Exergy led the Waste2Energy Medellin study to assess the most feasible, and environmentally friendly methods and technologies suitable for waste treatment as well as its use to produce energy.
Medellin (and Aburra Valley) is the second biggest city in Colombia with a population of 3.3 million inhabitants. In the city, approximately 70.000 tons of solid waste are generated every month with a cost of £644,700 for its inhabitants and in the next decade £200 million would be needed to expand and build new landfills.
The scope of the study analysed the La Pradera landfill located 57 km away from the city of Medellin.
The team, led by Exergy, counted on the participation of the two Colombian organisations (CIDET and University EIA).
The study compared a variety of alternative energy solutions such as biogas production, co-combustion, residual derived fuel or even advanced technologies (syngas and liquid biofuels production) with a focus on the Combined Heat and Power technology. Additionally, various scenarios for the implementation of a waste management strategies to reduce waste and improve waste collection and recycling were assessed.
Exergy applied its proprietary Exergy methodology, Galileo’s Eye, considering all life cycle stages from waste collection to waste treatment and to energy generation.
The assessment results proposed the construction of a CHP plant that incinerates waste to produce energy, and the implementation of a waste management platform to change user and organisational behaviour in terms of collection and recycling of municipal solid waste.
The study raised the interest of relevant stakeholders in the city and the local authorities. The future of implementation of these strategies will depend on the adoption of stricter legislation regarding landfills and availability of funds.
The proposed design established cost and environmental improvements of implementation:
CEO & Head of Research Planning