M.S. Thesis: Comparison of Environmental Performance of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Plants in France with Denmark and Germany

By Yohann Benhamou

Advisor: Professor Nickolas J. Themelis

Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Science
Columbia University

November 2010

The MSW combusted in the operating 127 WTE plants of France amounts to 16.1 million tons. All of these plants meet the particulate matter, mercury,dioxins, and other emission standards of E.U. and France, with the exception of NOx where the average WTE emission in 2006 was about 25% higher than the E.U. standard of 200 mg NOx/Nm3 of stack gas.

This study concentrated on dioxin emissions that are the most difficultA plant-by-plant analysis of the 127 French WTE plants showed that in 2006 only six plants exceeded the E.U. standard for dioxin emissions from WTE (0.1 ng TEQ/Nm3). However, as of 2009, all operating WTE plants in France met this standard and the average of their dioxin emissions was less than 50% of the French standard, that is less than 0.05 ng TEQ/Nm3. For the 16 million tons of MSW combusted in France annually, the corresponding total amount of dioxins emitted by all French WTE plants in one year is calculated to be only 4 grams TEQ.

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