Short Expertise and Assessment: Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) for Thermal Waste Treatment Plants (WTE)

  • Project no.152608
  • Duration 06/2021 - 12/2021

Germany has significantly tightened its climate protection targets and aims to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2045. All sectors must contribute to this, not only the energy sector, but also the waste management sector. Non-recyclable municipal waste is disposed of in thermal waste treatment plants (WTE). In the incineration process, carbon is released and emitted as CO2. Since about half of the waste consists of biogenic components, half of the CO2 produced can be accounted as of biogenic origin. The waste heat released of the plant is used as efficiently as possible in the form of electricity, heat and process steam.

Since the core task of WTE is precisely waste disposal, the CO2 emissions produced are currently classified as "unavoidable" – they cannot be avoided through improved process control or application of other energy sources. Thus, from today's perspective, carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is the only option to avoid the release of CO2 in the waste treatment plants.

Many questions are currently still open, both in terms of short-term implementation and long-term strategic embedding. The following aspects are addressed in the short project:

  • Strategic assessment (WP 1)
  • General technical, infrastructural and political assessment (WP 2)
  • Embedding the circular economy/waste management (WP 3)
  • Acceptance (WP 4)

The Wuppertal Institute has been commissioned by MVV Energie AG to provide scientific advice and an exchange of views on the various issues relating to the coupling of CCUS with WTE.

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