December -2017


Industrializations become very significant for developing countries like India having large number of population. Rapid increase in urbanization and per capita income lead to high rate of municipal solid waste generation. In recent times, Ewaste and plastic waste also contribute considerably to total waste stream due to utilization and electronic and other items. These wastes may cause a potential hazard to human health or environment if any of the aspects of solid waste management is not managed effectively. Even today, large portion of solid waste is dumped indiscriminately on outskirts of towns or cities without any prior treatment.

India-waste Generation Scenario

Every year, about 55 million tones of municipal solid waste (MSW) and 38 billion liters of sewage are generated in the urban areas of India. In addition, large quantities of solid and liquid wastes are generated by industries. Waste generation in India is expected to increase rapidly in the future.

Type of Waste

Waste can be broadly classified into:
1. Urban waste
2. Industrial waste
3. Biomass waste
4. Biomedical waste
Urban waste includes Municipal solid Waste, Sewage and Faecal sludge, whereas industrial waste could be classified as Hazardous industrial waste and Nonhazardous industrial waste.

Importance of Waste to Energy

Most wastes that are generated, find their way into land and water bodies without proper treatment, causing severe water pollution. They also emit greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide, and add to air pollution. Any organic waste from urban and rural areas and industries is a resource due to its ability to get degraded, resulting in energy generation. The problems caused by solid and liquid wastes can be significantly mitigated through the adoption of environmentfriendly waste-to-energy technologies that will allow treatment and processing of waste before their disposal. These measures would reduce the quantity of wastes, generate substantial quantity of energy from them, and greatly reduce environmental pollution. India’s growing energy deficit is making the government central and state governments become keen on alternative and renewable energy sources. Waste to energy is one of these, and it is garnering increasing attention from both the central and state governments. While the Indian Government’s won figures would suggest that the cost of waste to energy is somewhat higher than other renewable sources, it is still and attractive option, as it serves a dual role of waste disposal and energy production.

Technologies for the Generation of Energy from Waste

Energy can be recovered from the organic fraction of waste through thermal, thermo-chemical, biochemical and electrochemical methods.

Thermal Conversion: The process involves thermal degradation of waste under high temperature. In this, complete oxidation of the waste occurs under high temperature. The major technological option under this category is incineration.

Thermo-chemical conversion: This  process entails high temperature driven decomposition of organic matter to produce either heat energy of fuel oil or gas. They are useful for wastes containing high percentage of organic non-biodegradable matter and low moisture content. The main technological options under this category include Paralysis and Gasification.

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Courtesy : Kurukshetra