The burning of solid urban waste, sludge from water treatment plants, and livestock slurry could generate more than 7 percent of Spain’s electricity needs, according to a new report.
Researchers at the University of Zaragoza say incineration of these materials has the potential to produce up to 20.95 terawatt hours annually. In 2008, that would have met 7.2 percent of the nation’s electricity demand, according to the report published in the journal Renewable Energy.
And burning solid urban waste rather than allowing it to reach landfill sites could prevent “pernicious” impacts, such as the release of methane and other gases into the atmosphere, researchers said.
“It gives added value to waste, because it can be seen as a type of fuel with zero cost, or even a negative cost if taxes are paid to collect it,” said Norberto Fueyo, a researcher at the university’s Fluid Mechanics Group and lead author of the study.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.