National Green Tribunal has directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) to take remedial action against the three waste-to-energy plants in Ghazipur, Okhla and Narela-Bawana.
Waste to Energy:
- Waste to Energy or Waste to Power is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and heat from the primary treatment of waste.
Methods for waste to Power generation:
1. Thermal technologies:
- It is the most common and popular method for waste to energy generation.
- The organics from the waste collected are burnt at high temperatures.
- Gasification: Produces combustible gas, hydrogen, synthetic fuels
- Thermal depolymerization: Produces synthetic crude oil, which can be further refined
- Pyrolysis: Produces combustible tar/bio-oil and chars
- Plasma arc gasification or plasma gasification process (PGP): Produces rich syngas including hydrogen and carbon monoxide usable for fuel cells or generating electricity to drive the plasma arch.
2. Non-thermal technologies:
- Anaerobic digestion: Biogas rich in methane
- Fermentation production: Examples are ethanol, lactic acid, hydrogen
- Mechanical biological treatment: Combines a sorting facility with a form of biological treatment such as composting.
Advantages of WTE plants:
- Decreases quantity of waste
- Efficient waste management
- Production of heat and power
- Reduction of pollution
- Incinerators have filters for trapping pollutants
- Saves on transportation of waste
- Provides better control over odour and noise
- Prevents the production of methane gas
Challenges for India:
- Lack of general awareness on waste management
- Unsegregated waste
- High moisture content
- Unorganized sector
- High wear and tear of equipment due to foreign materials
- Only electricity demand
- Cycle Efficiency is low
- Lack of enforcement of rules / regulations
- Lack of Transparency in plant management
- Lack of adequate waste disposal cost
- Lack of customization of plant and machinery to suit Indian condition