Energy, Vol.181, 455-467, 2019
Township-based bioenergy systems for distributed energy supply and efficient household waste re-utilisation: Techno-economic and environmental feasibility
Sustainable waste management and climate change have been two of the major challenges worldwide. This study designed township-based bioenergy systems to treat solid waste in Glasgow based on anaerobic digestion and gasification technologies. The economic feasibility and environmental impacts (i.e. global warming potential, eutrophication potential, and acidification potential) were evaluated using Monte Carlo simulation-based cost-benefit analysis and life cycle assessment. It was found that township-based bioenergy systems could save over 300 kg of CO2 per tonne of municipal solid waste treated when biogenic carbon is excluded. It was shown that the proposed systems have profitability chances ranging from 68 to 98%, when the sale of by-products (digestate and biochar) is considered. This study also explored the effects of by-product selling and carbon tax on the economic feasibility of township-based bioenergy systems. The township-based bioenergy system can satisfy 20-23% of electricity demands and 4-5% of heat demands of each township served. The study can facilitate investors and policymakers to make informed decisions about planning distributed Waste-to-Energy (WtE) systems. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.