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Margallo M.,University of Cantabria | Aldaco R.,University of Cantabria | Bala A.,Escola Superior de Comerc Internacional ESCI UPF | Fullana P.,Escola Superior de Comerc Internacional ESCI UPF | Irabien A.,University of Cantabria
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2012

In the year 2010 more than 24 Mt and 5 Mt of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) were generated in Spain and Portugal. Landfilling, incineration and recycling are the most common treatments. In 2010, in the Iberian Peninsula between 58-62% of the MSW generated was sent to the landfill, 9-19 % was incinerated and the rest was recycled and composting (EUROSTAT, 2010). Despite landfilling is still the most common practice, waste treatment by means of an incineration process has increased. The main advantages of this type of waste treatment are the reduction of mass and volume of residues and the energy recovery. Nevertheless, incineration had gained a bad reputation owing to the environmental impact, in particular, due to the emissions of acid gases, dioxins and furans (PCDD/F) and greenhouse gases. To assess the environmental advantages and disadvantages as well as the potential environmental impacts of waste incineration a life cycle perspective is required. Within this framework is the development of FENIX-Giving Packaging a New Life, a 3-year European LIFE+ funded project. This work is just the first step within this project where a database and a model based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to assess the environmental impacts of waste incineration in Spain and Portugal will be developed. Particularly, the aim of this paper is to review the different technologies applied to MSW solid waste incineration and to carry out both the diagnosis of the current situation at the incineration plants in Spain and Portugal and to collect data to develop the Life Cycle Inventory (LCI). Copyright © 2012, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l. Source


Margallo M.,University of Cantabria | Aldaco R.,University of Cantabria | Bala A.,Escola Superior de Comerc Internacional ESCI UPF | Fullana P.,Escola Superior de Comerc Internacional ESCI UPF | Irabien A.,University of Cantabria
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2010

This project develops an algorithm for allowing municipalities of dispersed villages of Cantabria, an Autonomous Community situated in the north coast of Spain, to check the environmental feasibility of extending the selective collection in their municipalities. The algorithm will allow these municipalities to introduce their own data and compare two waste management systems (Scenario A and B). Scenario A is referred to the current waste management system in which no selective collection is being carried out. Consequently, light packaging material (LP) and paper and cardboard (P/C) are collected together with the municipal solid wastes (MSW), following the same path. Scenario B is the hypothetic new waste management system in which selective collection is introduced. To determine the environmental preference of these scenarios, an algorithm based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been developed. Only if environmental impacts in Scenario B are lower than in A when running the model the extension of the selective collection for each individual municipality should be recommended. Copyright © 2010, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l. Source


Margallo M.,University of Cantabria | Dominguez-Ramos A.,University of Cantabria | Aldaco R.,University of Cantabria | Bala A.,Escola Superior de Comerc Internacional ESCI UPF | And 2 more authors.
Resources, Conservation and Recycling | Year: 2014

This study proposes a technical procedure based on a life cycle approach for implementation of the environmental sustainability assessment (ESA) of several waste-to-energy (WtE) plants located in Spain. This methodology uses two main variables: the natural resources sustainability (NRS) and the environmental burdens sustainability (EBS). NRS includes the consumption of energy, materials, and water, whereas EBS considers five burdens to air, five burdens to water, and two burdens to land. To reduce the complexity of ESA, all variables were normalised and weighted using the threshold values proposed in the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register regulation. The results showed the plants studied had a greater consumption of natural resources than Spain, ranging from 1.1 to 2.0 times higher than the Spanish reference consumption. The comparison of Spain with the BREF reference on waste incineration showed that only in the variable related to materials, did Spain have a lower consumption (1.80 times lower). In terms of EBS, air and land impacts were the highest contributors to global burden. The WtE plants presented higher burdens to air and water than Spain, whereas only one plant exceeded the average burden to land of Spain. Finally, this paper demonstrated the usefulness of the ESA methodology to reduce the complexity of LCA and assist the decision-making process in choosing the best option from an environmental point of view. This procedure can be used to obtain an overview of the environmental performance of WtE plants, as well as to assess individual burdens and thereby determine the main environmental hotspots, thereby improving the critical points of the process. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source


Margallo M.,University of Cantabria | Aldaco R.,University of Cantabria | Irabien A.,University of Cantabria | Carrillo V.,PE International | And 3 more authors.
Waste Management and Research | Year: 2014

In recent years, waste management systems have been evaluated using a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach. A main shortcoming of prior studies was the focus on a mixture of waste with different characteristics. The estimation of emissions and consumptions associated with each waste fraction in these studies presented allocation problems. Waste-to-energy (WTE) incineration is a clear example in which municipal solid waste (MSW), comprising many types of materials, is processed to produce several outputs. This paper investigates an approach to better understand incineration processes in Spain and Portugal by applying a multi-input/output allocation model. The application of this model enabled predictions of WTE inputs and outputs, including the consumption of ancillary materials and combustibles, air emissions, solid wastes, and the energy produced during the combustion of each waste fraction. © The Author(s) 2014. Source

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