Environmental impact and economic sustainability analysis of a novel anaerobic digestion waste-to-energy pilot plant in Pakistan.

Affiliation

Sustainable Development Study Centre, Government College University Lahore, Katchary Road, Lower Mall, Lahore, 54000, Pakistan. [Email]

Abstract

A novel medium-large industrial-scale, anaerobic digestion (AD) waste-to-energy pilot plant has been investigated in terms of cost-benefit, environmental impact, and economic sustainability. This pilot plant exclusively features a multi-digester AD system induced by motorized stirring, methane purification, compression, storage and digestate-fertilizer processing systems, and subsequent electricity generation. The operational productivity and success of the pilot plant has been proven on a variety of waste feedstock substrates in the form of cow-buffalo manure and potato waste. The plant has an average energy productivity of 384 kWh/day and an annual rate of return was estimated to be 15.4%. The life cycle environmental impact analysis deliberated the significant impact potentials in terms of climate change (kg CO2 equivalent), and fossil depletion (kg of oil equivalent) for three selected substrates: 100% cow-buffalo manure (CBM), 100% potato waste (PW), and a mixture of 75% CBM and 25% PW. The results show the climate change potential of 70 kg, 71 kg, and 149 kg and fossil depletion potential of - 2.43 kg, - 16.45 kg, and 18 kg per 2000 kg of substrate slurry, respectively. As such, the substrate of 100% CBM posed the least climate change impacts whereas 100% PW has been established most effective under the fossil depletion category.

Keywords

Cost–benefit,Economic sustainability,Environmental impact,Industrial development,Life cycle analysis (LCA),Waste-to-energy,

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