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Mohd Shahir Zahari et al.

/ International J ournal of Engineering Science and Technology
Vol. 2(5), 2010, 1338-1344
 
STUDY ON SOLID WASTE
GENERATION IN KUANTAN,
MALAYSIA: ITS POTENTIAL FOR
ENERGY GENERATION
Mohd Shahir Zahari
1
, Wan Mohd Faizal Wan Ishak
1
,
Mohd Armi Abu Samah
2


1
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Earth Resources,
University Malaysia Pahang,
Lebuhraya Tun Razak, 26300 Kuantan,
Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia.

2
Department of Environmental Sciences,
Faculty of Environmental Studies,
Universiti Putra Malaysia,
43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Abstract
In Malaysia, most of the municipal solid waste goes to the landfill or dumping sites. The non-hazardous and
general industrial waste are often treated together. The existing dumping sites mostly are not properly
engineered and managed. Pollutants that are released or discharged from the disposal sites could contaminate
groundwater system, flora and fauna which will eventually cause direct and indirect impact to human’s life
(Mahmood, 2000). Presently, the amount of solid waste was produced in Kuantan is about 500 tons daily,
consisting of 60% domestic waste and 40% of industrial and construction waste. However, the present sanitary
landfill is nearly filled up (Ismail, 2006). In order to overcome this problem, an alternative by using incineration
(waste to energy) system should be applied. By using this technology, solid waste will combusted to generate
energy from burning heat. A study was conducted in Kuantan area to determine the daily solid waste generation.
These waste generated rates were then calculated for the energy conversion. The results indicated that average
value of total energy produced from solid waste of Kuantan is 19.3808kWh for year 2008 and 17.8942kWh for
year 2009 and could be utilized as electricity, in order to save amount of energy and cost used.
Keywords: Municipal solid waste; Waste to energy; Incineration; Burning heat; Solid waste generation
1. Introduction
In the last two decades, MSW management became a major concern and is presently one of the main public
subjects under discussion. This is probably due to the considerable increase of MSW production in both absolute
and per capita values. The amount of MSW produced increases with economic growth and the demand for
efficient management solution (Magrinho et. al., 2006). The Malaysian population has been increasing at a rate
of 2.4 % per annum or about 600,000 per annum since 1994. With this population growth, the MSW generation
also increases, which makes MSW management crucial (Mohd Armi, 2009).
. Statistics show that the world population reached six billion in 2001 with 46% of this population residing
in urban areas (HMGN and MoPE, 2003). Global municipal solid waste generated in 1997 was about 0.49
billion tons with an estimated annual growth rate of 3.2–4.5% in developed nations and 2–3% in developing
nations (Suocheng et al., 2001). Rapid urbanization and industrialization changed the characteristics of solid
waste generated. As a consequence, the solid waste management system (SWMS) needs to be updated to suit the
waste quality, quantity and composition (Latifah et al., 2009). Increasing of population growth in Malaysia has
brought along with the increasing of the amount of waste generated. The national average of waste generated is
at 0.5 – 0.8kg/person/day, but in the cities the figures have escalated to 1.7 kg/person/day.

Presently, the amount of solid wastes was produced in Kuantan is about 500 tons daily, consisting of 300
tons domestic and 200 tons industrial and construction wastes. These solid wastes will then being dumped at
J erangau J abor Landfill, Kuantan. However, that sanitary landfill is nearly filled up and the new cell is in the
planning for construction. At the same time, the government has planned for a gasification unit with ash melting
ISSN: 0975-5462 1338
Mohd Shahir Zahari et al. / International J ournal of Engineering Science and Technology
Vol. 2(5), 2010, 1338-1344
 
incineration system to be implemented in Malaysia as an alternative to the old concept of just dumping all the
waste that is generated (Kathirvale, 2003).

Waste to energy is a valorisation process and in some European countries the energy from incinerators
accounts for a considerable proportion of the national usage (Agamuthu, 2001). However, burning of MSW to
produce energy would reduce the usage of fossil fuel and hence the conservation of natural resources which
otherwise would become depleted.

The generation and movement of solid wastes can be determined by performing a detailed material balance
analysis for each sources of waste generation (Tchobanoglous et al., 1993). The amount of wastes can be
calculated if the amount of a manufactured product and the fate of the products during consumption is known
(Salleh, 2003). Figure 1 has show the sketch for material balance analysis.

Outflow
(Combustion gases and ashes)



Inflow
(Material)



System boundary

Outflow
(Solid waste, solid in wastewater)

Figure 1: Sketch for material balance analysis used to determined solid waste generation rates
Source: Tchobanoglous et al., 1993.

To prolong the life of that landfill, Kuantan Municipal Council has embarked on 3R program five years ago
but it not receiving good respond from the residents. Therefore, other alternatives should also be implemented in
order to reduce the burden of the landfill and also open opportunities for new technologies in treating the
municipal solid waste (MSW). Hence, this paper will present the solid waste generation in Kuantan and its
potential for energy generation by using alternative; incineration system.

2. Methodology
Solid waste management systems at Kuantan were studied. Two types of data sources is referred in this
studies, primary and secondary. Primary sources is obtained by interviewing local authorities related to waste
management such as Kuantan municipality and Perbadanan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal and also private operator
appointed by the local council, Alam Flora Sdn. Bhd. Secondary data sources obtained from yearly reports,
magazine and local council department record.
Data collected from both types is then groups into solid waste characteristic either they are trash, rubbish,
refuse, garbage, animal solid waste and organic waste, gaseous liquid or semi liquid waste, semi solid or solid
waste. Trash, rubbish, refuse and garbage are our main focus in these studies.
The location of this study is located at J erangau J abor Landfill, Kuantan. All data of solid wastes collected
will be studied further in order to know the total quantity and composition of solid wastes collected in Kuantan
and below is the solid waste management flow for this study







Stored material (raw
material, products, solid
waste)
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Mohd Shahir Zahari et al. / International J ournal of Engineering Science and Technology
Vol. 2(5), 2010, 1338-1344
 

















Figure 2: Solid Waste Management Systems Studies
These solid wastes have been collected by contractors and will focus at residential, open areas, industrial
and commercial sectors only. Then, the total average of solid waste generation per hour by its source should be
identified first before potential of energy could be evaluated. There are some formulas to determine the potential
electrical energy generation rate:

Total of average solid waste generation per hour:
= Average of solid waste per capita (kg/day) x 2.2046
24 hours
= lb per hour

P = Total of average solid waste generation per hour x heat value x efficiency
3412 Btu per hour
= kWh

3. Results and discussion
Based on the result, the conversion of net weight of solid wastes collected to total of average of solid waste
generation per hour is being calculated in Table 4.4a and Table 4.4b below. It seems that in every month for
year 2008, the total average of solid waste generation per hour (lb/hours) for solid wastes from residential area is
8.8748 lb/hours followed by open areas is 2.1089 lb/hours, industrial is 4.2558 lb/hours and commercial is
0.0147 lb/hours. (Figure 2).

While, monthly analysis data for year 2009 shows that total average of solid waste generation per hour for
residential area is 9.6534 lb/hours, open areas is 1.6224 lb/hours, industrial is 3.5132 lb/hours and commercial
is 0.0135 lb/hours. (Figure 3). The value of total average of solid waste generation per hour will then is being
used in calculating potential energy formula.
Solid Waste Management Systems Studies
Primary Data
Municipality
Perbadanan Sisa
Pepejal Negara
Alam Flora
Secondary
Data

Reports,
Magazine
Department
records
Data collections
Identify solid waste compositions
for electrical energy generation.
Identify electrical energy rate
generated
Estimation of energy saving value
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Vol. 2(5), 2010, 1338-1344
 


Figure 3 Total average of solid waste generation per hour (monthly 2008)


Figure 4 Total average of solid waste generation per hour (monthly 2009)
Heat Value
Heating value is defined as the amount of energy released when a fuel is burned completely in a steady-flow
process and the products are returned to the state of the reactants. Various type of component of solid waste may
have different heating value. Since there is no detail of components of solid waste in data obtained, we cannot
use specific heat value for each waste. Therefore we have to estimate heat value of solid wastes collected by
using heat value of major components contain in the every source of wastes collected. This estimation is done
by referring past researches and journals. (Table 1)
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Vol. 2(5), 2010, 1338-1344
 

Efficiency
Various types of incinerators are currently manufactured. Efficiency of waste combustion is depend on the
incineration technologies, the wastes’ combustibility characteristics, such as ignition temperature, flash point,
and flammability limits determine the necessary operating temperature, O
2
concentration, and residence time for
greatest waste minimization. Efficiency of waste combustion commonly can reach at range 50% to 85%. And
there can reach 70% complete combustion of waste for incinerator which converts heat to electricity. Therefore,
take efficiency equal to 70% (0.7) (Eugene, et.al., 1996)

Table 1 Heat Value and Efficiency of Component of Solid Wastes
Source Major components Heat Value (Btu/lb) Efficiency
Residential
Rubbish and garbage; residential
sources
4,300 0.7
Open Areas
Combustible waste, paper, cartons,
rags, wood scraps, combustible floor
sweepings; domestic, commercial, and
industrial sources
6,500 0.7
Industrial
Combustibles requiring hearth, retort,
or grate burning equipment
10,000 0.7
Commercial
Animal and vegetable wastes;
restaurants, hotels, markets;
institutional, commercial, and club
sources
2,500 0.7
3.1 Analysis Potential Energy Generation
In order to proceed with the next step of converting energy, there is formula that must be used to calculate
the potential energy generation. That formula is given below:
Energy, P:
= Total of average solid waste generation/hour * heat value * efficiency
3412 Btu per hour
= kWh
**The value of 3412 Btu/hour is being used because to obtain value in electrical energy produced that is
kWh. 1 kWh equal to 3412 Btu/hour or 1.341 hp (Pulkrabek, 1997).

Example of calculation:
To calculate potential energy of solid waste from residential area in J anuary 2008;
 Total average of solid waste generation per hour =8.2836 lb/hours
 Heat value (residential) =4,300 Btu/lb
 Thermal Efficiency =0.7
Therefore;
Energy, P = 8.2836 lb/hours * 4,300Btu/lb * 0.7
3412
= 7.3076 kWh
Average value of total energy potential collected in 2008 = 19.3808 kWh
Average value of total energy potential collected in 2009 = 17.8942 kWh

(Complete conversion can be referred to Figure 4 and 5.)
By assuming combustion is to be done for 24 hours per day and the average total energy collected is
19.3803 kWh, thus the amount of electrical energy generated in 1 day equal to 465.1272 kWh/day or
13,953.816 kWh/month. If this combustion is to be continued for one year, thus the amount of electrical
energy generated can be achieved 167,445.792 kWh/year.
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Mohd Shahir Zahari et al. / International J ournal of Engineering Science and Technology
Vol. 2(5), 2010, 1338-1344
 

Figure 5 Conversion of Potential Energy Generation (monthly 2008)


Figure 6 Conversion of Potential Energy Generation (monthly 2009)


Conclusion
From observation and analysis, a conclusion can be made that solid waste generated in Kuantan has
potential to generate energy. By generate 500 tone/day, this solid wastes can be converted to electrical energy as
much 465.1272 kWh/day, 13,953.816 kWh permonth or 167,445.792 kWh/year. This can save more cost of
electricity in Kuantan per year and that saving cost can also being used to the other purpose like country’s
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Vol. 2(5), 2010, 1338-1344
 
development, education and many more. Finally, when evaluating the amount of energy that could be recovered
by incinerate of solid wastes, it could be said that incineration does give high returns on energy while staying
low on environmental effect and on the energy consumed to treat the municipal solid waste. Hence, this
technology needs to be developed and understood in order to be implemented for treating the waste generated in
Kuantan.
Acknowledgement
The authors are gratefully acknowledged to Universiti Malaysia Pahang for financial support in this research.
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