Wed / 31.01. @ 11:30
The world is facing ever increasing amounts of waste, which impairs public health and pollutes the environment. More than half the world’s population does not have access to regular waste collection, while some of the waste management practices are inadequate. Each year, nations around the globe generate 1.3 billion tonnes of waste, the figure which is expected to rise to 4 billion tonnes by 2100. Among the biggest waste producers in the world are the United States, China, Brazil, Japan and Germany. Furthermore, the United Nations Environment Program predicts that the amount of waste will probably double in lower-income African and Asian cities because of population growth, urbanization and rising consumption.
The steady increase in solid waste quantities, especially packaging waste in which plastic waste makes most of it, is a direct consequence of economic growth, where product disposal after use is neglected. This is particularly pronounced in a "flood" of cheap but non-durable products on the market. Consequences are significant, and the problem of solid waste is recognized as a priority environmental problem all around the world.
The European Union is strongly pushing the agenda of circular economy in which promotes recycling and recovery of waste as an imperative in waste management. Along with favoring the environment such new paradigm is consequence of the need to extract useful raw materials from waste streams (still one-third of plastic waste ends up on EU landfills). Despite the high recycling targets for near future in the EU, not all the waste can be favorably recycled due to technical, economic or environmental reasons.
One way of dealing with waste is incineration, which if done properly can be used to recover energy from it. Also by thermally treating the waste, potentially harmful and/or toxic substances are removed from the material recovery flow to avoid inclusion of these dangerous components into material (e.g. intended for use in food chains).
Apart from energy, different types of energy vectors and chemicals can be produced from various sorts of waste and waste materials using different technologies, like refuse derived fuels, transport fuels, synthetic gas, biomethane, monomers, etc.
Finally, the presentation will try to address a central issue: Is there a place for energy recovery of waste in the circular economy paradigm? or Can recycling and incineration coexist?
Prof. Daniel Rolph Schneider
FSB, University of Zagreb
Dr. sc. Daniel Rolph Schneider is full professor at the Department of Energy, Power
Engineering and Environment at University of Zagreb-Faculty of Mechanical
Engineering and naval Architecture where he has been working from 1993. He was the
Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of
Croatia in the Directorate for Environmental Management, from 2007 to 2009. From
2004 to 2007 he worked at the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund of
Republic of Croatia. His field of work includes energy conversion technologies, waste
management and waste-to- energy systems, renewable energy, and climate change. In his
present position as a university researcher he has more than 24 years of professional
experience in the energy and environment sector.