Comparing the greenhouse gas emissions from three alternative waste combustion concepts

Pasi Vainikka (Corresponding Author), Eemeli Tsupari, Kai Sipilä, Mikko Hupa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Three alternative condensing mode power and combined heat and power (CHP) waste-to-energy concepts were compared in terms of their impacts on the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a heat and power generation system. The concepts included (i) grate, (ii) bubbling fluidised bed (BFB) and (iii) circulating fluidised bed (CFB) combustion of waste. The BFB and CFB take advantage of advanced combustion technology which enabled them to reach electric efficiency up to 35% and 41% in condensing mode, respectively, whereas 28% (based on the lower heating value) was applied for the grate fired unit. A simple energy system model was applied in calculating the GHG emissions in different scenarios where coal or natural gas was substituted in power generation and mix of fuel oil and natural gas in heat generation by waste combustion. Landfilling and waste transportation were not considered in the model. GHG emissions were reduced significantly in all of the considered scenarios where the waste combustion concepts substituted coal based power generation. With the exception of condensing mode grate incinerator the different waste combustion scenarios resulted approximately in 1 Mton of fossil CO2-eq. emission reduction per 1 Mton of municipal solid waste (MSW) incinerated. When natural gas based power generation was substituted by electricity from the waste combustion significant GHG emission reductions were not achieved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)426-437
    JournalWaste Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    Financial support from the Bioenergy NoE (through contract SES6-CT-2003-502788) and the Graduate School in Chemical Engineering are gratefully acknowledged.


    • Co-combustion
    • coal
    • combustion
    • emissions
    • energy model
    • greenhouse gas
    • municipal solid waste
    • solid recovered fuel


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