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LCA Application in Sustainable MSWM: LCA offers an excellent framework (LCA) methodology for evaluating municipal solid waste

(MSW) management strategies. Many of MSWM applications are using LCA methodology as a decision support tool for the selection of sound MSW management strategy. LCA in MSWM is being used in a wide range of countries that prominently include Italy, Spain, Sweden, Germany, UK, Turkey, USA, Singapore and China all around the world (Bovea et al, 2010). Although LCA is not an exact scientific tool, however it offers an assessment methodology based on scientific approach to evaluate the product or system impacts on the environment (Winkler & Bilitewski 2007). The identification of significant pollutants emitted from the contamination source is the first step in evaluating the impact associated with anthropic activity. Municipal solid waste (MSW) incinerators are still generally perceived as great pollutant sources, in particular due to their gaseous emissions from the stack, which constitute the major effluent from the plant. In this work a life cycle assessment and an integrated environmental monitoring system were applied together, in order to obtain complete information about the incineration process and its environmental impact. The former is a proven methodology, but its application to waste management systems constitutes a relatively new field of application with a great developmental potential. The contribution of the incineration process to the different environmental impact categories was investigated, finding many avoided impacts due to energy recovery. The latter is an innovative approach that allows a remarkable understanding of impact due to a contamination source; interesting correlations were found between heavy metals both in gas emissions and in natural matrices in the surroundings. (Morselli, L. (2005). The main reason behind the emerging application of LCA in the MSWM system is due to the comprehensive nature of its impacts that cannot be covered by the other traditional tools alone such as CBA, RA etc, as do not provide comprehensive solution to select least burdensome option for the environment by addressing the environmental burdens associated with products or processes (Ozeler et al., 2006). In the literature as a sustainable solution assessments for MSWM there has been conducted a range of studies to use LCA as an assessment method for the selection of sustainable disposal or management option. Dodbiba et al. (2008) compared context of LCA the Mechanical recycling option to the incineration (Abeliotis, 2011).

extensive recycling or paper or plastics could result in a residual waste enriched in food and garden wastes that would be too wet to incinerate. Germany. 2001). Italy. Denmark. Energy recovered from waste can replace the need for electricity and/or heat from other sources. With an operational life of 20 to 30 years. Sweden.g. parts of France) rendering the environmental footprint of waste incineration very different across Europe. cocombustion. including waste incineration. The net climate change impacts of incineration depends on how much fossil-fuel carbon dioxide is released – both at the incinerator itself and in savings of fossil fuel from conventional energy sources displaced by incineration. comparing incineration with other technologies such as anaerobic digestion. where bulk MSW is burnt with little or no pre-treatment. Holland) and Southern Europe (e. life-cycle assessment (LCA) has been extensively used to evaluate waste management systems. Several case studies have been carried out. Spain. The disposal fees charged are supported by revenue from energy sales. (European Commission. other differences related to the technology and mode of operation may .Incineration: The most widely practised alternative to landfilling is mass-burn incineration. For example. Waste management planners must therefore take careful account of the impact of recycling activities on the availability and composition of waste destined for incineration under long term contracts. incinerators need a guaranteed supply of waste specified composition ranges. The main residue from incineration is a volume-reduced inorganic ash. Reimann (2009) performed a survey of 231 European waste incinerators: the study found large differences between Northern Europe (e.g. In addition to the differences associated with the local regulatory framework and the specific climatic conditions. Incinerators typically operate at scales of over 100. land filling and various levels of recycling. Critical evaluation of reports and papers: Within the last decade. which has virtually no capacity to produce methane when disposed of in landfills. in order to optimize waste management strategies.000 tonnes/year and require waste within a fairly narrow range of calorific value (CV). Modern MSW incinerators are required to recover energy released by the combustion process. Incineration may therefore be considered as a landfill pre-treatment.

Similarly. 2010. Koehler et al. such as incineration with energy recovery. referred in the study as a direct activity consideration. ranging from approximately 10. Turconi et al. based on their comparison between two Danish and Italian incinerators. whereas the most recent ones started operating during the last decade. is credited with reducing the amount of energy (and the associated resource use and emissions) that would otherwise need to be generated. Corti and Sirini (2001) applied the LCA methodology to disposal into landfill (with three different types of landfill management) and to disposal by WTE plants. CEWEP.to a higher degree be the result of local practices and traditions. 130 incinerators were reported in France. (2011) underline the variability in environmental impact potentials when considering either stateof-the-art or older European grate-incineration plants operating diverse flue-gas purification techniques. displaying very different features in particular in terms of (Benhamou. with respect to other waste treatment options such as land filling for example (Beylot et al. Results suggest that the overall impact of thermal treatment is smaller than that of any of the three types of landfill management. although the assessment may include waste treatment in different countries and regions (Schmidt et al.000 tons/year more than 700. Often life-cycle assessments focusing on incineration do not address these local differences. . (2011) highlighted that the use of site-specific data is essential in the assessment of the environmental performance of waste incineration. 2007). typically at a power plant. A system that generates energy. 2012).000 tons/year.. If MSW management systems are compared in isolation without accounting for the system-wide environmental impacts. such a limited perspective may not provide a complete picture of environmental impacts. Their air pollution abatement and energy recovery technologies. In 2007.. However. The importance of site-specific data is more generally observed beyond the case of incineration. According to Liamsanguan and gheewala (2008). Using LCA for MSW management system is evaluated based on a system wide or life cycle perspective. 2010):    Their treatment capacities. Their starting year: the oldest plants still in activity opened in the 1970s.

sanitary landfill has significant impact on photochemical oxidation. Sanitary Landfill. Boesh et al. Landfill with energy recovery facilities is environmentally favorable. Ef and Ei as basis for the R1 efficiency factor of these 231 installations according to the formula given in Annex II of the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC and to determine whether they are Recovery operation (R1) or Disposal operation (D10). Among thermal technology.g. pyrolysisgasification is comparatively more favorable to environment than incineration in global warming. Pyrolysis-gasification is more environmental friendly technology than incineration due to higher energy recovery efficiency. Reimann (2009) used the methodology to calculate the key figures Ep. Incineration and gasification-pyrolysis of the waste treatment technologies are studied in SimaPro software based on input-output materials flow. the generation of waste (the life cycle of the products before they became waste) is not included. Critical evaluation of methodologies: The above discussed academic papers used different types of methodologies for analysing the LCA model with Municipal Solid Waste. The model mainly reflects technologies currently operated in Switzerland.Zaman (2010) analyzed three different waste treatment technologies by life cycle assessment tool. eutrophication and eco-toxicity categories. (2014) used the LCA model of municipal solid waste incineration in a moving grate furnace that. Although. The criterion given in the Directive is . flue gas treatment or material recovery from the incineration residues. We hereby assume ‘zero-burden waste’.e. besides considering energy recovery and conventional metal recovery from the slag. but also enables the application to other regions with similar technology levels. but many reports used alternative methodologies and technologies to explain the LCA model for Municipal Solid Waste management system. Life cycle assessment is an effective tool to analyze waste treatment technology based on environmental performances. also incorporates novel process technologies for metal recovery from fly ash. The model facilitates both an attributional (accounting) and a consequential (changeoriented) scope. e. However. i. The functional unit is the treatment of one tonne of municipal solid waste. incineration is considered as most suitable technology for MSW. Ew. acidification. restriction on land filling is applying more in the developed countries. global warming and acidification. However. difficult emission control system and long time span. due to large land requirement.

but also differences in model databases affected the results although key process data (e. called functional unit.65 for plants permitted . Liamsanguan and gheewala (2008) considered the methodology of comparing between the two methods used for current Phuket MSW management. To compare the two methods of MSW management. Also. The report concluded for methodology that two LCA models employed (SimaPro and EASEWASTE) provided consistent ranking of the scenarios. The results of the environmental evaluation in other areas may be different due to MSW characteristics. plant operation. adopted the methodology based on three main objectives such as (1) modelling the environmental performance of an Italian and a Danish municipal solid waste incinerator in a consequential LCA perspective. residues management and energy substitution. Also. The conclusion clearly stated that For both cases and both parameters.60 for existing plants and ≥ 0. the size of the plant and the geographical location respectively. However. and (3) evaluating the robustness of the LCA conclusions by identifying the influence of modelling and parameter choices. metal recycling) were standardized between the two databases prior to modelling. an .R1 ≥ 0. spatial and temporal factors. For fairness of comparison.g. (2011). and incineration (with energy recovery) is performed. landfilling reversed to be superior when landfill gas is recovered for electricity production. The results of the investigation clearly showed incineration as best technology by finding strong correlations between the values of R1 and the type of energy recovery. The environmental burdens considered in the evaluation are energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission. landfilling (without energy recovery). however important differences in the results were identified for three impact categories: ecotoxicity in water and human toxicity via water. Similarly Turconi et al. energy substitution. a fixed reference point for the environmental evaluation. is defined as 1 ton of MSW treated. These differences were mainly related to the fact that SimaPro did not model input-specific emissions). incineration was found to be superior to the landfilling. (2) evaluating the LCA results with respect to important differences in waste composition. and to a lesser extent global warming. using two LCA modelling tools (SimaPro and EASEWASTE). technology. and related information. the same characteristics of waste are assumed to be treated by both land filling and incineration. The modelling clearly showed that accurate databases and appropriate site-specific process data are critical.

restriction on land filling is applying more in the developed countries. global warming and acidification. eutrophication and eco-toxicity categories. However. However. In context to incineration. pyrolysisgasification is comparatively more favorable to environment than incineration in global warming. the results of the study are of direct relevance. Among thermal technology. Pyrolysis-gasification is more environmental friendly technology than incineration due to higher energy recovery efficiency. with different waste fractions going to different waste management technologies. in the case of small communities where only a single option may be economically viable. would be more efficient than a single option such as incineration or landfilling. However. acidification. Landfill with energy recovery facilities is environmentally favorable. All technologies are favorable to abiotic and ozone layer depletion due to energy recovery from the waste treatment facilities.integrated waste management system based on separation of waste. sanitary landfill has significant impact on photochemical oxidation. Life cycle assessment is an effective tool to analyze waste treatment technology based on environmental performances. due to large land requirement. Zaman (2010) adopted the methodology to analyze three different waste treatment technologies by life cycle assessment tool. Incineration and gasification-pyrolysis of the waste treatment technologies are studied in SimaPro software based on input-output materials flow. Sanitary landfill has the significantly lower environmental impact among other thermal treatment while gases are used for fuel with control emission environment. difficult emission control system and long time span. Sanitary Landfill. . SimaPro software has been applied for analyzing environmental burden by different impact categories.