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Is Waste a Good Source of Energy? Dr. Jeffrey Morris Sound Resource Management Group, Inc. Olympia, WA 98502 jeff.morri...

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Is Waste a Good Source of Energy?

Dr. Jeffrey Morris Sound Resource Management Group, Inc. Olympia, WA 98502 [email protected] Tel 360.867.1033

Earth, Wind & Fire Energy Summit -- Oct 4, 2014

Energy Savings from Recycling vs. Energy Generated from Combustion/Gasification of MSW Materials Million Btus per Ton 250

Virgin-Content Production Recycled-Content Production

200

Recycling Energy Conservation 150

WTE Electricity Generation WTE = Waste-to-Energy MSW = Municipal Solid Waste

100

50

0

Alum Cans

PET Bottles

HDPE Bottles

Newspapers

Cardboard

Tin Cans

Glass Bottles

MSW WTE Facility, Spokane, WA

MSW WTE Pollution Control Equipment

GHG Emissions (pounds CO2e) per kWh

Carbon Footprints for Electricity Generation 4.5 4.0

3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 Solar

Natural Gas

Coal

MSW WTE

Film Plastic WTE

Wood WTE

Sources: Kim, H. C.; Fthenakis, V.; Choi J-K.; Turney, D. E., 2012. Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Thin-film Photovoltaic Electricity Generation – Systematic Review and Harmonization. Journal of Industrial Ecology 16 (S1): S110-S121; Morris, J., 2010. Bury or burn North American MSW? LCAs provide answers for climate impacts & carbon neutral power potential. Environmental Science & Technology 44 (20): 79447949; Morris, J., 2014. Recycle, Bury, or Burn Wood Waste Biomass? Journal of Industrial Ecology, in peer review; and Whitaker, M. B.; Heath, G. A.; Burkhardt, III, J. J.; Turchi, C. S., 2013. Life Cycle Assessment of a Power Tower Concentrating Solar Plant and the Impacts of Key Design Alternatives. Environmental Science & Technology 47 ( ): 5896-5903.

Motivations for Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) 

Provide environmental performance assessments for competing products or services



Evaluate environmental impacts that are otherwise not counted or are discounted in making choices



Provide assessments of multidimensional environmental impacts in monetary units in order to compare against the economic bottom line



Connect the dots in complex systems

Schematic of a Product’s Life Cycle Energy

Raw Materials Acquisition

Energy

Materials Manufacture

Energy

Product Manufacture

Energy

Energy

Product Use or Consumption

Recovery, Recycle, Landfill, WTE Conversion Reuse

Energy

Environmental Pollution

Environmental Pollution

Environmental Pollution

Environmental Environmental Pollution Pollution

Product Reuse

Material Recycling

WTE vs. Recycling Climate Impacts Paper & Cardboard

WTE vs. Recycling Climate Impacts Film Plastic (LDPE)

Wood Chip Piles, 49 MW Biomass Plant Anderson, CA

Source: Dr. Mary Booth, Partnership for Policy Integrity, www.pfpi.net

Life Cycle Environmental Impacts for Clean Wood Waste – Recycle, Bury or Burn Number of Std. Dev. Above/(Below) Mean

3.0

Reconstituted Wood Paper Pulp Fuel (NGas Sub) Fuel (Coal Sub) 0.0

LFGTE (75%)

LF Flare (75%) LF Vent (0%) WTE

-3.0 Climate Change

Acidification

Eutrophication

Respiratory Diseases

Non-Cancers

Cancers

Ecotoxicity

Monetized Overall Score

Monetization Estimates • Climate Change – eCO2 @ $50 per ton • Acidification – eSO2 @ $290 per ton • Eutrophication – eN @ $4 per ton • Human Health-Respiratory – ePM2.5 @ $10,000 per ton • Human Health-Non-Cancers – eToluene @ $30 per ton • Human Health-Cancers – eBenzene @ $3,030 per ton • Ecotoxicity – e2,4-D @ $3,280 per ton

Source Separated Recycling Rates (Seattle 2012) vs. Multi-Family Mixed Waste Processing Recovery Rates SingleFamily Newspaper Cardboard Mixed Paper Plastics Glass Metals Wood Yard Debris Food Waste Total

MultiCommercial Self-Haul Family

Total

Multi-Family Dirty MRF

96% 92 87 29 92 55 0 99 62

83% 80 67 14 76 22 0 56 9

79% 88 74 15 77 72 0 93 55

18 34 5 1 20 57 0 79 0

86% 86 72 16 82 62 0 94 51

35 75 35 50 30 75 ? ? ?

71%

32%

61%

11%

55%

25% + ?%

Source Separated Recycling & Composting Trends for Seattle, WA

What Do We Do with Residual Wastes as They Decline – MRBT, LFGTE or WTE? Monetized Overall Environmental Impact (Standard deviations above(+)/below(-) the average impact for all options) 3.00

2.06

2.00

1.00 0.38 0.00 -0.23 -0.50 -1.00

-1.02

-2.00 MRBT HI

MRBT LO

LFGTE 80%

Report available at ww.ecocycle.org/specialreports/leftovers

LFGTE 40%

WTE

Sources  







Morris, J., 1996. Recycling versus incineration: An energy conservation analysis, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 47 (1-3 Special Issue on Energy-from-Waste): 277-293. Morris, J., 2005. Comparative LCAs for curbside recycling versus either landfilling or incineration with energy recovery. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 10(4): 273284. Morris, J., 2010. Bury or burn North American MSW? LCAs provide answers for climate impacts & carbon neutral power potential. Environmental Science & Technology 44(20): 7944-7949. Morris, J., Matthews, H.S., Morawski, C., 2013. Review and meta-analysis of 82 studies on end-of-life management methods for source separated organics. Waste Management 33: 545-551. Morris, J., 2014. Recycle, bury or burn clean wood waste. Journal of Industrial Ecology, in peer review.

Thank you.

Dr. Jeffrey Morris Sound Resource Management Group, Inc. Olympia, WA 98502 [email protected] Tel 360.867.1033