Process analysis of an industrial waste-to-energy plant: Theory and experiments

D. Barba, F. Brandani, M. Capocelli, M. Luberti, A. Zizza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thermal conversion is fundamental in an integrated waste management system due to the capability of reducing mass and volume of waste and recovering energy content from unrecyclable materials. Indeed, power generation from industrial solid wastes (ISW) is a topic of great interest for its appeal in the field of renewable energy production as well as for an increasing public concern related to its emissions. This paper is based on the process engineering and optimization analysis, commissioned to the University Campus-Biomedico of Rome by the MIDA Tecnologie Ambientali S.r.l. enterprise, ended up in the construction of an ISW thermo-conversion plant in Crotone (Southern Italy), where it is nowadays operating. The scientific approach to the process analysis is founded on a novel cascade numerical simulation of each plant section and it has been used initially in the process design step and after to simulate the performances of the industrial plant. In this paper, the plant process scheme is described together with the values of main operating parameters monitored during the experimental test runs. The thermodynamic and kinetic basics of the mathematical model for the simulation of the energy recovery and flue gas treatment sections are presented. Moreover, the simulation results, together with the implemented parameters, are given and compared to the experimental data for 10 specific plant test runs. It was found that the model is capable to predict the process performances in the energy production as well as in the gas treatment sections with high accuracy by knowing a set of measurable input variables. In the paper fundamental plant variables have been considered such as steam temperature, steam flow rate, power generated as well as temperature, flow rate and composition of the resulting flue gas; therefore, the mathematical model can be simply implemented as a reliable and efficient tool for management optimization of this kind of plants.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)61-73
JournalProcess safety and environmental protection
Early online date30 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • Energy recovery
  • Flue gas treatment
  • Industrial plant
  • Pollutant emissions
  • Process simulation
  • Waste to energy (WtE)

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