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Article

Waste-to-Energy Processes as a Municipality-Level Waste Management Strategy: A Case Study of Kočevje, Slovenia

1
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Kardeljeva ploščad 5, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Aškerčeva cesta 6, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2024, 12(5), 1010; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr12051010
Submission received: 5 April 2024 / Revised: 30 April 2024 / Accepted: 15 May 2024 / Published: 15 May 2024
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Municipal Solid Waste for Energy Production and Resource Recovery)

Abstract

The escalating challenge of waste management demands innovative strategies to mitigate environmental impacts and harness valuable resources. This study investigates waste-to-energy (WtE) technologies for municipal waste management in Kočevje, Slovenia. An analysis of available waste streams reveals substantial energy potential from mixed municipal waste, biodegradable waste, and livestock manure. Various WtE technologies, including incineration, pyrolysis, gasification, and anaerobic digestion, are compared. The results show that processing mixed municipal waste using thermochemical processes could annually yield up to 0.98 GWh of electricity, and, separately, 3.22 GWh of useable waste heat for district heating or industrial applications. Furthermore, by treating 90% of the biodegradable waste, up to 1.31 GWh of electricity and 1.76 GWh of usable waste heat could be generated annually from biodegradable municipal waste and livestock manure using anaerobic digestion and biogas combustion in a combined heat and power facility. Gasification coupled with a gas-turbine-based combined heat and power cycle is suggested as optimal. Integration of WtE technologies could yield 2.29 GWh of electricity and 3.55 GWh of useable waste heat annually, representing an annual exergy yield of 2.98 GWh. Within the Kočevje municipality, this amount of energy could cover 23.6% of the annual household electricity needs and cover the annual space and water heating requirements of 10.0% of households with district heating. Additionally, CO2-eq. emissions could be reduced by up to 20%, while further offsetting emissions associated with electricity and district heat generation by 1907 tons annually. These findings highlight the potential of WtE technologies to enhance municipal self-sustainability and reduce landfill waste.
Keywords: waste-to-energy; biogas; incineration; pyrolysis; gasification; municipal solid waste; waste management; energy conversion; waste utilization; exergy; steam turbine; gas turbine; ICE waste-to-energy; biogas; incineration; pyrolysis; gasification; municipal solid waste; waste management; energy conversion; waste utilization; exergy; steam turbine; gas turbine; ICE

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MDPI and ACS Style

Prebilič, V.; Može, M.; Golobič, I. Waste-to-Energy Processes as a Municipality-Level Waste Management Strategy: A Case Study of Kočevje, Slovenia. Processes 2024, 12, 1010. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr12051010

AMA Style

Prebilič V, Može M, Golobič I. Waste-to-Energy Processes as a Municipality-Level Waste Management Strategy: A Case Study of Kočevje, Slovenia. Processes. 2024; 12(5):1010. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr12051010

Chicago/Turabian Style

Prebilič, Vladimir, Matic Može, and Iztok Golobič. 2024. "Waste-to-Energy Processes as a Municipality-Level Waste Management Strategy: A Case Study of Kočevje, Slovenia" Processes 12, no. 5: 1010. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr12051010

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