Title: Biomethanation of solid wastes: analysis of case studies

Authors: RS Arun Kumar, Yen Peng Ting

Addresses: Energy and Environment Resource Group Inc., #8, MM Industries Road, 7th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore 560 004, India. ' Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Abstract: Management of the organic fraction of urban solid waste using anaerobic procedures will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and using biogas, which is a carbon neutral energy, to generate electrical energy will eventually help in reducing the combustion of fossil fuel. Energy recovery in the form of biogas from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated in three different locations is studied. The present status of the biomethanation plants at these locations is reviewed and analysed, in order to understand the prospects of biomethanation as a technological option for managing the increasing urban solid waste sustainability. In spite of the fact that biomethanation is an established technology worldwide, including India, the scale-up of the same has become an uphill task, both for the Central Government and the Urban Local Bodies. Biomethanation for processing the organic fraction of urban solid wastes needs a lot of planning, not only with respect to the design, construction and operation, but also with institutionalising the concept of integrated solid waste management, without which biomethanation would not be a viable option.

Keywords: biomethanation; solid waste management; global warming; energy recovery; case study analysis; sustainability; sustainable development; bioremediation; urban solid waste; anaerobic procedures; greenhouse gas emissions; GHG; biogas; municipal solid waste.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2010.035920

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2010 Vol.43 No.1/2/3, pp.143 - 160

Published online: 09 Oct 2010 *

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