistsof biodegradable materials (compare the data in the last row of Table 3.2 with the Danish datain Fig 3.1).Table 3.2. Factors affecting solid waste generation rates
Long terms trendsSeasonal changesWeekly and daily variationsSource typeFamily sizeCollection practiceInfrastructurePopulation densityEconomyStatistical properties------------------------------------------That the fraction of biodegradable wastes is independent on income and developmentdoes not necessarily mean that the total quantities of biodegradable wastes generated (for instance measured in terms of tons of biodegradable wastes generated per capita) are thesame across different countries of regions of the world since the waste generation rates can behighly different and strongly dependent upon several factors related to culture, tradition,society, etc. Some of the most important of these factors influencing waste generation ratesand waste types generated will be discussed in more detail in subsequent sections of thischapter.
3.3. Solid wastes from industry, wastewater and drinking water treatment.
Solid wastes from the industry and from water and wastewater treatment plants are, unlikesolid wastes produced at residential homes, often very homogeneous. For a given industry

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