Energy recovery and greenhouse gas reduction potentials from municipal solid waste including food waste in Japan

Sakai, S.; Yano, J.; Hirai, Y. (2014) Presented at Proceedings Venice 2014, Fifth International Symposium on Energy from Biomass and Waste, Venice, Italy, November 18, 2014


This study reviewed and introduced potential for energy recovery and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction by food waste prevention and use of anaerobic digestion (AD). A waste composition survey revealed that food waste accounted for 39.9% of household waste. Food loss accounted for 39.4% of food waste, and should be avoided even if there is a trade-off of GHG emissions reduction between the production phase and treatment (energy recovery using AD) phase. In total, 4.1 million t-CO2eq was emitted annually from food loss production. Considering 17.1 million tons of food waste was generated in Japan, the energy recovery potential from food waste through AD was estimated to be 50.4 PJ/yr. A roadmap for the recovery efficiency and AD facility was introduced for 2030 for energy recovery potential from AD, and was expected to be 2,700 GWh/yr (410 MW) from 8.0 million tons of food waste. This produced electricity could also aid a reduction in emissions by 2.1 million t-CO2/yr in 2030. AD would be an attractive treatment method for local municipalities for waste that is difficult to incinerate with energy recovery.