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Axelsson , Camilla and Kvarnström , Theres , 2010. Energy from municipal solid waste in Chennai, India : a feasibility study. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Energy and Technology



Solid waste management is one of the most essential functions in a country to achieve a
sustainable development. In India, it has been one of the least prioritized functions during the
last decades. The most common ways to treat waste in India today are open dumping and
uncontrolled burning. These methods are causing severe environmental pollution and health
problems. India is one of the world’s largest emitter of methane gas from waste disposal.
Since methane is a strong greenhouse gas, even small emissions have large impact on the
climate. Improper treatment of waste will also affect peoples’ health, first of all by the
spreading of toxic compounds from uncontrolled burning and secondly by leakage of sewage
from the dumping grounds into the groundwater.

When waste is incinerated in an incineration plant there are many environmental benefits.
First of all, the possibility of using flue gas treatment prevents emissions of toxic compounds
to emit to the air compared to if waste is burnt uncontrolled. Secondly, the amount of waste
going to the dumpsite will decrease, resulting in a reduction of methane formation and less
leakage of sewage from the dumpsite to the groundwater.

Chennai is the fourth largest city in India with a population of 4.3 million (2001 census). It is
the Corporation of Chennai, CoC, which has the overall responsibility for solid waste
management in the city. With street sweepers, tricycles and compactors they collect and
transport the waste to one of the two dumpsites in the city; Perungudi in the north or
Kodungaiyur in the south. Like most municipalities in India, CoC has experienced difficulties
keeping in pace with last decades’ industrialization, resulting in insufficient collection of
municipal solid waste and over burdened dumpsites. Another consequence of the rapid
industrialization is the increased demand for electricity. Today there is not enough installed
capacity of power stations in Chennai to meet this demand, leading to daily power cuts.

If the waste on the two dumpsites will be left untreated, the dumpsites are only expected to be
useful until the year 2015. To prolong the lifespan of the dumpsites CoC has signed a contract
with the company Hydroair Tectonics, who shall minimize the waste on Perungudi. There is a
chance that there will be a similar contract on Kodungaiyur as well. This company will build a
processing plant that will segregate the waste into recyclable, inert, organic and burnable
material. The inert and organic waste will be processed further into bricks and compost,
which will be sold on the open market. The burnable material will be processed into a fluffy
fraction called RDF-fluff. In the initial stage the RDF-fluff will be sold to coal-fired industries
as "green coal". In the future Hydroair Tectonics plans to build a combustion unit for burning
RDF and generate electricity, which will be sold to the grid.

This report will give an overview of the current waste and electricity situation in Chennai and
analyze whether Hydroair Tectonics should build this combustion unit or if they should sell
the generated RDF to industries. The result will be presented in a case study.

Main title:Energy from municipal solid waste in Chennai, India
Subtitle:a feasibility study
Authors:Axelsson , Camilla and Kvarnström , Theres
Supervisor:Arnberg , Ronny
Examiner:Hillring, Bengt
Series:Examensarbete (Institutionen för energi och teknik, SLU)
Volume/Sequential designation:2010:05
Year of Publication:2010
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:TENSY Energy Systems Engineering (admitted before July 1, 2007) 270 HEC
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Keywords:MSW, energy, Chennai, India, RDF, waste, plant
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Subjects:Energy resources management
Deposited On:06 Sep 2010 13:32
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:15

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