A cost-benefit analysis of waste incineration with advanced bottom ash separation technology : from a system perspective for a Chinese municipality Guanghan / von Jiao Tang
VerfasserTang, Jiao
UmfangIV, 82 Bl. : Ill., graph. Darst.
HochschulschriftWien, Techn. Univ., Master Thesis, 2012
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubtuw:1-50416 Persistent Identifier (URN)
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A cost-benefit analysis of waste incineration with advanced bottom ash separation technology [4.71 mb]
Zusammenfassung (Englisch)

Waste incineration is one of the common practices of effective municipal solid waste management in many EU countries, for it renders useful energy and reduces mass, volume and chemical reactivity of waste components. In contrast, it is by far a less common practice in China, mainly due to the unaffordable investment, operational and maintenance costs when compared to the budget of the Chinese municipalities. A novel technology for the recovery of non-ferrous metals from incineration bottom ash was recently developed. The goal of this thesis is to explore the impact this technology may have on the overall economics of a waste management system by investigating a case scenario for the Chinese municipality of Guanghan with a population of 210,000. Two methodologies have been applied to reach the goal of the thesis: material flow analysis and cost-benefit analysis. Two scenarios were elaborated for the cost-benefit analysis: Scenario I, the baseline scenario, assumes a waste management system with source separation of all types of recyclable materials and that the rest waste flows directly to the landfill; Scenario II, the subject scenario, differs from Scenario I in that metals are not separated at source, but flow with the rest waste to an incinerator before landfilling, where advanced technologies are applied to control air quality and to recover energy, ferrous metal and non-ferrous metals. The following result has been observed: from the waste management system perspective, the benefits outweigh the costs by two million Euro when comparing Scenario II to Scenario I, indicating a higher efficiency in resource allocation. However, the result is highly sensitive to variations in the borrowing cost and the investment cost of equipment and technology. Regarding Guanghan, the following conclusions can be drawn: the costbenefit analysis, which is based partly on uncertain data, indicates potential economic savings for the waste management system as a whole. However, before deciding on waste incineration for improving the environmental and economic performance of Guanghans waste management system, more comprehensive and independently confirmed economic data is required. The study shows the crucial role of data uncertainties of individual waste treatment processes. Decision-makers are advised to take special care in collecting consistent and reliable data, and to take uncertainties into account in their decision making process. This study serves well as a methodological guidance for future assessments.