Environmental Pollution from Waste and Biomass Energy Generation

Environmental Pollution from Waste and Biomass Energy Generation

E.C. Rada

University of Trento, Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Department, Trento, Italy

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In the sectors of waste and biomass to energy, some debatable paradigms persist both among the specialists and among the population, concerning the performances of a few energy options. The present article wants to give a contribution to clarify the debate related to three cases: (a) local impact of waste to energy plants, from conventional solutions to innovative ones (thermochemical processes); (b) local impact of Solid Recovered Fuel generation before energy exploitation; (c) local impact of combustion of wood. Three key articles have been selected from the Author’s production (more than one hundred Scopus indexed works) in order to perform a deeper analysis. Results demonstrate that, changing the perspective, some paradigms on the environmental performances of a few waste and biomass options for energy generation must be at least modified.


air, biomass, emission, pollution, waste


[1] Cioca, L.I., Ivascu, L., Rada, E.C., Torretta, V. & Ionescu, G., Sustainable development and technological impact on CO2 reducing conditions in Romania. Sustainability, 7(2), pp. 1637–1650, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/su7021637

[2] Rada, E.C., Ragazzi, M., Ionescu, G., Merler, G., Moedinger, F., Raboni, M. & Torretta, V., Municipal solid waste treatment by integrated solutions: energy and environmental balances. Energy Procedia, 50, pp. 1037–1044, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2014.06.123

[3] Torretta, V., Ionescu, G., Raboni, M. & Merler, G., The mass and energy balance of an integrated solution for municipal solid waste treatment. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 180, pp. 151–161, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.2495/WM140131

[4] Ionescu, G., Rada, E.C., Ragazzi, M., Mărculescu, C., Badea, A. & Apostol, T., Integrated  municipal  solid  waste  scenario  model   using   advanced   pretreat-   ment and waste to  energy  processes.  Energy  Conversion  and  Management,  76,  pp. 1083–1092, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2013.08.049

[5] Patrascu, R., Minciuc, E., Tutica, D., Norisor, M., Ionescu, G. & Stefani, P., Reduc- ing environmental impact through efficient utilisation of biomass in a cogeneration plant. case study – energy supply of an industrial company through biomass utilisation in a cogeneration plant with internal combustion engine. Quality - Access to Success, 15(138), pp. 84–88, 2014.

[6] Ionescu, G., Rada, E.C. & Cioca, L.I., Municipal solid waste sorting and treatment schemes for maximizing material and energy recovery in a latest EU member. Environ- mental Engineering and Management Journal, 14(11), pp. 2501–2746, 2015.

[7] Kathiravale, S., Yunus, M.N.M., Sopian, K., Samsuddin, A.H. & Rahman, R.A., Model- ing the heating value of municipal solid waste. Fuel, 82(9), pp. 1119–1125, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0016-2361(03)00009-7

[8] Ragazzi, M. & Rada, E.C., Multi-step approach for comparing the local air pollution contributions of conventional and innovative MSW thermo-chemical treatments. Che- mosphere, 89(6), pp. 694–701, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.06.024

[9] Rada, E.C., Ragazzi, M., Zardi, D. & Laiti, L., PCDD/F environmental impact from municipal solid waste bio-drying plant. Chemosphere, 84(3), pp. 289–295, 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.04.019

[10] Rada, E.C., Ragazzi, M. & Malloci, E., Role of levoglucosan as a tracer of wood com- bustion in an alpine region. Environmental Technology, 33(9), pp. 989–994, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593330.2011.604858

[11] Rada, E.C., Ragazzi, M. & Badea, A., MSW bio-drying: design criteria from 10 years research. UPB Scientific Bulletin, Serie D, 74(3), pp. 209–216, 2012.

[12] Velis, C.A., Wagland, S., Longhurst, P., Robson, B., Sinfield, K., Wise, S. & Pollard, S., Solid recovered fuel: materials flow analysis and fuel property development during the mechanical processing of biodried waste. Environmental Science and Technology, 47(6), pp. 2957–2965, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es3021815

[13] http://epidemiologia.ulss20.verona.it/data/55/Eventi/2016/050516/Ragazzi_050516.pdf (accessed May 2016).