Evaluation of options for energy recovery from municipal solid waste in India using the hierarchical analytical network process

J. D. Nixon, P. K. Dey, S. K. Ghosh, P. A. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)
436 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper a Hierarchical Analytical Network Process (HANP) model is demonstrated for evaluating alternative technologies for generating electricity from MSW in India. The technological alternatives and evaluation criteria for the HANP study are characterised by reviewing the literature and consulting experts in the field of waste management. Technologies reviewed in the context of India include landfill, anaerobic digestion, incineration, pelletisation and gasification. To investigate the sensitivity of the result, we examine variations in expert opinions and carry out an Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) analysis for comparison. We find that anaerobic digestion is the preferred technology for generating electricity from MSW in India. Gasification is indicated as the preferred technology in an AHP model due to the exclusion of criteria dependencies and in an HANP analysis when placing a high priority on net output and retention time. We conclude that HANP successfully provides a structured framework for recommending which technologies to pursue in India, and the adoption of such tools is critical at a time when key investments in infrastructure are being made. Therefore the presented methodology is thought to have a wider potential for investors, policy makers, researchers and plant developers in India and elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Waste Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Waste Management, [59, (2013)] DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2013.06.052



  • Analytical hierarchy process (AHP)
  • Hierarchical analytical network process (HANP)
  • Multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM)
  • Municipal solid waste (MSW) management
  • Waste to energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Energy(all)


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