Sustainable waste-to-energy development in Malaysia: Appraisal of environmental, financial, and public issues related with energy recovery from municipal solid waste

Zi Jun Yong, Mohammed J.K. Bashir, Choon Aun Ng, Sumathi Sethupathi, Jun Wei Lim, Pau Loke Show

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

As Malaysia is a fast-developing country, its prospects of sustainable energy generation are at the center of debate. Malaysian municipal solid waste (MSW) is projected to have a 3.3% increase in annual generation rate at the same time an increase of 3.3% for electricity demand. In Malaysia, most of the landfills are open dumpsite and 89% of the collected MSW end up in landfills. Furthermore, huge attention is being focused on converting MSW into energy due to the enormous amount of daily MSW being generated. Sanitary landfill to capture methane from waste landfill gas (LFG) and incineration in a combined heat and power plant (CHP) are common MSW-to-energy technologies in Malaysia. MSW in Malaysia contains 45% organic fraction thus landfill contributes as a potential LFG source. Waste-to-energy (WTE) technologies in treating MSW potentially provide an attractive economic investment since its feedstock (MSW) is collected almost for free. At present, there are considerable issues in WTE technologies although the technology employing MSW as feedstock are well established, for instance the fluctuation of MSW composition and the complexity in treatment facilities with its pollutant emissions. Thus, this study discusses various WTE technologies in Malaysia by considering the energy potentials from all existing incineration plants and landfill sites as an effective MSW management in Malaysia. Furthermore, to promote local innovation and technology development and to ensure successful long-term sustainable economic viability, social inclusiveness, and environmental sustainability in Malaysia, the four faculties of sustainable development namely technical, economic, environmental, and social issues affiliated with MSW-to-Energy technologies were compared and evaluated.

Original languageBritish English
Article number676
JournalProcesses
Volume7
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Malaysia
  • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW);Waste-to-Energy (WTE)
  • Social
  • Sustainability
  • Technical

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