Chapter 22

Economic Analysis of Waste to Power: A Case Study of Greensboro City (pp. 409-422)
Authors:  (Ransford R. Baidoo, Abolghasem Shahbazi, Matthew Todd and Harith Rojanala, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC, USA)
Waste is a rejected or unwanted leftover of materials after an economic activity takes
place. These include municipal solid waste (MSW), and construction and demolition
(C&D) waste. Managing these wastes involve collection, transportation, re-use,
recycling, land filling and Waste-to-Energy (WTE). The three WTE technologies
considered for this study are combustion, thermal gasification and plasma gasification.
This study sought to determine the electrical energy that could be obtained from each
technology, to do the benefit and cost analysis, and to show whether it would be
economical to convert waste to power. It was shown that combustion process produces
carbon dioxide (CO2), which has negative impact to the environment. Thermal
gasification produces less CO2 and comparatively produces less electrical power output.
Plasma gasification however gives less CO2 but gives more power output. Results also
show that, with the application of WTE, the payback period for combustion is about 9
years, conventional gasification is 8 years and for plasma gasification is about 10 years.