Environmental Impact Assessment Review ( IF 4.135 ) Pub Date : 2020-09-15 , DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2020.106469 Ana Ramos; Abel Rouboa
In this study, municipal solid waste (MSW) composition in distinct world locations is compared and a case study is assessed. Three waste-to-energy (WtE) techniques are employed within the framework of an industrial partnership. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and a brief social contextualization including the production of renewable energy from the waste generated worldwide were held to attain a holistic view and attract the interest of multiple stakeholders.
Incineration depicted a sustainable profile with improved results for global warming potential and terrestrial ecotoxicity potential. Regular gasification revealed the best results for eutrophication, acidification, marine aquatic ecotoxicity and human toxicity potential. Two-stage plasma gasification showed negative values for all impact categories i.e. achieving environmental credits. The estimate of the electricity produced from the waste generated per capita showed a fair coverage of the electrical demand in distinct world areas.
To the best of the authors' knowledge, there are no reports connecting the electricity use, the waste production and the renewable energy achieved from WtE for different world regions. Therefore, this study supports the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable alternatives, reducing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining the comfort and commodities suitable for a comfortable quality of life.