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CPOTE2020 logo
6th International Conference on
Contemporary Problems of Thermal Engineering
Online | 21-24 September 2020

Abstract CPOTE2020-1194-A

Book of abstracts draft
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The role of energy recovery from waste in the circular economy perspective

Lidia LOMBARDI, Niccolo Cusano University, Italy

The 2030 climate and energy framework includes EU-wide targets and policy objectives for the period from 2021 to 2030, with the following key targets: at least 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels); at least 32% share for renewable energy; at least 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency. In 2018, in the EU, primary energy consumption reached about 57.610 PJ, while final energy consumption reached 41.449 PJ. The contribution to energy production from the waste sector, which is in part renewable, is presently a limited one: the energy recovered in waste incineration plants, cement and lime production plants, anaerobic digestion plants amounts at about 676 PJ, representing about 1,6% of the final energy consumption in the EU. However, the amount of waste-embedded energy sent to incineration or to landfill/disposal in 2012 in the EU was estimated respectively 1805 and 1409 PJ. Waste management in EU is evolving towards sustainable materials management, intended as a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles, in the perspective of circular economy. The Waste Management Hierarchy prioritizes and ranks the various management strategies from most to least environmentally preferred. The hierarchy places emphasis on reducing, reusing, and recycling as key to sustainable materials management. However, for non-recyclable materials, waste-to-energy represents the most preferred option, to save important resources (such as landfill volumes and non-renewable energy), to reduce the contribution to global warming, and to provide an essential contribution to fulfil the goals of a really sustainable waste management. Generating energy from waste that cannot be recycled or reused can contribute to a circular economy and energy diversification. Improving the efficiency of these processes will help to increase energy production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the waste sector. The latest technical solutions for energy recovery from waste will be reviewed, presenting innovative existing plants, the research trends aimed at improving the efficiency of the energy recovery processes from waste and how the future processes will be characterized by combined and integrated recovery pathways.

Keywords: Energy from waste, Efficiency, Circular economy, Renewable energy sources (RES), Greenhouse gases