Characterizing Solid Waste To Analyze Life-Cycle Energy Demand And Emissions


The respected Comrade Kim Jong Un said:

"Environmental and nature conservation is an important and responsible undertaking to make the mountains and rivers of the country more beautiful, conserve and increase natural resources, protect people's health and provide them with a better living environment."

Climate change, dominantly accelerated by human activities (e.g. combustion of fossil fuels), is strongly affecting the ecosystem. As climate change has become a global challenge, all nations are making their efforts to find solution to this issue.

Solid waste management sector constitutes a major source of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and has a considerable impact on climate change. Over the last decades, many researchers have widely applied the concept of life-cycle to the environmental evaluation of municipal solid waste management system, which includes waste generation, collection, transport, biological treatment, mechanical and chemical treatment, thermal treatment, landfill, recycling and reuse.

The study suggests applying complementary functional units and impact indicators to the analysis of Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) & Energy–related Carbon Footprint (ECF), while clarifying practical implications towards sustainable solid waste management as well as identifying treatment processes with significant environmental impact.

Results of the survey indicated that since the CED indicator was closely related to the ECF indicator expressed as global warming potential, the ECF indicator could be used as an appropriate proxy for the whole environmental impact in each life-cycle phases of solid waste management system.

The result also showed that though the waste incineration process has a considerable environmental impact but has the potential for energy recovery, thus a large amount of emissions could be reduced when we replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.

The methodology presented in this study could be effectively applied to the planning and implementation of sustainable solid waste management.

The above results were published in "Energy", entitled "Characterizing municipal solid waste to analyze life-cycle energy demand and emissions" (