Energy recovery from municipal solid waste plays a key role in sustainable waste management and energy security. However, there are numerous technologies that vary in suitability for different economic and social climates. This study sets out to develop and apply a multi-criteria decision making methodology that can be used to evaluate the trade-offs between the benefits, opportunities, costs and risks of alternative energy from waste technologies in both developed and developing countries. The technologies considered are mass burn incineration, refuse derived fuel incineration, gasification, anaerobic digestion and landfill gas recovery. By incorporating qualitative and quantitative assessments, a preference ranking of the alternative technologies is produced. The effect of variations in decision criteria weightings are analysed in a sensitivity analysis. The methodology is applied principally to compare and assess energy recovery from waste options in the UK and India. These two countries have been selected as they could both benefit from further development of their waste-to-energy strategies, but have different technical and socio-economic challenges to consider. It is concluded that gasification is the preferred technology for the UK, whereas anaerobic digestion is the preferred technology for India. We believe that the presented methodology will be of particular value for waste-to-energy decision-makers in both developed and developing countries.
- Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP)
- Benefits Opportunities Costs and Risks (BOCR)
- Energy policy
- Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM)
- Waste-to-Energy (WtE)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Waste Management and Disposal