Environmental impacts of residual Municipal Solid Waste incineration: A comparison of 110 French incinerators using a life cycle approach

Abstract : Incineration is the main option for residual Municipal Solid Waste treatment in France. This study compares the environmental performances of 110 French incinerators (i.e. 85% of the total number of plants currently in activity in France) in a Life Cycle Assessment perspective, considering 5 non-toxic impact categories: climate change, photochemical oxidant formation, particulate matter formation, terrestrial acidification and marine eutrophication. Mean, median and lower/upper impact potentials are determined considering the incineration of 1 tonne of French residual Municipal Solid Waste. The results highlight the relatively large variability of the impact potentials as a function of the plant technical performances. In particular, the climate change impact potential of the incineration of 1 tonne of waste ranges from a benefit of 58 kg CO2-eq to a relatively large burden of 408 kg CO2-eq, with 294 kg CO2-eq as the average impact. Two main plant-specific parameters drive the impact potentials regarding the 5 non-toxic impact categories under study: the energy recovery and delivery rate and the NO process-specific emissions. The variability of the impact potentials as a function of incinerator characteristics therefore calls for the use of site-specific data when required by the LCA goal and scope definition phase, in particular when the study focuses on a specific incinerator or on a local waste management plan, and when these data are available
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Submitted on : Friday, July 11, 2014 - 12:10:41 PM
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Antoine Beylot, Jacques Villeneuve. Environmental impacts of residual Municipal Solid Waste incineration: A comparison of 110 French incinerators using a life cycle approach. Waste Management, Elsevier, 2013, 33 (12), pp.2781-2788. ⟨10.1016/j.wasman.2013.07.003⟩. ⟨hal-01022963⟩

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