This article presents an optimization model that incorporates LCA methodology and captures important characteristics of waste management systems. The most attractive waste management options are in the model identified as part the optimization. The model renders it possible to apply different optimization objectives such as minimizing costs or greenhouse gas emissions or to prioritise several objectives given different weights. An illustrative case is analyzed, covering alternative treatments of 1 tonne residual household waste: incineration of the full amount or sorting out organic waste for biogas production for either CHP generation or as fuel in vehicles. The case study illustrates, that what is the optimal solution depends on the objective and assumptions regarding the background system – here illustrated with different assumptions regarding displaced electricity production. The article shows that it is feasible to combine LCA approaches with optimization and highlights the need for including the integrated waste and energy system into the model.
Proceedings Sardinia 2013, 2013
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Sardinia 2013 - 14th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium