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Joint project "Waste management to support the energy turnaround"

 

The overarching aim of this joint project is to optimise the contribution of the Swiss waste management system in terms of environmental and economic performance, and to develop strategies that are socially robust. The focus will be on all energetically significant waste streams and include energy recovery as well as indirect energy savings from recycling.

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Project description (ongoing research project)

The current waste management system has significant potential for improvement in the areas of municipal and industrial waste. The systematic analysis and optimisation of the overall system, considering energy recovery from waste fractions (either directly by means of municipal or industrial waste-to-energy technologies, or indirectly through the re-use of resources) is a highly complex and challenging task and will require a transdisciplinary approach.

Aim

The joint project will encompass municipal as well as industrial waste management and include industries of high relevance to energy. The main objectives are as follows:

  • To identify and assess potential measures for increased eco-efficiency for the most energy-relevant waste streams in the Swiss waste management system and for the most energy intensive industries
  • To analyse the need for investments and financial viability/economic performance and value creation of an environmentally optimal waste management system at the national level, as well as by sector
  • To analyse barriers to, and drivers of, the transition to optimal waste management systems, and facilitate their practical implementation by integrating knowledge and views of the players involved in the Swiss waste management sector
  • To support the implementation and operation of complex waste-to-energy systems through the formulation of conceptual schemes and mathematical models aimed at supporting strategies for dealing with planning/scheduling problems under uncertain conditions

The project targets direct stakeholders of Swiss waste management systems, including industrial and municipal waste management companies, public authorities as well as companies using waste as fuels. Tailor-made strategies will be identified for each industrial entity.

Relevance

Optimal municipal solid waste management can increase the current average level of efficiency of electricity and heat use, and optimise the material recycling of waste fractions. Additionally, a considerable fraction of the industrial waste stemming from several sectors contains highly valuable components that can be utilised in waste-to-energy technologies. Systematic management of industrial waste-to-energy can result in a higher share of waste in the plant’s energy mix, thus reducing the plant’s dependency on non-renewable energy sources.

Original title

Sustainable waste and resource management to support the energy turnaround (wastEturn)

Principal Investigators

Leader of the joint project

  • Prof. Stefanie Hellweg, Institut für Umweltingenieurwissenschaften, ETH Zürich

Deputy leader of the joint project

  • Prof. Konrad Hungerbühler, Institut für Chemie- und Bioingenieurwissenschaften, ETH Zürich

Sub-projects

The joint project consists of four research projects

Optimising the energy recovery and the sustainability of Swiss municipal solid waste management

  • Prof. Stefanie Hellweg, Institut für Umweltingenieurwissenschaften, ETH Zürich

Optimisation of industrial waste-to-energy (WtE) and resource recovery systems

  • Prof. Konrad Hungerbühler, Institut für Chemie- und Bioingenieurwissenschaften, ETH Zürich; Dr. Stavros Papadokonstantakis, Dr. Elisabet Capon

Economic Assessment of Industrial and Municipal Waste Treatment Options and Waste-to-Energy (WtE) Systems

  • Prof. Christoph Hugi, Institut für Ecopreneurship, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Muttenz

Initiating Transitions of Swiss Municipal Solid Waste Management (InTraWaste)

  • Prof. Michael Stauffacher, Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zürich

 

 

Further information on this content

 Contact

Prof. Stefanie Hellweg Institut für Umweltingenieurwissenschaften
ETH Zürich
Gebäude HPZ E. 31.2
John-von-Neumann-Weg 9
8093 Zürich +41 44 633 43 37 stefanie.hellweg@ifu.baug.ethz.ch

Products of the project