New method reduces energy loss during waste combustion

In heat and power plants that use municipal waste as raw material, not all energy contained in the waste is able to be used in the form of heat and electricity. In fact, a large amount of energy is lost in the combustion process.

In his research project, doctoral student Eboh Francis Chinweuba has developed a new method for making the process more effective and thus enabling a greater energy yield.

”The method is based on calculating the maximum energy yield for the combustion of solid municipal waste. I have also introduced a method for enabling improvements in the combustion process and calculated the cost in the long term, based on different efficiency enhancement methods and on existing technology in the plant,” says Eboh Francis Chinweuba.

Higher accuracy

The methods have been developed based on statistical calculations, data modelling and simulations. The new calculation model also takes into account the composition of the waste, which makes this method more accurate compared to other methods.

“In the project, we concluded that our method for estimating the total energy content is superior to existing methods, where only the energy yielded is calculated today. The method provides a more realistic description of the efficiency changes that are possible, based on the limitations of the chosen method for converting waste into energy,” Eboh Francis Chinweuba explains.

Identify changes for the best effect

From this, it is possible to identify which changes are possible and which are not in order to achieve the best effect.

The research project also shows that a district heating network is the form of process plants for waste management that is most profitable in the long run if you look at income and production costs.

The research project is in line with the UN's global sustainability goals in the areas of energy, environment, economy, sustainable cities and communities, and infrastructure.

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Eboh Francis Chinweuba defended his thesis on 15 November at the University of Borås.

Doctoral Thesis: Efficiency Improvements in Waste-to-Energy Combustion Processes: Method Development and Evaluation (pdf)

Research area: Resource Recovery

Main supervisor: Professor Tobias Richards

Text: Solveig Klug
Photo: David Castor
Portrait photo: Suss Wilén