Energy recovery and greenhouse gas reduction potential from food waste in Japan

Yano J; Sakai S. (2016) Presented at Proceedings of 9th International Conference on Combustion, Incineration/Pyrolysis, Emission and Climate Change (9th i-CIPEC), Kyoto, Japan, September 22, 2016

Waste-to-energy is one effective waste management approach for a sustainable society. The purpose of this study was to clarify the potential for energy recovery and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction that could be achieved by introducing anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities in the process of reconstructing aging incineration facilities in Japan. Using statistical data from 1068 incineration facilities, four future scenarios were considered and compared with the current situation. As results, compared with the current situation the amount of electricity generated could increase by 60 % in 2030, by combining AD facilities for food waste with new, high-efficiency incineration facilities for remaining municipal solid waste (MSW). From a life cycle perspective, net energy recovery in 2030 was approximately three times greater than in 2011, and GHG emission could be reduced by 27 %. The introduction of AD facilities is attractive for small authorities, which currently treat <100 t/day of MSW through incineration facilities without energy recovery. An AD facility is also beneficial for large authorities. On the contrary, in middle-scale authorities that treat 100-299 t/day of MSW, the reconstruction of incineration facilities to include electricity production capabilities requires careful consideration, because it will significantly influence energy recovery and GHG reduction effects.


food waste; municipal solid waste; anaerobic digestion; incineration; waste-to-energy; life cycle analysis