WILCI: a LCA tool dedicated to MSW incineration in France

Conference object English OPEN
Beylot , Antoine ; Muller , Stéphanie ; Descat , Marie ; Ménard , Yannick ; Michel , Pascale ; Villeneuve , Jacques (2017)
  • Publisher: HAL CCSD
  • Subject: [ SDE.IE ] Environmental Sciences/Environmental Engineering

International audience; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has been increasingly used in the last decades to evaluate the global environmental performance of waste treatment options. This is in particular the case considering incineration that is the major treatment route for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in France (28% of French MSW are incinerated, in 126 MSW incineration plants; ADEME, 2015). In this context, this article describes a new Excel-tool, WILCI (for Waste Incineration Life Cycle Inventory tool), dedicated to the LCA of MSW incineration in the French situation. In view of the similarities between French and other European MSW management systems, it can be considered a robust tool to perform the LCA of MSW incineration in many European countries. An overview is here given respectively regarding the kind of case studies that WILCI offers to model, the parameters that can be modified by users and the kind of results calculated. WILCI enables users to build a Life Cycle Inventory relative to the incineration of a given amount of MSW, considering technologies and performances (in terms of emissions, energy, etc.) representative of the specific system under study. Users have the possibility to define several parameters, including in particular: the type of waste that is treated (by waste category and by chemical element), the Air Pollution Control (APC) technologies implemented (e.g. acid gas treatment, DeNOx), the corresponding level of emissions, the level of energy recovery and delivery to the grid, the consumption of reagents, and the fate of solid residues downstream the incinerator. Considering each of these parameters, default values, for most of them based on datasets collected with respect to 90 French MSW incineration plants considering the period 2012-2015, and therefore representative of average MSW incineration in France, are pre-implemented in WILCI and can be used as such by LCA modellers. Given these user-modifiable parameters, and their corresponding defaults values, this tool is well adapted to perform the LCA of several types of case studies, including: i) the average MSW incineration system in France, ii) the incineration of average MSW, in plants equipped with a given APC technology, and iii) the incineration of specific waste categories (e.g. paper). Two types of outputs are calculated from WILCI: on the one hand, elementary flows directly emitted from the incinerator to the environment and, on the other hand, energy, reagents and solid residues that require an additional modelling with dedicated databases. WILCI was built in line with the ecoinvent approach for Life Cycle Inventories relative to MSW incineration, so that the calculated outputs are "ecoinvent-compliant". In particular, data uncertainty was quantified in line with the uncertainty approach used in ecoinvent. WILCI is free of charge and can be obtained upon request to the developing team.
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