The Brescia waste-to-energy plant
The waste to energy plant recoups electrical and thermal energy from waste deriving from differential collection.
The plant consists of three combustion units of which one is dedicated to biomass energy and has been realised using the most advanced technology.
The architectural planning of the plant and its landscape integration were developed jointly right from the initial phases.
The basic idea was to achieve a harmonic integration within the environmental context.
Attention to the environment has been confirmed by the fact that 50% of the cost for the realisation of the plant was devoted to the systems for scrubbing of combustion gases and to the protection of the environment.
In terms of energy efficiency, waste to energy represents an important factor in environmental protection, both because it allows the saving of non-renewable energy resources and also because it allows the prevention of emissions from fossil fuelled plants.
The waste to energy plant was conceived within the framework of an integrated waste and territorial management strategy and represents a precious source of energy for the city of Brescia. Thanks to the district heating network, it is in fact possible to produce not only electrical energy but also to recoup thermal energy in considerable quantities, conveying the heat produced through the district heating network to the residences of the individual customers. In 2008 the Brescia waste to energy plant burned 801 thousand tons of waste and biomass, recouping 570 Kw /hour of electricity and 568 Kw /hour of heat (that is, almost 40% of thermal energy of the annual Brescia mains input).
To give a more concrete idea, these data mean that in 2008 the waste to energy plant produced electricity equal to the needs of 190,000 families and heat equalling the requirements of 50,000 flats. At the same time it has permitted the saving of 150,000 EPT (Equivalent petrol tons) and has prevented the emission into the atmosphere of over 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide – CO2, corresponding to the result obtainable from the reforestation of over 15,000 surface hectares (about twice the size of the Municipality of Brescia).
Heavy combustion ashes can be further recouped: the iron is separated in situ while the remaining part is consigned to specialist plants which carry out the separation of non ferrous metals and the recouping of the remaining parts for the production of cement and concrete.
Dust collected from the filters is conveyed to suitable storage silos and inactivated by means of a process to ensure harmlessness, and then sent for final collection.
To start up a transparency operation relating to the operation of the plant, the Municipal Administration of Brescia has considered it opportune to create a “Waste to Energy Observatory” with the task of monitoring its activities.
The reports of the Observatory” on the functioning of the Waste to Energy plant are available on the Brescia Municipality Internet website.
|The Waste to Energy plant video (only italian version)|
|waste-to-energy plant: Clean and Renewable Energy (pdf 8,28 MB)|