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Does carbon capture offer a new role for the waste-to-energy sector?

By District Energy posted 07-01-2021 10:35


Waste Management World


Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is high on the agenda as part of the solution to the world’s climate issues. There is general agreement globally that it will be required to meet the carbon emission reduction targets and the global warming mitigation aspirations of the Paris Agreement. Also in Denmark, the government has high expectations for CCS and anticipates a potential reduction of 4-9 million tonnes per year by 2030.

The Danish Waste Association has drawn up a strategy to make the Danish waste-to-energy sector carbon neutral by 2030 and for the sector to produce negative emissions beyond that. CCS is a major part of this strategy. A study carried out by Ramboll for the Danish Waste Association concludes that capturing CO2 from Danish waste-to-energy facilities is technically feasible, economically attractive and a realistic solution.

The Danish Council on Climate Change expects a carbon capture and storage cost of DKK 1,050 (€141) per tonne, of which carbon capture accounts for DKK 700 (€94) and DKK 350 (€47) covers transport and storage. Ramboll expects this cost to be reduced significantly for major waste-to-energy facilities in Denmark thanks to shared infrastructure, development of the technology and optimisation of the CCS energy use via the production of district heating. This is possible because the facilities are all connected to the Danish district energy systems where the waste heat can be utilised.

For transport and storage, there are many benefits of economies of scale. Ramboll has in various studies analysed the savings achieved by establishing a joint pipeline system for CO2 transport. By way of example it is noted that if the amount of CO2 is increased from 1 to 3 million tonnes, the cost per tonne transported in pipelines de- creases by 50%, and if the CO2 is transported by ship to Norway, the North Sea or the UK, the cost decreases by 25%.

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