Workshop Proceedings: QUOVADIS Waste-to-Fuel Conversion? A Thinkshop

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Waste incineration practices are currently being diversified and optimised in terms of the efficiency of the recovery of the energy embedded in the waste. One of these tendencies is the conversion of non-hazardous waste into an adequate form for utilisation in an efficient combustion process. The fact that Directive 2000/76/EC on the incineration of waste (WID) now covers both incineration and co-incineration is inter alia recognition of the above described practices. In recital (7) of this Directive it is stated that ”therefore, a high level of environmental protection and human health protection requires the setting and maintaining of stringent operational conditions, technical requirements and emission limit values for plants incinerating or coincinerating waste within the Community.”

“The limit values set should prevent or limit so far as practicable negative effects on the environment and the resulting risks to human health.” In this context, the issue of trading and the need for the development of relevant standards to be used in commercial transactions and utilisation of waste-derived fuels became apparent and were addressed by various CEN Technical Committees.

In Europe, in the last ten years, energy policy targets and waste management legislation gave an impetus to the usage of waste derived fuels based on non hazardous wastes. These fuels, having an average content of 50 - 60% on biogenics, may contribute considerably to the reduction of CO2 emission and the doubling of the share of renewable energy. Moreover, due to liberalisation and need for cost reduction, industry is interested in less expensive homogenous substitute fuels of a specified quality.

At present, the main end-users are the cement and lime industry. However, the market chances in the potential bigger market of the power generation sector are increasing also due to the standardisation effort undertaken. Furthermore, the waste management sectors of the New Member States and Acceding Countries are characterised by an increasing of residual wastes quantities within the municipal solid wastes. At the moment these countries are still characterised by a large disparity between landfilling, which is the major disposal option for all categories of waste, and incineration.

In the framework of Project QUOVADIS, which aims at validation of technical specifications produced for so-called Solid Recovered Fuels (CEN TC 343) a series of dissemination activities are planned in order to exchange the various experiences concerning the use of non-hazardous waste in waste-to-fuel conversion and its subsequent application.

This workshop was the first event of these actions and was organised as a discussion platform to trigger a lively discussion among the participants.
This report gives an overview on all papers presented and highlights the most important conclusions of the event.

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