A waste-to-energy plant is a waste management facility that combusts wastes to produce electricity. This type of power plant is sometimes called a trash-to-energy, municipal waste incineration, energy recovery, or resource recovery plant.
Modern waste-to-energy plants are very different from the trash incinerators that were commonly used until a few decades ago. Unlike modern ones, those plants usually did not remove hazardous or recyclable materials before burning. These incinerators endangered the health of the plant workers and the nearby residents, and most of them did not generate electricity.
Waste-to-energy generation is being increasingly looked at as a potential energy diversification strategy, especially by Sweden, which has been a leader in waste-to-energy production over the past 20 years.
The typical range of net electrical energy that can be produced is about 500 to 600 kWh of electricity per ton of waste incinerated. Thus, the incineration of about 2,200 tons per day of waste will produce about 1200 MWh of electrical energy.
Global pioneer in waste to energy
Finland is a global pioneer particularly in waste-based fuel production and technologies for power plants that utilize waste as feedstock. Finnish companies can provide solutions throughout the value chain from collecting and processing to energy production.
With waste-based fuel production and related technology, renewable diesel is produced from waste and residues ranging from used cooking oil and food waste to tall oil from pulp production and much more.
Additionally, Finnish manufacturers have also been successful in exporting biogas plants to China, Thailand and Vietnam. The plants use biodegradable waste as a fuel, which means that the feedstock is typically sludge from forest industry, community waste or separately collected biowaste.
Besides fuel production, Finland has also produced leading technologies for power plants that utilize waste as feedstock. The plants typically use mixed waste from e.g. households, shops and industry to produce heat and electricity to neighboring cities and areas. There are solutions for large-scale concentrated units as well as for smaller-scale distributed units. Waste-to-energy solutions are strongly linked to Finnish competence in combined heat and power production (CHP).
Reliable, scalable and tested technology
Finnish manufacturers provide reliable, scalable and tested technology in waste to energy. One of the specialties is the high efficiency with a wide range of alternative fuels – even with challenging fuel types. Well optimized processes and technologies for different waste-based raw materials and local conditions have resulted Finnish companies having first class waste-to-energy references from all over the world. Naturally, our technologies follow the very strict EU environmental regulations of minimal emissions.