Energy Recovery from Refuse—State-of-the- Art

by John Payne, (A.M.ASCE), Technical Development Engr.; Dept. of the Environment, Ottawa, Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 2, Pg. 281-300

Document Type: Journal Paper


The major recent developments in the technology associated with energy recovery from the municipal solid waste stream are presented. The quantity of refuse generated in the United States, its energy content and availability for utilization are reviewed. The methods already proven and under development for the conversion of refuse to steam, solid fuel, liquid fuel, gaseous fuel, and electricity are described in general terms and are further illustrated by detailed accounts of recovery systems employing the principles of incineration, pyrolysis, hydrogenation, anaerobic digestion, and methane recovery from sanitary landfills. A brief analysis is given regarding the effects of material recovery on the potential energy availability in the waste stream.

Subject Headings: Fuels | Energy recovery | Municipal wastes | Solid mechanics | Rivers and streams | Solid wastes | Steam power | Electric power | United States

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