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Life cycle assessment of solid refuse fuel production from MSW in Korea

  • Sora Yi
  • Yong-Chul Jang
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

Solid refuse fuel (SRF) produced from waste materials is a promising fuel that can be utilized for energy recovery in industries. This study considered both characterization and weighting modeling as life cycle assessment (LCA) results. This study aimed to analyze the flows of materials and energy and to evaluate the environmental impact of SRF plants using LCA and compared them with an incineration plant. Based on the results of material and energy flow analysis, SRF products had various energy potentials depending on the treatment method of municipal solid waste (MSW) and replaced the current fossil fuels by SRF combustion. Global impacts were mainly influenced by energy consumption, especially drying methods in the production of SRF, and affected the results of the weighting analysis. The SRF plant with a bio-drying option was evaluated as the best effective practice in the weighting analysis. The LCA results in this study indicated 0.021–9.88 points according to drying methods for SRF production and 1.38 points for incineration. In the sensitivity analysis, the environmental impact of SRF production was found to be significantly affected by the drying methods for MSW and the utilization of fossil energy. Thus, improvement of the drying options could significantly reduce the environmental impact.

Keywords

Waste to energy Environmental impact MSW SRF Pellet Fluff 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by Korea Environment Institute: A Study on Appropriate Distribution for Utilization of Waste Resources and Bioenergy (ΙΙ). This research was also supported by the Korea Ministry of Environment (Korea MOE) as waste to energy recycling human resource development project. We are thankful for kind contributions of Sudokwon Landfill Site Management Cooperation and Institute for Advanced Engineering.

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Resource RecirculationKorea Environment InstituteSejong-siSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringChungnam National UniversityDaejeonSouth Korea

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