5-rifiuti

Waste management

The growing generation and complexity of municipal solid wastes has requested far-reaching changes in their management. The latter have shifted from oversimplified procedures, such as the collection of unsorted wastes and their disposal in landfills, to integrated and sustainable systems, which have to work as a filter between human activities and the environment, providing a suitable balance between waste reduction practices, material recycling techniques, biological and thermal processes, and engineered landfill disposal. On the other hand, the decision making within this complicated framework does not appear completely supported by existing regulations, such as those laid down by EC Waste Framework Directive 2008/98. Such regulations are generally inspired by a precise ranking of solutions (the "waste hierarchy"), with material recovery to be preferred to energy recovery, and landfill to be considered as a last resort. It could be argued that the issue concerning the optimal ranking of alternative treatments and solutions is still debated and that, at all events, hierarchies of whatever consistency do not always lead to the most effective waste management system and are not sufficient to develop complete, fully integrated and sustainable WM planning. On the basis of these considerations, AMRA investigates any waste management project with a specific, comprehensive, systemic, goal-oriented approach based on in-depth knowledge of the system behaviour and able to provide reliable information about how environmental hazards can be minimized and potential resources maximized.

Research lines of AMRA and available tools:

  • Material flow analysis (MFA) and substance flow analysis (SFA) to support waste management decisions on both strategic and operating levels. AMRA investigates any waste management project with a specific, comprehensive, systemic, goal-oriented approach based on in-depth knowledge of the system behaviour and able to provide reliable information about how environmental hazards can be minimized and potential resources maximized. Since there is a general consensus about the main goals (protection of human health and environment; conservation of resources; and after-care-free management), and since these are all substance-oriented, a reliable assessment tool for waste management cannot refer just to bulk flows of wastes and residues. The flows of individual substances have also to be investigated, controlled, and directed to appropriate treatments and sinks. In other words, given that individual substances are responsible for environmental loadings and resource potentials, AMRA considers necessary to observe the system even at the substance level. The approach is based on the utilization of two valuable tools, the material flow analysis (MFA) and substance flow analysis (SFA).
  • Waste management planning. The approach briefly described above was recently applied to municipal and industrial solid waste management planning in three Italian areas. The same holistic approach has been applied also to compare recycling options (projects supported by Conai) and thermal treatment processes but also to assess the overall feasibility of industrial processes (as that proposed by Fater s.p.a. for material and energy recovery from wastes generated by the utilization of Adsorbent Hygiene Products).
Fabrizio Di Gregorio
Completed
  1. LIFE+ VIRGIN: High-efficient valorisation of Adsorbent Hygiene Products (AHP) waste through a novel combination of autoclave and gasification
  2. PON 01_1966: Experimental study for energy and bio-chemicals production by biomass waste gasification, Università di Napoli “Federico II”
  3. FATER: Technical and economic assessment of an innovative recycling process for industrial wastes
  4. Smaltimenti Sud: Design and technical, environmental and economic assessment of an EfW plant for a solid recovered fuel
  5. Nuova Cives: Olivine utilization in biomass waste gasification for energy production
  6. E-vento Acqua: Biomass waste gasification for energy production
  7. Chemtex: Biomass waste gasification for energy production
  8. PIANOREG: Treatment facilities for Municipal Waste Management, Regione Campania
  9. 7-HILL: Technical assessment of the large-scale EfW plant in Malagrotta, Rome
  10. CONAI II: Technical, environmental and economic assessment of a medium-scale EfW plant for plastic wastes
  11. Dalma Mangimi: Packaging waste gasification for energy production
  12. ARPAC: Special Waste Management Planning
  13. CONAI I: Feasibility study of gasification process for energy recovery from packaging-derived wastes