Traitement des déchets industriels dans les fours à ciment ou les incinérateurs : une comparaison environnementale

1. What waste treatment options are compared and why?

Waste treated at high temperatures
Waste treated at high temperatures

This study compares the environmental impact of two methods of dealing with certain types of industrial waste in Belgium:

Both methods are called thermal treatment because they involve high temperatures in the processing of the waste.

The assessment starts with a hypothetical situation: Imagine there is one tonne of waste that needs to be treated. In Belgium, this waste could be used as a fuel in a cement kiln or treated in an incinerator. Which treatment would cause the least harm to the environment? What kinds of emissions, for example, would result in each scenario? Which method uses less natural resources?

The association of Belgian cement producers (Febelcem) asked the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) to carry out this comparison in response to proposed tax changes on using certain waste as “secondary fuel”. TNO conducted the study in early 2007 in cooperation with an expert panel consisting of representatives from OVAM (Public Waste Agency of Flanders), the Walloon region, VITO (Flemish Institute for Technology Research), Neosys, cement producers (Holcim, CCB, CBR), and Febelcem. To follow the international ISO guidelines for this type of assessment and to improve its quality, the expert panel was consulted four times during the process.

Five types of industrial waste that are affected by this change in taxation are considered: solvents and waste oils, wastewater sludge, filter cake from wastewater treatment, paint and ink residues, and fluff. These are representative of the waste treated by the Belgium cement industry in 2006, the year on which the data was based.

The cement industry provided data for 2006 for six of the seven Belgian cement kilns, regarding waste characteristics, resource use, and emissions. The seventh cement kiln does not use any secondary fuels.

For incineration, data was extracted from the 2005 annual report published by Indaver, the main waste incinerator in Belgium, and from environmental assessments of similar incineration plants in Switzerland.

From the above data, average emissions to air, water, or soil and the use of natural resources for both treatment options were determined. The study estimates how emissions and resource use would change if a tonne of waste were added to either treatment process, in effect replacing some of the energy sources (and raw materials) otherwise used. The changes in terms of emissions and resource use are then translated into a series of environmental impacts that can be compared. More...


Les droits d’auteur de la Structure à Trois Niveaux utilisée pour communiquer cette analyse du cycle de vie appartiennent à GreenFacts asbl/vzw.