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A comparison of the physical and chemical composition of UK waste streams based on hypothetical compound structure

By M. Chester, D. Stupples and M. Lees


The suitability and effectiveness of a waste treatment process or strategy depends upon a waste\ud stream’s physical and chemical composition. Chemical properties of UK waste streams,\ud particularly MSW, are limited while physical properties are better documented. Consequently\ud this presents a degree of uncertainty with the waste’s properties, manifesting itself as financial\ud risk in the investment of new treatment or disposal plant. To mitigate this uncertainty, a number\ud of UK waste surveys have been reviewed to determine if there is significant difference in the\ud calorific value between waste streams. Ultimate and proximate analysis data from a number of\ud sources have been collected and used to approximate the chemical composition of each waste\ud fraction. To facilitate the comparison of each waste stream, a hypothetical compound of the form\ud C6HaOb has been determined for each. Based on this analysis, all UK waste streams share the\ud hypothetical formula C6H10O3, indicating that on a dry basis, the composition of waste in the UK\ud is fairly consistent. Monte Carlo analysis of the hypothetical compound structure revealed that\ud for both household and civic amenity waste streams, the hydrogen and oxygen content only\ud deviate slightly from the mean values. Since MSW is predominantly comprised of household and\ud civic amenity waste, the hypothetical compound C6H10O3 can be used to approximate UK MSW

Year: 2008
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