This paper presents material flow and sustainability analyses of novel mechanical biological chemical treatment system for complete valorization of municipal solid waste (MSW). It integrates material recovery facility (MRF); pulping, chemical conversion; effluent treatment plant (ETP), anaerobic digestion (AD); and combined heat and power (CHP) systems producing end products: recyclables (24.9% by mass of MSW), metals (2.7%), fibre (1.5%); levulinic acid (7.4%); recyclable water (14.7%), fertiliser (8.3%); and electricity (0.126 MWh/t MSW), respectively. Refuse derived fuel (RDF) and non-recyclable other waste, char and biogas from MRF, chemical conversion and AD systems, respectively, are energy recovered in the CHP system. Levulinic acid gives profitability independent of subsidies; MSW priced at 50 Euro/t gives a margin of 204 Euro/t. Global warming potential savings are 2.4 and 1.3 kg CO2 equivalent per kg of levulinic acid and fertiliser, and 0.17 kg CO2 equivalent per MJ of grid electricity offset, respectively.
- Municipal solid waste management
- levulinic acid