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Proceedings of ISET2016 International Conference on Energy Systems and Developments

ICESD2016
February 19-20, 2016, Pune, Maharashtra, India

ICESD2016-000
WASTE TO ENERGY GENERATION IN INDIA
Niharika Mahesh Deshpande
Mtech student, Sardar Patel College of Engineering
Andheri, Maharashtra, India
Email: niharikamd12@gmail.com

ABSTRACT
India is one of the most rapidly developing countries in
the world. Currently India depends mainly upon fossil fuels
for energy and thus has to pay a huge bill at the end of every
contractual period for imports. India holds a huge potential for
renewable resources of energy like solar, wind etc. waste
materials are one of them. The waste materials that are
produced daily from different sources can be used to produce
energy from which we can get electricity. Waste-to-Energy
(WTE) Technology, the objective of which is treating
municipal solid waste (MSW) to reduce its volume as well as
generating energy and electricity to add value to the process.
This paper discusses MSW materials as a renewable energy
source. This paper focuses on the technologies used for
obtaining energy from waste. It also takes the overview of
WTE scenario in India, WTE generation potential of India and
WTE projects in India.
Keywords
waste-to-energy,
municipal solid waste, India.

renewable

conventional ones. Waste-to-energy (WTE) conversion is


becoming popular in Asia as an environmentally friendly
technology. India is the one of the most rapidly developing
country in the world. The large amount of increase in waste
materials is because of the rapid industrialization and
population growth. The MSW can be a good source of energy
as the amount of waste is increasing every day, and can help in
meeting the demand of the electrical energy in India. WTE is
the process of generating energy in the form of electricity
and/or heat from the waste using various technologies. WTE is
an energy recovery process. The WTE technology should be
taken into the consideration for following reasons:

energy,

INTRODUCTION
The natural resources in the form of fossil fuels are the
raw materials from which electrical energy is generated and
the day to day life of the people of todays world is solely
dependent on the electrical energy. Worldwide research and
developments on renewable energy technologies have proved
renewable energy as a potential, sustainable, and
environmentally friendly alternative energy source to the

Inadequate supply of fossil fuels,


Increase in the power demand due to rapid industrial
and population growth,
In areas where electricity is not available or local
electrical energy cost is high,
Unavailability of land for disposal of large volumes of
waste material due to rapid growing population.

WASTE TO ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES


WTE technology provides an alternative source of
renewable energy in a world with limited or challenged fossil
reserves. MSW is considered a source of renewable energy
because it contains a large amount of biological and renewable
materials. Most WTE processes produce electricity directly
through combustion, or produce a combustible fuel
commodity, such as methane, methanol, ethanol or synthetic
fuels. Normally, there are 2 (Two) ways to convert MSW to
useful heat and electricity:

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a) Thermal Process
b) Biological Process

used to turn water into steam, which is used to power a steamturbine generator to produce electricity. Next generation waste
incinerators also incorporate air-pollution control systems.

Processed solid waste combustion technology /


Refuse derived fuel (RDF) burning:
Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) or solid recovered fuel (SRF)
is a fuel produced by shredding and dehydrating MSW with a
Waste converter technology. RDF consists largely of
combustible components of municipal waste such as plastics
and biodegradable waste. Produced heat is used for the power
generation.

Figure 2.

Figure 1.

Options for energy production from MSW

A. Thermal process
Thermal process is the combustion of MSW to produce
heat. Heat can then be used to produce steam to drive a turbine
for the production of electricity.
1. Incineration:
Incineration technology is the controlled combustion of
waste with the recovery of heat to produce steam that in turn
produces power through steam turbines. Complete combustion
optimally involves a two-stage transformation of fuel. Solid
waste into CO2 and water vapour.
Depending upon the pre-treatment methodology, there are
mainly two types of MSW combustion technologies available.

Unprocessed solid waste combustion technology /


mass burning :
This is the most commonly used technology. Municipal
waste can be directly combusted in waste-to-energy
incinerators as a fuel with minimal processing, in a process
known as mass burn. Heat from the combustion process is

Incineration process block diagram

2. Gasification :
The extraction of maximum heat from a given fuel
depends upon the efficiency of mixing the fuel with oxygen or
air. This is perfectly achieved in the case of gaseous fuels.
That is why conversion of solid waste into gaseous fuel is
considered to be one of the best options.
Gasification is the partial oxidation of solid fuel at
elevated temperatures to produce a flammable mixture of
hydrogen (H2), CO, methane (CH4), and CO2 known as
producer gas. It contains H2 (15-20%), CO (10-20%), CH4 (15%), CO2 (9-12%) and N2 (45-55%).
Producer gas can be used to fuel high efficiency power
cycles like combustion turbines, fuel cells, and various kinds
of combined cycles. Producer gas can also be used in chemical
synthesis of transportation fuels, commodity chemicals, and
even hydrogen fuel.
3. Pyrolysis:
Pyrolysis uses heat to break down combustible polymeric
materials in the absence of oxygen, producing a mixture of
combustible gases (primarily methane, complex hydrocarbons,
hydrogen, and carbon monoxide), liquids and solid residues.
The products of pyrolysis process are: (i) a gas mixture; (ii) a
liquid (bio-oil/tar); (iii) a solid residue (carbon black).

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Two technologies exist and differ on the method of heat


transfer: fast pyrolysis for production of bio-oil and slow
pyrolysis for production of charcoal called carbon black. The
gas generated by either of these processes can be used in
boilers to provide heat, or it can be cleaned up and used in
combustion turbine generators. Carbon black can be used as
catalyst, filler material and can also be used to absorb CO2
and other emissions from coal-fired power plants.
The calorific values of pyrolysis gas typically lie between
5 and 15 MJ/Nm3 based on composition of MSW and
between 15 and 30 MJ/Nm3 on RDF.

Figure 4.

Pyrolysis process

Table 1.

Process details of conversion technologies

Conversion
process

Air / oxygen
supply

Temp.
(C)

Products

Incineration

In excess

800-1200

Heat

Gasification

Less than
stoichiometric

800-1200

Heat,
Producer gas,

300-600

Heat,
fuel
oil,
Combustible
Gas, Char

oxygen
required
Pyrolysis

Total absence

B. Bio-chemical conversion

Figure 3.

General flow diagram of an WTE power plant based on


gasification technology

1. Biomethanation/ Anaerobic digestion (AD)


In this method, the waste is exposed to anaerobic microbes,
like bacteria, which break down the organic matter in the
absence of oxygen. The process generates biogas with high
content of methane (5570%) which can directly be used as
fuel and by employing gas engines can also generate
electricity. This process is also termed as Biomethanation.
The complete combustion of 1m3 of CH4 (methane gas)
provides about 9000 kcal of heat and after proper pretreatment, in internal combustion engines electric energy can
be produced (or both heat and electricity if a cogeneration
engine is used).

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tons per day (TPD) of waste at an average rate of 0.5 kg of


waste per person per day.
Table 2.
State Wise MSW Generation and Energy
Potential in 2011 and 2020

Maharashtra

2011
Total
MSW
(TPD)
22434.35

Energy
Potential
(MW)
446.44

2020
Total
MSW
(TPD)
25033.24

Energy
Potential
(MW)
523.19

Uttar Pradesh

13651.39

271.66

15736.25

328.89

West Bengal

12069.24

240.18

13031.28

272.35

Tamil Nadu
Andhra
Pradesh
Karnataka

9501.77

189.09

9948.80

207.93

9998.97

198.98

10732.24

224.30

8296.02

165.09

8992.86

187.95

Delhi

11873.06

236.27

15326.68

320.33

Gujarat
Madhya
Pradesh
Punjab

7930.91

157.83

8805.97

184.04

4633.63

92.21

5271.18

110.17

4645.00

92.97

5051.64

105.58

Rajasthan

4671.89

43.48

5286.89

110.50

Haryana

2184.78

38.94

2490.78

52.06

Bihar

1956.778

33.61

2170.08

45.35

Kerela

1689.02

21.43

1779.28

37.19

Chhattisgarh

1077.02

18.76

1201.69

25.12

Jharkhand

942.55

16.70

1056.53

22.08

Orissa
Jammu and
Kashmir
Uttarakhand

839.25

14.85

901.28

18.84

424.00

8.44

820.75

17.15

341.73

6.80

474.58

9.92

Assam

221.92

4.42

378.49

7.91

Goa

185.66

3.69

272.54

5.70

Pondicherry

137.90

2.74

259.47

5.42

Tripura
Andman and
Nicobaar
Islands
Himachal
Pradesh
Mizoram

105.46

2.10

151.90

3.17

71.53

1.42

128.30

2.68

64.37

1.28

76.98

1.61

61.03

1.21

70.91

1.48

Manipur

54.25

1.08

67.23

1.41

Meghalay
Dadarand
Nagar Haveli
Nagaland
Daman and
Diu

25.73

0.51

59.76

1.25

25.63

0.51

35.35

0.74

14.52

0.29

37.12

0.78

25.63

0.51

16.18

0.34

State/Union
Territory

Figure 5.
Flow diagram of an MSW power plant based on
biomethanation technology

Biogas can be used to power a gas engine or turbine or it


can be compressed and purified for use as vehicle fuel. Biogas
plants can transfer electrical energy to the main utility grid, or
they can generate power for use on-site in applications like
lighting, processing plants, etc.
Benefits of WTE conversion
Some of the advantages of using solid waste materials as
a source of energy are illustrated below.
Solid waste materials are an abundant and renewable
source of energy.
One of the major advantages of waste materials is
that it can be used to generate electricity with the
same equipment or in the same power plants that are
now burning fossil fuels.
WTE conversion technology is ecofriendly.
WTE is not associated with environmental impacts
such as acid rain, mine spoils, open pits, oil spills,
radioactive waste disposal or the damming of rivers.
WTE generation potential in India
With a population that accounts to nearly 17% of the
worlds overall count, the amount of waste generated in India
is perhaps quite imaginable. Urban India generates 188,500

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State/Union
Territory
Sikkim
Arunachal
Pradesh
Lakshwadeep

2011
Total
MSW
(TPD)
14.71

Energy
Potential
(MW)
0.29

2020
Total
MSW
(TPD)
16.17

Energy
Potential
(MW)
0.34

13.56

0.27

14.04

0.31

3.74

0.07

4.18

0.09

135702

2836.16

Total In India 120908


2406.06
Source: Saini et al., 2012 [6]

Status of WTE power projects in India


The first MSW power plant was a project with
incineration technology using 300 TPD waste to produce 3.5
MW power installed at Timarpur in Delhi 1986. the RDF
based power plants in Hyderabad and Vijayawada and
biomethanation plant at Lucknow- all did not work as
expected and eventually were shut down. The plants were
closed down due to public outcry, problems of marketing of
compost, poor quality of feed stock, improper choice of
technology and due to non availability of the right quantity
and quality of wastes as was promised or envisaged. The
lesson from the above plant had taught all the concerned
agencies to take up the future projects carefully. The municipal
corporation signed agreements with the private promoters
wherein, the municipal corporation was expected to provide
land and garbage free of cost while the promoter would run
the plant commercially. Only a few agreements appear to have
been converted into real projects.
WTE projects based on Municipal Solid Waste (MSW),
installed in the country as of 31st March 2015 are just 154
MW.

2 MT/day capacity biomethanation plant in Katol


Municipal Council, Dist. Nagpur generates 60, 000 m3
(approximate) biogas. Generated biogas provided free to
few families below poverty line.

In Maharashtra, Pune Municipal Corporation encourages


societies to install biogas plants. Electricity generated by

the 5MTPD capacity bio gas plant installed in Model


colony, Pune is used for the 200 street lights.

250 kW project using incineration technology, is under


implementation by IISc, Bangalore.

Conclusion
WTE is the clean, green and beneficial method of power
generation. Considering the future population growth of India,
MSW can be the one of the best resources for the power
generation. WTE is the best solution for the disposal of solid
waste. India is having potential to generate close to over
3000MW of energy from MSW by 2020. WTE helps to
conserve the fossil fuels for future. WTE is also environment
friendly technology.
References
[1] Ministry of New and Renewable Energy,
www.mnre.gov.in.
[2] India energy security scenario,
www.indiaenergy.gov.in.
[3] National Environmental Engineering Research
Institute (NEERI).
[4] EAI Energy Alternatives India, www.eai.in.
[5] Planning Commission. Report of the Task Force on
Waste to Energy (In the context of Integrated MSW
Management), 2014.
[6] Saini S, Rao PS, Patil Y. City Based Analysis of MSW
to Energy Generation in India, Calculation of State
wise Potential and Tariff Comparison with EU,
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 2012;
37:407- 416.
[7] Sudhir Kumar, Technology options for municipal
solid waste-to-energy project, TERI Information
Monitor on Environmental Science 5(1): 111.

[8] Preeti Jain, Studies on Waste-to-Energy Technologies


in India & a detailed study of Waste-to-Energy Plants
in Delhi, International Journal of Advanced Research
(2014), Volume 2, Issue 1, 109-116.

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