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Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340

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Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/rser

Waste to energy potential: A case study of Saudi Arabia


O.K.M. Ouda a, S.A. Raza b, A.S. Nizami c,n, M. Rehan c, R. Al-Waked d, N.E. Korres e
a
Department of Civil Engineering, Prince Mohamed Bin Fahd University, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
b
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada
c
Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies (CEES), King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
d
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
e
Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, University of Arkansas, United States

art ic l e i nf o a b s t r a c t

Article history: This paper reviews the global status of waste to energy (WTE) technologies as a mean for renewable
Received 10 September 2015 energy production and municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal method. A case study of the Kingdom of
Received in revised form Saudi Arabia (KSA) under this concept was developed. The WTE opportunities in the KSA is undertaken
5 February 2016
in the context of two scenarios: (1) incineration and (2) refuse derived fuel (RDF) along with bio-
Accepted 4 April 2016
methanation from 2012 to 2035. Biomethanation technology can proved to be the most suitable WTE
technology for KSA due to (a) availability of high food waste volume (37% of total MSW) that can be used
Keywords: as a feedstock, (b) higher efficiency (25–30%) and (c) lowest annual capital ($0.1–0.14/ton) and opera-
Renewable energy tional cost. However, the need for large space for continuous operation might increase operational cost.
Waste-to-energy (WTE) The RDF has an advantage over incineration due to (a) less annual capital ($7.5–11.3/ton) and
Municipal solid waste (MSW)
(b) operational cost ($0.3–0.55/ton), but the high labor skills requirements will most probably be a
Incineration
limitation, if appropriate training and related infrastructure are not scheduled to be included as a pre-
Biomethanation
Refuse derived fuel (RDF)
requisite. The incineration technology also proves to be an efficient solution with a relatively higher
efficiency (25%) and lower operational cost ($1.5–2.5/ton). However, the need for treatment of air and
waterborne pollutants and ash within the incineration facility can be the limiting factors for the
development of this technology in KSA. In 2012, the power generation potential for KSA was estimated at
671 MW and 319.4 MW from incineration and RDF with biomethanation scenarios respectively, which
was forecasted to reach upto 1447 MW and 699.76 MW for both scenarios respectively by 2035.
Therefore, WTE technologies, could make a substantial contribution to the renewable energy production
in KSA as well as alleviating the cost of landfilling and its associated environmental impacts. However,
the decision to select between the two scenarios requires further in-depth financial, technical and
environmental analysis using life cycle assessment (LCA) tool.
& 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Contents

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329
2. Review on WTE technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330
2.1. Incineration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330
2.2. Pyrolysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331
2.3. Gasification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 331
2.4. Plasma arc gasification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332
2.5. RDF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
2.6. Biomethanation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
3. Materials and methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334

Abbreviations: CAGR, compound annual growth rate; CH4, methane; CO2, carbon dioxide; CO, carbon monoxide; GHG, greenhouse gases; H2, hydrogen; KACARE, King
Abdullah City of Atomic and Renewable Energy; KSA, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; LCA, life cycle assessment; LFG, landfill gas; LHV, low heating value; MSW, municipal solid
waste; NCV, net calorific value; N2, nitrogen; O2, oxygen; RDF, refused derived fuel; SSO, source separated organic; SWM, solid waste management; VAP, value-added
products; WTE, waste-to-energy
n
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: nizami_pk@yahoo.com (A.S. Nizami).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2016.04.005
1364-0321/& 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340 329

3.1. Studied region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334


3.2. Selection of WTE Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334
3.3. WTE prediction models. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
3.3.1. Biomethanation process – CH4 estimation and heat to power generation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
3.3.2. RDF process – heat to power generation potential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
3.4. Economic and environmental analysis of WTE technologies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
4. Results and discussion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
4.1. Technical and economic potential of selected WTE technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
4.2. Energy potential of selected WTE technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337
4.3. Sustainability of selected WTE technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 338
4.4. Recycling prospects in KSA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 338
5. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 339
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 339

1. Introduction appropriate treatment of MSW that secures their sustainable


contribution to increasing energy demands is essential [10].
World population is projected to reach 8.2 billion in 2025 with The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is one of the world's largest
current annual growth rate of 1% [1]. The major population growth energy consuming country due to ever increasing population,
will occur in the developing countries, with more than half of it urbanization and living standards [11]. In 2013, the country was
only in Africa [2]. About half of the world's population is currently among 12 largest primary energy consumer countries of the world
either living or moving towards urban areas at a higher rate (1.5%) with total energy consumption of 9 quadrillion British thermal
than the population growth [2]. Urbanization in developing units (Btu) [5]. The current peak demand of electricity is around
countries, especially in Asia, will be higher due to intensified 55 GW that is estimated to double (120 GW) by 2032 [12]. Fossil
industrialization [3]. Therefore, it can be concluded that increase fuels are the only source to meet the energy requirements of the
in energy consumption and waste generation will occur world- country; petroleum cover around 55% and natural gas fulfill
wide (Figs. 1 and 2). Similarly, the world's energy demand is around 45% of KSA's energy needs [13]. The KSA government is
expected to increase up to 58% by 2025 in comparison to current ambitious to generate about 72 GW energy from renewable sour-
demand (46%) [6]. In Asia, for example, the energy demand is ces such as nuclear, solar, wind, geothermal and WTE by 2032 [12–
estimated to increase at an annual rate of 3.7% [7] that will 14].
transform this region into an area of high interest for future energy In KSA, 15.3 million tons of MSW was produced during 2014
developments. with an average rate of 1.4 kg/capita/day. This amount is estimated
At present, fossil fuels are the most relied source of energy to double by 2033 [11]. The collected MSW is disposed to landfills
supply worldwide [7]. Coal, crude oil, and natural gas are used to or dumpsites, after partial recycling of paper and cardboard that is
produce 13,700 TWh of electricity that is approximately 84% of the 10–15% of total MSW [13]. The current land-area demand for
global electricity production (Fig. 3). They are causing serious making new landfills is extremely high (upto 2.8 million m2/year)
[8,12]. The waste management practices are causing environ-
environmental pollution, especially generation of greenhouse
mental and public health problems [13]. Therefore, the KSA Gov-
gases (GHG) and climate change. Therefore, renewable energy
ernment is seeking sustainable solutions for MSW management,
sources have gained more attention in the last two decades [8].
including its treatment and energy recovery as a mean to bridge
The technological advancement, process-cost reduction, and gov-
the ever increasing energy demand–supply gap [12].
ernmental incentives have made renewable energy sector
In KSA, neither such WTE facility exists to convert MSW into
including waste to energy (WTE) more competitive in the energy
energy, nor is the potential of MSW examined as an energy source
market [9]. WTE is a viable option for both municipal solid waste
[4]. Therefore, this study will add a significant value to sustainable
(MSW) disposal and renewable energy production. Current global
waste management strategies and renewable energy production
MSW generation level is 2.4 billion tons per year that is projected
for KSA [11]. This paper examines the potential of power genera-
to reach upto 2.6 billion tons per year by 2025 [4]. Therefore, the
tion from 2012 up to 2035 using WTE technologies for the KSA.
Two scenarios were applied namely incineration and refuse

Fig. 1. Municipal solid waste generated in million ton/year in Asia, Europe and USA
for the 2000–2025 period [4]. The forecast was developed by assuming an average Fig. 2. Energy consumption in TWh for Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Middle East,
MSW generation of about 1.3 kg/capita/year globally. Central and South America and Africa for a period 1990–2030 [5].
330 O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340

derived fuel (RDF) along with biomethanation. These scenarios  Thermochemical technologies use high temperatures to convert
were selected as a result of an extensive literature review in terms waste feedstocks to energy in the form of electricity and heat
of economic, environmental and technological values and KSA and value-added products (VAP). Within thermochemical pro-
waste composition and its energy contents. cess, three technologies are available: pyrolysis, gasification and
incineration [15,16].
 Biochemical technologies convert organic wastes to energy in
the form of liquid or gaseous fuels by using biological agents.
2. Review on WTE technologies The bioproducts produce can be further processed and used in
agriculture, cosmetics, cardboards etc. Within biochemical
The conventional forms of energy generation either for thermal processes, the technologies of biomethanation and fermenta-
or electrical use are under continuous pressure due to detrimental tion are used [17,18].
environmental impacts and thus the deployment of renewable  Physicochemical technologies use chemical agents to convert
energy resources in the energy market has become adamant [12]. organic wastes to energy, typically in the form of liquid fuels.
WTE provides a cost effective solution to both energy demand and Transesterification is the most common physicochemical con-
MSW disposal problems [13]. WTE utilizes three main pathways: version technology [19,20].
thermochemical, physicochemical and biochemical processes
Each of the above mentioned WTE technologies and their
(Fig. 4).
selection depend on the waste origin, capital and operational cost,
technological efficiency and complexity coupled with labor skill
requirements and geographical locations of the plants [8]. The
following sections present an overview of the global status of
different WTE technologies. Based on this literature review, sum-
mary of merits and demerits, technical and economical differences
of each WTE technology and selection of WTE based on waste type
is presented in Tables 1, 2 and 3 respectively, which later on were
used as a criteria for selecting suitable WTE technologies for KSA.

2.1. Incineration

Incineration is one the most integral part of MSW management


in many countries worldwide [28]. According to Chakraborty et al.
[22], around 65–80% of the energy stored in organic materials can
Fig. 3. Global energy consumption in TWh from furnace oil, coal, natural gas, be recovered in the form of heat that can be used in other power
renewable and nuclear for the period 1990–2025 [5]. producing facilities based on thermal supplies [29]. The process

Fig. 4. WTE technologies based on their conversion process.


O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340 331

Table 1
Merits and demerits of WTE technologies [9,14,21–23].

Merits Demerits

Incineration  Volume reduction upto 80%  Air and waterborne pollution


 Mass reduction upto 70%  Cancer forming chemical (dioxins) production
 Can take larger waste amounts  High investment
 Quick treatment  Social opposition
 Solid waste (slag) production
Refuse derived fuel (RDF)  Waste stabilization  Air pollution from power plants where RDF is used
 Waste sterilization  Ash formation and handling in power plant with RDF
 Waste size reduction  High net unit cost per ton
 RDF pellets have high calorific value  Land acquisition
Biomethanation  Low solid production  Contain impurities
 High rate anaerobic composting with energy  Non attractive at large scale
 Nutrient rich digestate as an organic fertilizer  Susceptibility to shocks and overloads
 Cost effective technology  Space requirements
Pyrolysis  Recovers upto 80% energy from waste  Liquid products have low yields
 Reduces land requirements  Pyrolytic water production from organic matter
 Products have higher calorific values  Coke production from liquid products
 Liquid products separation in vapor phase  Byproducts cleaning
 Reduction of MSW volume upto 50-90%  Corrosion of metal tubes used in pyrolysis
 High operating and maintenance cost
Plasma arc gasification  No greenhouse gas (GHG) emission  High operating and capital cost due to high energy requirements
 Any waste substrate can be used
 Technology can be easily expanded
Landfilling  Least cost/cheap option  surface runoff during rains
 If gas is captured and recovered, can be a source of power generation  Soil and groundwater contamination
and heat  High transportation costs
 No skilled labor requirements  Expensive leachate treatment
 Marshy land can be converted into useful land  Significant GHG emissions, if biogas is not captured and
 Natural resources are returned to soil recorded.
 Landfill area requirements
 Odor problems

efficiency of incineration is 25–30% [30]. The end product of 2.2. Pyrolysis


incineration is hot combusted gases, mainly composed of nitrogen
(N2), carbon dioxide (CO2), flue gas, oxygen (O2) and non- The pyrolysis process recovers 80% of the stored energy in
combustible materials [31]. A preview of the market showed carbonaceous waste to liquid fuel and char [34]. Different types of
that between 2006 and 2010, the global market for incinerators reactors have been used for the pyrolysis. In a typical two-stage
(including ancillary facilities) increased from $3.1-5.1 billion; pyrolysis reactor, the first chamber operates at low temperature,
while the second chamber runs at high temperature, where
equivalent to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5%
complete combustion of feedstock occurs. The obtained products
[32]. The Asian market stood second to the European market at
can be used in energy applications after purification and blending
$616 million, which grew above $1.7 billion in 2011 and is
with gasoline fuel [35]. The pyrolysis capacity has grown from
expected to grow by 300% to reach over $6 billion by 2021. The
45,000 MWth in 2004 to 84,500 MWth in 2013 with an increase of
growth in European incineration markets was steady between about 88%. The expected growth of this capacity by 2021 has been
2006 and 2011 with an increase of 11%. However by 2021, it is estimated to 140,157 MWth [36,37]. The total number of pyrolysis
projected that European market will cover 37% of the market total projects has also grown from 391 in 2004 to 747 in 2017 world-
share with over $5 billion of investment in incineration plants wide [38,39]. Pyrolysis is considered to be economically profitable
[32]. The incineration market in North America stood at $187 on large scales that minimizes environmental concerns especially
million in 2006 and forecasted to grow over $2 billion by 2021 in waste minimization, carbon sequestration, soil amendment,
(Fig. 5). The incineration process has the advantage of reducing energy/heat supply and VAP [37]. The metal tubes used in this
waste by 80% weight and 70% by volume basis [23]. Advantages process are corroded because of their repeated use and their
and disadvantages of the incineration process are presented in replacement often reduces the process overall efficiency [21].
Table 1. To minimize the air pollutants emissions, most con- Merits and limitations of this technology are presented in Table 1.
temporary incinerators use an extensive pollutant/emissions It should be noted that increased operating and maintenance costs
control system. Solid residue known as slag is removed from the in comparison to other WTE technologies (Table 2) is a trade-off
factor for the application of this technology.
bottom of the furnace, typically into a quench tank. Slag can be
combined with fly ash and incorporated into cement or other
2.3. Gasification
similar building materials, or simply landfill if its characteristics
are appropriate [28]. Although the capital cost of incineration is
Gasification is an indirect combustion, where an exothermic
lower in comparison to other WTE technologies (Table 2), but it reaction occurs in the reactor when carbon reacts with O2 and
does not directly corresponds to its profitability or viability [33]. produce energy to drive the reaction (Box 1). Temperature, pres-
Ancillary facilities, including pollution control, feedstock handling, sure and O2 concentrations are the main parameters that affect the
building requirements, and other supporting features for incin- gasification process [40]. The produced syngas or synthesis gas is a
erators can represent approximately 40–70% of total project cost mixture of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2) and CO2 that can
[32]. be directly used in gas turbine for electricity production. There are
332 O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340

This table is grouped from studies on power generation technologies with their capital cost per ton per year [24,25], net operational cost per ton [24,25], daily power generation [21], complexity of technology, labor skill level,
Table 3

Efficiency (%)
Selection of WTE technologies based on waste type.

25–30
Food Paper Wood Garden Plastic Cardboard Textile Leather

25

32
18
17
AD √ √  √    

Urban and industrial


Labor skill level Geographic location
Pyrolysis  √ √  √ √  
Gasification  √ √  √ √ √ √

Industrial urban
Incineration  √ √ √ √ √ √ √
RDF  √ √  √ √ √ √
Urban

Urban

Rural
area
Intermediate

Very high
High
Low

Low
Complexity of

Intermediate
technology

Very high
High
Low

Low

Fig. 5. Regional WTE Market for incineration in million dollars for Asia, Europe and
North America for the years 2006, 2011 and 2021 [32].
Daily power generation

many reactor designs suitable for gasification with an overall


efficiency of around 17% [41]. A study by Simbeck and Johnson [38]
This cost includes cost of producing the RDF pellet. The actual total capital cost will depend upon the type of application.
0.04–0.045b

0.015–0.02d
0.01–0.014b

0.01–0.014b
0.01–0.02b

showed that Asia had the greatest market share in gasification


(MW/ton)

technology with China taking the lead with 29 gasifiers compared


to 3 for USA in 2010. Plausible trends of growth between two
periods 2004–2010 and 2010–2013 are presented in Fig. 6. It can
be observed that Asian markets are most favorable for gasification
Net operational cost/

plants, followed by Europe, Africa and USA. The highest increase in


gasification plants is seen in USA with a more than 100% increase
$0.30-$0.55c

in growth since 2010. The main advantages and disadvantages of


$1.5-$2.5

Minimal
$2.5-$4

this technology are presented in Table 1. The net energy genera-


$2-$3

tion potential of the process is estimated between 20 and 26 kW/


ton

ton of MSW [42]. Moreover, process can reduce the waste volume
Capital cost/ton/

between 50% and 90% and can save 1.9–3.8 MW per ton of waste,
when compared to landfill disposal [43].
$7.5–$11.3c

$0.1–$0.14
$14.5–$22

$19.5–$30
$17–$25

2.4. Plasma arc gasification


year

Power Generation spread over the life span of biomethanation plant.


General waste stream except high protein

Plasma arc gasification converts the waste and organic mate-


rials into syngas or synthesis gas and solid slag using plasma
generated by an electrically powered plasma torch [44]. The
Technical and economical comparison of WTE technologiesa.

quality of waste decomposition through plasma depends upon


Plasma arc gasification Organic as well as inorganic

plasma density and its temperature [45]. Plasma is known as the


fourth state of matter with hot ionized gases produced by elec-
General waste stream

trical discharge at very high temperature (2000-5000 °C) [46]. An


content materials

inert gas such as argon is normally used in the plasma torch. The
geographic location and efficiency [8,26,27]
Organic matter
Type of waste

waste is heated, melted and then vaporised at these extreme


conditions. The complex molecules are dissociated into individual
Organic

atoms in gaseous phase by breakage of molecular bonds. The


efficiency of this technology is reported as around 32% [47].
Daily power generation.

Plasma arc gasification for MSW is most prominent in those


countries where space for constructing landfill is limited, like in
Pyrolysis/gasification

Japan. In Europe, this technology is used at limited scale. The


Biomethanation

operating plants have the capacity to handle up to 130 tons of


Incineration

MSW per day [26]. The operating cost for this technology was
found to be comparable with other WTE technologies (Table 2),
Table 2

RDF

however it has limitations of high capital cost and energy


d
b
a

requirements (Table 1).


O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340 333

Incineration: Incineration is one of most commonly used WTE process in which waste is burnt and the heat produced is utilized to produce energy in thermal based facilities. The
Pyrolysis: Pyrolysis is a process in which carbonaceous waste is decomposed at high temperatures (300–500 oC) in the absence of O2. For example, plastic waste can be

Gasification: Gasification process converts the carbonaceous waste into syngas by reacting it with O2 or steam at high temperatures ( 4900 ˚C) without combustion. Syngas is a

Plasma arc gasification: Plasma arc gasification process converts the carbonaceous waste into syngas or synthesis gas, electricity and solid slag using plasma generated by an

RDF: RDF is a fuel produced by shredding, drying and palletization of the combustible waste such as paper, wood, plastic, leather, textile etc. waste. This fuel can be used in a
Biomethanation: Biomethanation is an anaerobic process by which organic waste is microbiologically converted into energy in the form of biogas and organic fertilizer. The
WTE: Energy from waste is the processing of waste into heat, electricity or fuel through energy recovery technologies such as incineration, pyrolysis, gasification, biomethanation,

Fig. 6. Gasification project growth in percentage between 2004–2010 and 2010–


2013 for Asia, Europe, USA and Africa [37].

2.5. RDF

RDF produces an alternative fuel for power generating facilities,


which run on coal fuel [48]. The technology involves different
ash and flue gases produced in this process cause serious environmental problems and must be cleaned before disposing off.

phases including size reduction and its separation, crushing, dry-


ing and pelletization. The waste used in RDF mainly contains
cardboard, paper, various plastic streams, glass, metallic and non-
metallic materials, etc. The growth of RDF in Europe has increased
from 1.4 million tons per annum (Mtpa) to 12.4 Mtpa within the
period of five years from 2000 to 2005. In Austria alone, there are
more than 180 industrial facilities, which co-incinerate more than
1.8 Mtpa of RDF [49]. Among them, the most prominent industries
are pulp, paper and wood industries followed by saw-mill indus-
tries. However, these industries use mainly their own produced
waste including paper, sludge, wood waste and bark or spent
process naturally occurs at the landfill sites but works more efficiently in controlled conditions.

liquor for making RDF [49]. In India, RDF alone generates up to


7.5 MW of electricity per day [22]. RDF production facilities in USA
are in Chicago, Duluth, Minn., Monroe County, New York, Mil-
variety of ways to produce energy such as in conventional coal powered power plants.

waukee, and Robbins. The USA plants range in size from 150 tons
per day (TPD) to 2000 TPD. The majority of these plants use dry
shredding as a pre-treatment to optimize the combustion process
through size reduction. Two commercial plants were constructed
in New York; 3000 TPD facility constructed in 1976, and 3000 TPD
plant build in 1979 [50]. The main advantage of using RDF pellet is
its high calorific value (0.145 kW/kg) [51]. Coal is a non-renewable
mixture of H2, CO and CO2 and is used as a fuel to produce energy.

source (considering its rate of production is very slow compared to


decomposed into liquid oil, gases and char by pyrolysis process.

its rate of consumption) and when burnt in thermal power plants


produces ash and GHG emission. However, RDF is comparatively
cleaner technology, which use MSW as a renewable feedstock,
decrease landfill use, solve waste management issues and ulti-
mately reduce the impact of waste on environment. It has been
estimated that 192 tons of RDF can be produced from 750 tons of
garbage. In boiler, RDF burning can produce temperatures of up to
1600 °C, which is used to generate steam and has the potential to
generate electricity. Moreover, produced pulverized ash can be
used in cement industries for cement manufacturing [22]. The
efficiency of power generation through RDF is estimated to be
electrically powered plasma torch.

around 18% with energy recovery rate of 168 kWh [12]. On the
other hand, there are some disadvantages of this process, includ-
ing expensive land acquisition, pre-processing equipment and site
improvements (Table 1). For the annual operating cost, the labor
takes the major share of RDF cost. As a result, the net unit cost per
ton is higher in comparison to other WTE technologies (Table 2).

2.6. Biomethanation
Box 1–Glossary

RDF etc.

Biomethanation is the anaerobic conversion of organic mate-


rials into energy and organic fertilizer [22]. The biomethanation
substrate include industrial, slaughtering, agricultural, vegetable
market and restaurant waste [52]. The initial stage of
334 O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340

biomethanation is called hydrolysis, which converts complex


Others
organic materials like carbohydrates, proteins and fats into soluble 10%
organic materials such as sugars, amino and fatty acids. The sec- Food
Paper
37%
ond stage of the process is fermentation, which further breakdown Paper Plastic
the organic molecules into acetic acid, H2 and CO2. The last stage is 29%
Glass
methanogenesis, which makes methane (CH4) from acetic acid and
Wood
H2 [53,54]. The efficiency of this technology is around 25–30% [12].
Textiles Plastic Textiles
Biomethanation of organic materials is one of the preferred tech- 6% Glass
Wood 5% Food
nology for energy recovery and waste management in Europe 8% 5%
using source separated organic (SSO) and agricultural based resi- Others
dues as a feedstock [55]. While, in North America the use of bio-
methanation is limited at commercial scale. Two commercial
plants are designed for processing SSO in greater Toronto area and Fig. 7. The composition of MSW in KSA [8].
Newmarket. Moreover a number of small plants are also operating
in US, based on mixed MSW, SSO or co-digestion of feedstock with
biosolids [55]. The advantages of biomethanation include reduced
process-cost and higher process efficiency (25–30%), in compar- Table 4
ison to other WTE technologies (Tables 1 and 2). Moreover, it Physical and chemical composition of food waste
[58].
provides an economical solution of setting up plants with mini-
mum requirements of rolling stock maintenance, equipment Chemical composition (%)
replacement cost, reagents and fuel cost. There is a limitation of Moisture 38.4
space requirement with biomethanation, as the collected waste Carbohydrates 25.56
has to be properly stored and covered, which add additional cost Crude Protein 17.26
Crude fat 15.27
(Table 1). However, the process can be also carried out in engi- Fiber 0.3
neered or sanitary landfills, where landfill gases (LFG) such as CH4 Ash 3.21
and CO2 are captured. The factors which affect the LFG are the
waste composition, moisture contents, pH, temperature and Physical composition (%)
Rice 38.72
availability of organic materials [56].
Bakery products 18.74
Meat 25.15
Fat 13.03
3. Materials and methods Bones 2.19
Fruit and vegetables 2.16

3.1. Studied region

KSA is located in the Middle East and lies between 16°220 and
32°140 North Latitudes and 34°290 and 55°400 East Longitudes [11– Table 5
13]. The revenues from crude oil production have resulted in sig- The energy contents of MSW fractions [8].
nificant socio-economic development in KSA over the last four
Material Energy contents
decades [8]. As a result, the total population of KSA has drastically
increased from 7 to 27 million since 1975–2010 [57]. The year 2012 kW h/kg in material kW h/kg in waste LHV
was based as the starting year for energy forecast. The population
growth was projected to maintain its historical trend of 3.4% for Paper 4.39 1.21
Plastic 9.05 0.46
year up to 2035 [8]. The current MSW production rate (1.4 kg/ Glass 0.00 0.00
capita/day) of KSA was used to calculate the future energy pro- Wood 4.73 0.24
duction from waste [11,13]. The major ingredients of KSA's MSW Textiles 5.20 0.22
were food waste (37%), paper (28.5%), plastics (5.2%), mineral Food 1.55 0.10
Others 3.36 0.28
(8.3%), glass (4.6%), wood (8%), textile (6.4%) etc. (Fig. 7). The food
waste was the largest waste stream of MSW in KSA that was
chemically composed of moisture contents (38.4%), carbohydrates
(25.56%) and crude proteins (17.26%) and fats (15.27%), while
physically the main ingredients of food waste were rice (38.72%),
meat (25.15%) and bakery products (18.74%) etc. (Table 4). The  Waste composition (Table 4 and Fig. 7)
typical energy contents or low heating values (LHV) of different  Amount and type of waste (Fig. 7)
fractions of KSA's MSW is given in Table 5.  Energy contents of waste fractions (Table 5).
 Comparison of WTE systems for determining optimum WTE
3.2. Selection of WTE Technologies technologies (Table 6)

Three WTE technologies; incineration, RDF and biomethana- The incineration scenario involved the complete utilization of
tion were selected under two scenarios for KSA's case study. These MSW for energy production. RDF with biomethanation considered
WTE technologies have been selected based on the following segregation of MSW into inorganic and organic fractions. The
standard criteria, according to Brunner and Rechberger [59], Tan inorganics and organics were used as RDF and biomethanation
et al. [31], Nizami et al. [11–13], Bajić et al. [60], Tozlu et al. [16]. feedstock respectively. The scientific literature has documented
process efficiency of 25–30% for incineration [71], around 18% for
 Merits and demerits of WTE technologies (Table 1) RDF [27] and around 30% for biomethanation [12]. These efficiency
 Technical and economical values of WTE technologies (Table 2) values were used to estimate and forecast the energy outputs for
 Suitable WTE technology based on waste type (Table 3) the two scenarios.
Table 6
Comparison of WTE systems for selecting optimum WTE technologies.

Feedstock type Systems compared Best choice Country/area Comparison method Reference

O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340
MSW (1) Landfill gas recovery. (2) Sorting, up-graded biogas, electricity Sorting, up-graded biogas, electricity from Italy Roma LCA Cherubini et al. [61]
from combustion. (3) Electricity from combustion combustion
MSW (1) Sorting, electricity and heat from biogas and combustion. Electricity and heat from combustion Denmark Aarhus LCA Kirkeby et al. [62]
(2) Electricity and heat from combustion
MSW-RDF (1) Combustion without energy recovery. (2) Electricity and heat (1) Electricity and heat from combustion. (2) Elec- Denmark LCA Fruergaard and
from combustion. (3) Electricity and heat from co-combustion with tricity and heat from co-combustion with coal Astrup [63]
coal
MSW-organic (1) Combustion without energy recovery. (2) Electricity and heat Electricity and heat from combustion Denmark LCA Fruergaard and
from combustion. (3) Up-grade biogas. (4) Electricity and heat Astrup [63]
from biogas
All collected waste (1) Different numbers, locations and types of waste management Inclusion of combustion slightly better than England LCA Tunesi [64]
plants. gasification.
(2) Inclusion of combustion slightly better than gasification.
Agriculture residues for self- (1) Ethanol, electricity and heat from combustion using straw Up-graded biogas, electricity and heat from biogas Sweden LCA Kimming et al. [65]
sufficiency system (2) Up-graded biogas, electricity and heat from biogas using ley using ley
MSW, sewage sludge or (1) Electricity from combustion. (2) Electricity from landfill gas. Electricity from combustion Spain Economic Gómez et al. [66]
manure (3) Electricity from biogas
MSW (1) Electricity from combustion. (2) Fuel gas, electricity and heat Fuel gas, electricity and heat from gasification of Denmark Energy efficiency CO2 Münster and Lund
from gasification of MSW MSW emissions Economic [67]
RDF (1) Electricity from combustion. (2) Electricity from co-combustion Denmark Energy efficiency CO2 Münster and Lund
with coal emissions Economic [67]
OHW and manure (1) Electricity and heat from biogas. (2) Up-graded biogas (1) Electricity and heat from biogas. (2) Up-graded Denmark Energy efficiency CO2 Münster and Lund
(OHW þ manure) biogas (OHW þ manure) emissions Economic [67]
Animal fat (1) Biodiesel Denmark Energy efficiency CO2 Münster and Lund
emissions Economic [67]
Straw, grass and paper waste (1) Ethanol, electricity and heat from biogas of fermentation Denmark Energy efficiency CO2 Münster and Lund
residues emissions Economic [67]
All waste (1) Electricity and fuel from biogas, gasification, pyrolysis, and Netherland Primary energy saving Dornburg et al.
different options for combustion [68,69]
MSW (1) Electricity and heat from combustion. (2) Electricity and heat (1) Electricity and heat from gasification. (2) Up- Ireland Economic, market Murphy and
from gasification. (3) Up-graded biogas. (4) Electricity and heat graded biogas McKeogh, [70]
from biogas

335
336 O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340

    
3.3. WTE prediction models Dry waste kg  LHV of waste kW
s kg
¼ ð5Þ
1000
3.3.1. Biomethanation process – CH4 estimation and heat to power
generation Net Power Generation PotentialðMWÞ ¼ η
The annual CH4 emission from Saudi's landfill sites was esti-  Power Generation Potentital ð6Þ
mated using the USEPA LandGEM model [72], which is based on a
first-order decomposition rate equation for quantifying emissions where ɳ is the efficiency of the process. Efficiency for incineration
from the decomposition of landfill waste. The annual CH4 gen- was taken as 25% and for RDF was taken as 18%. The power
eration from the LandGEM model is given by (Eq. (1)). recovery and net power generation potential is given by Eqs.
  (2) and (6).
X n X1
M i  ktij
Q CH4 ¼ kL0 e ð1Þ
i ¼ 1 j ¼ 0:1
10 3.4. Economic and environmental analysis of WTE technologies

where QCH4 is the annual CH4 generation in the year of the cal- The cost analysis used in this study to compare WTE technol-
culation (Gg/y), ‘i’ is the 1-year time increment, ‘j’ is the 0.1-year ogies was obtained through a detailed literature review, as
time increment, ‘n’ is the (year of the calculation)  (initial year of described in Section 2 and grouped in Table 2. These studies
waste acceptance), ‘k’ is the CH4 generation constant (y  1), L0 is presented a clear overview of the cost due to (a) land acquisition,
the potential CH4 generation capacity (m3/Gg), ‘Mi’ is the mass of (b) procurement of equipment, (c) requirement of raw materials.
waste accepted in the ith year (Gg), ‘tij’ is the age of the jth section The running cost of the plants that includes maintenance and
of waste mass ‘Mi’ accepted in the ith year. labor costs were acquired from these studies and was tabulated
For the estimation of CH4 from the landfill sites, user specified under net operational cost per ton. The considered case studies
inputs were used in the LandGEM model, as per the software were evaluated in both developed and developing countries,
requirements. The CH4 generation potential, (L0) has been speci- hence the upper and lower bounds of capital and net operational
fied as a default value of 61 m3/Mg, while the CH4 generation cost tend to vary in locations, where WTE plants are operated. The
constant (k) has been specified as 0.026 per year. The CH4 and CO2 capital cost per ton of waste treated was presented within a range
in LFG have been considered to be 50%. For the purpose of this to cover both small and large-scale facilities in selected regions
study, it was assumed that the landfill site in KSA started its (Table 2). The variation in the cost per ton waste treated for RDF, in
operation in 2012 and the waste will be accumulated up to the particular, will depend on the kind of application for which the
year 2035. The biomethanation process was preferred for food RDF pellet will be used. The authors considered these costs to be
waste stream with moisture content to allow for microbial activity an estimate, since the actual cost will depend on the region's
[11]. The typical conversion efficiency for this process was taken as governmental requirements, incentives, availability of raw mate-
30% [12]. The power recovery and net power generation potential rials and skilled labor. This was also reflected in the ‘daily power
is given by (Eqs. (2) and (3)). The values for the LFG generation generation’ column, where the range of MW per ton reflected the
were taken from LandGEM model. power production of the considered facilities (Table 2). Similarly,
Power Recovery Potential ðMWÞ the environmental analysis of the WTE technologies was con-
  3  ducted based on WTE studies, as grouped in Tables 1, 2 and 6.
m
Total Methane Generation day  NCV  365:25 However, the real comparison requires further in-detail environ-
¼ ð2Þ
ð0:042  1000  24Þ mental and economic analysis using life cycle assessment (LCA)
approach.
Net Power Generation PotentialðMWÞ
 3
m
Total Methane Generation day  NCV  η  365:25
¼ ð3Þ 4. Results and discussion
1000
where net calorific value (NCV) of LFG lies in the range 0.194– 4.1. Technical and economic potential of selected WTE technologies
0.242 kW/m3 and ɳ is the efficiency for the biochemical process.
The process of incineration is most widely used WTE for energy
3.3.2. RDF process – heat to power generation potential production in the form of heat and/or electricity [73]. The incin-
In order to evaluate the energy generation potential from MSW, eration process has lower annual capital ($14.5–22/ton) and
Table 5 was used to calculate the LHV of the waste by considering operational costs ($1.5–2.5/ton) per ton of waste, labor skill
the dry waste without moisture content. For bulk incineration requirements and complexity of technology that makes it easier to
process, the average value of the total waste was considered as a setup in urban areas (Table 2). Moreover, the high efficiency of
LHV. In case of RDF with biomethanation, the waste was segre- incineration plants allows for a higher daily throughput in com-
gated into organic and inorganic fractions. In order to calculate the parison to other WTE technologies (Table 1). However, the success
LHV for this process, the organic fraction was excluded from the of incineration plants in KSA depend on the treatment of air and
general stream and the calculations were performed on the water-borne pollutants and ash within the facility before releasing
remaining waste stream including paper, plastic, glass, wood, into the environment and public awareness and acceptance of
textiles and others. The energy recovery potential (GWh/day), such treatments units.
power generation potential (MW) and net generation potential RDF process has comparatively higher labor skill requirements
(MW) are defined by Eqs. (4)–(6). and complexity of technology in comparison to incineration and
  biomethanation (Table 1). Moreover, the annual capital ($7.5–11.3/
GWh
Energy Recovery Potential ton) and net operational cost ($0.3–0.55/ton) of RDF is comparable
day
     and even lower than incineration's capital ($14.5–22/ton) and net
Dry waste tons
day
 LHV of waste kWh
kg operational costs ($1.5–2.5/ton) per ton of waste respectively
¼ ð4Þ
1000 (Table 2). In KSA, RDF can divert up to 50% waste from landfill and
utilize different waste fractions as feedstock, including paper
Power Generation PotentialðMWÞ (28.5%), plastic (5.2%), wood (8%), textile (6.4%) and others (2%).
O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340 337

During the months of Ramadan (9th month of Islamic lunar


calendar) and Hajj (12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar)
millions of Muslims come to holy cities of KSA; Makkah and
Medina to perform religious rituals [74]. According to Abdul Aziz
et al. [75], most of the food and drinks are served in disposable
plastics during these times. Such waste in the landfill results in
operational and environmental problems due to slow degradation,
clogging nature and presence of toxic additives and dyes.
According to Nizami et al. [11], the conventional mechanical
recycling methods (e.g. sorting, grinding, washing and extrusion)
can recycle only 15–20% of all plastic waste. Therefore, RDF tech-
nology in KSA can convert the plastic and other related wastes into
useful energy.
Biomethanation process has lowest net annual capital ($0.1–
0.14/ton) and operational cost per ton in comparison to incinera-
tion and RDF (Table 2). Therefore, this process will provide an
Fig. 8. LFG emission estimated using LandGEM model for biomethanation tech-
economical solution for waste management problem in the rural
nology for KSA site for the period 2012–2152.
areas with lower complexity of technology and labor skill
requirements. As majority of the MSW in KSA ends up in the
landfill sites, therefore generation and recovery of CH4; a major
component of biogas as an energy source from these landfills will
be an attractive and cost effective method. According to Tan et al.
[31], on average 120–150 m3 of biogas can be recovered from per
ton of dry MSW that is equivalent to total energy value of 2500 MJ/
ton. Moreover, this technology in KSA is preferred due to high food
waste generation (37% of total MSW) with high moisture contents
(38.72%). In three large cities of KSA (Riyadh, Jeddah and Dam-
mam), the food waste exceeds 6 million tons per year [76]. During
2014 Ramadan, 5 thousand tons of food waste was generated in
first three days only in the Makkah municipality [77]. Every year
due to wastage of 35–40% cooked rice, a total loss of 1.6 billion SR
occurs to the country's economy [78]. The chemical composition of
food waste with high carbohydrates (25.6%) and proteins (17.3%)
[74] also confirms its suitability as a feedstock for biomethanation
technology.
Hossain et al. [79], reviewed the WTE technologies and sug- Fig. 9. Waste to energy potential (MW) in KSA for the period 2012–2035.
gested the incineration as the most suitable choice for producing
renewable energy in Bangladesh. Similarly, Melikoglu [80], Brun- two scenarios: incineration and RDF with biomethanation were
ner and Rechberger [59], and WER [81] stated that incineration is a made from year 2012 and forecasted up to 2035 and the results are
preferred technique for energy production from MSW. However, presented in Fig. 9. In 2012, total power generation potential per
the high moisture contents present in MSW reduce the calorific/ year was estimated to be 671 MW and 319.40 MW from incin-
energy value of the MSW's incineration. A similar situation can eration and RDF with biomethanation scenarios respectively. This
arise in KSA due to high food waste generation (37% of total MSW) power generation capacity increased every year due to an increase
containing high moisture contents (38.72%) (Table 4, Fig. 7), unless in population and MSW generation. Thus the total power gen-
this waste stream is segregated at source and utilize separately in eration potential from the two scenarios is estimated to be
biomethanation process. Münster and Lund [67] compared dif- 1447 MW and 699.76 MW respectively by 2035. This shows that
ferent WTE systems and found that biomethanation is more the incineration scenario has the highest power generation capa-
favorable technology than incineration. On the contrary, Gómez city then the other scenario of RDF with biomethanation.
et al. [66] suggested that combustion is a better choice for elec- In KSA, due to hot weather the electricity demand for air-
tricity production when comparing with other WTE technologies. conditioning is significantly high. From year 2006 to 2010, the
According to Thorin et al. [17] and Ouda et al. [8], the choice of electricity demand has increased at the rate of 5.8% [82]. The
WTE technology varies from region to region due to different current peak demand of electricity is around 55 GW that is dis-
waste characteristics, capital and operational cost, population, tributed among residential (52.1%), industrial (17.9%), govern-
system combinations coupled with labor skill requirements and mental (11.5%), agricultural (2.2%) and commercial (12.2%) sectors.
geographical locations of the WTE plants. This variation in results This demand is projected to reach up to 120 GW in 2032 [5].
while comparing and selecting the optimum WTE options among According to Khan and Kaneesamkandi [58], around 30% of the
WTE technologies in different parts of the world is grouped in domestic electricity is only consumed for cooling purposes. An
Table 6. innovative utilization of biogas produced from biomethanation
can be the use of biogas-powered absorption-refrigeration cycle.
4.2. Energy potential of selected WTE technologies In such system, the biogas will be used as a source of heat to
regenerate refrigerant. Approximately, 0.044 m3 biogas is con-
The results for the total LFG generation in the landfill sites in sumed in a refrigerator of capacity 230 KW [83]. Therefore,
KSA for the period of 2012-2152 is shown in Fig. 8. The maximum replacing the fossil fuels usage for conventional vapor compression
total LFG estimated to be produced is 385.26 Gg/year in the year refrigeration with biogas will significantly reduce the GHG emis-
2035, of which 97.59 Gg/year and 282.35 Gg/year is CH4 and CO2 sions. Alternative utilization of biogas can be a heat source in
respectively. The estimation of power generation potential from domestic cooking stoves, as it has high octane number, energy
338 O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340

content (4.7–6 Mcal) and ignition temperature (640-840 °C).

 Study the local socio-economic factors including local culture, practices and human behavior in more details to aid the decision making for the selection of appropriate WTE
 Study the technical, economical, and environmental feasibility of WTE technologies, in correlation with the local MSW management practices and environmental conditions
Moreover, the biogas can power light bulb of 60 W for upto around
17 hours, as 1 KWh of electricity can be produced from 0.7 m3 of
biogas [83]. Biogas can also be a source of power to internal
combustion engines for electric generator and water pumps.
The energy production with least environmental pollution is

 In-depth MSW characterization is required in order to know different waste composition streams and their accurate contributions in different WTE technologies.
one of the main environmental benefits of biomethanation process
[84]. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), a gov-
ernmental department of India, has made a national master plan
for the development and adaptation of biomethanation technol-
ogy as one of the most preferred WTE option in the country [85].
In Malaysia, WTE technologies, particularly biomethanation is

 Conducting LCA for all WTE technologies, understanding their impact on human health and environment, to help in making the right decision.
getting more attention and popularity [60]. Zainura et al. [86]

 Developing comprehensive WTE models to achieve complete sustainability in MSW management and to develop WTE technologies in KSA.
estimated that CH4 emission in Malaysia from landfill during 2010
was sufficient to generate 2.20  109 kWh of electricity having
worth of 219.5 million US$ and the estimations for 2015 and 2020
were 243.63 and 262.79 US$ million respectively.

4.3. Sustainability of selected WTE technologies

The two studied scenarios of WTE not only provide a viable


disposal solution for MSW, but also provide enormous economic
and environmental benefits. The economic benefits include the
power generation, new businesses and subsequent job creation
and alleviation of landfill costs. The environmental benefits of

 Detailed study of energy conservation analysis of all the recyclable materials in MSW of KSA is required.
WTE include the alleviation of GHG emissions from landfills and
savings of energy and natural resources (e.g. land, soil and
groundwater etc.) [8]. The GHG emission reductions will primarily
be due to the capturing of produced biogas that is mainly com-
prised of CH4 and CO2. CH4 is 21 times more detrimental than CO2
from the global warming perspective [12]. The energy savings are
the energy associated with raw materials’ production, transpor-
tation and manufacturing and final disposal [8,58]. However, the
decision to select between the two suggested scenarios of WTE
requires further in-depth financial, social, technical and environ-
mental analysis using LCA tool (Box 2). Nevertheless, there are
certain limitations with each WTE technology including its process
efficiency, scale of commercialization, availability of feedstocks,
infrastructure requirements and end-use applications [11–13].
According to Nizami et al. [13], a technological solution to these
limitations is to integrate the appropriate WTE technologies under
a waste-based biorefinery concept for producing multiple chemi-
cals, fuels, power, products, and materials from different fractions
of waste. This proposed sustainable concept along with LCA stu-
dies finding will not only solve the KSA's waste problems as a
whole, but also generate significant revenue and renewable
energy.

4.4. Recycling prospects in KSA

In standard solid waste management (SWM) hierarchy, the


WTE is ranked before the final disposal of waste to the landfills
(Fig. 10). While, the top strategies of sustainable SWM include
waste minimization, reuse and recycling that require behavior
change in the peoples and society. Recycling is considered as a key
component of modern waste reduction practices to reduce the
GHG emissions and environmental impact of MSW. A significant
portion of KSA's MSW includes glass, metals and other recyclable
Box 2–Future work

materials (Box 2). Nowadays, the concept of energy conservation


technology.

through recycling is getting popularity, arguing that recycling


of KSA.

saves energy that would otherwise be consumed in material


transformations as well as extraction of raw materials, transpor-
tation and manufacturing process. Nevertheless, recycling as
oppose to landfill helps to reduce energy consumption for making
new materials, reduces air, water and soil pollution as well as
O.K.M. Ouda et al. / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 61 (2016) 328–340 339

Minimization Maximum conservation of resources

ns
ptio
Reuse Reusing of materials

le o
ab
fer
Recycling Recycling and reprocessing materials

pre
rds
Energy Recovery Energy resources or WTE prior to disposal
wa
To

Disposal/Landfill Zero conservation of resources

Fig. 10. Standard waste management hierarchy [87].

alleviate the cost of landfill and its associated environmental [12] Ouda OKM, Raza SA, Al-Waked R, Al-Asad JF, Nizami AS. Waste-to-energy
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