Evaluation of the cross-media effects of new emission limit values for waste-to- energy plants via a combination of process modelling and life cycle assessment

Conference Dates

June 5 – 10, 2022


The recent release of the new European reference document on the Best Available Techniques for waste incineration (2019 BREF WI) has set ambitious targets for the control of waste combustion pollutants, such as acid gases (HCl and SO2). Within 2024 existing waste-to-energy (WtE) plants will have to reduce their acid gas emissions at stack at least at the levels indicated by BREF WI. To comply with reduced emission limit values (ELVs), WtE plants will need to increase the performance of their flue gas treatment (FGT) systems, at the cost of increased cross-media effects, i.e., additional indirect environmental impacts related to the increased consumption of reactant and the increased generation of process residues/wastewater. The present study aims at proposing a methodology to estimate the cross-media effects associated to more stringent ELVs in the WtE sector, in order to assess the full environmental balance of new emission regulations, taking into account not only the emissions at stack but also the indirect impacts arising along the life cycle of FGT.

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