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Waste-to-Energy Technology

  • By: Russell McKenna
  • In: Green Technology: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney
  • Subject:Environmental Sciences (general), Environmental Technology, Policy & Management

The terms waste-to-energy (WtE) or energy from waste (EfW) refer to the general approach of obtaining useful energy from different waste sources. Although there are several types of waste that are suitable for this sort of approach and several different processing routes, the combustion (incineration) of municipal solid waste currently accounts for the majority of processing capacity in this area, and is therefore the focus of this entry.

While there are obvious environmental benefits resulting from the exploitation of waste streams that would otherwise be sent to landfill sites, the primary motivation for waste incineration tends to be to reduce the volume and hazard of waste, as well as to capture and/or destroy potentially harmful substances. In this regard, it is useful to consider a possible ...

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