Air Monitoring

Radiocarbon measurement of fossil CO2 emissions from waste incineration plants: A monitoring tool for CO2 trading in Denmark and Sweden

May 24 2018

Author: Karsten Fuglsang on behalf of CEM Conference

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In several countries, an increasing share of renewable energy comes from waste incineration. Due to the content of fossil carbon in combustible waste, the fossil CO2 constitute a considerable share of the total CO2 emissions from combustion of municipal waste. The National governments in Denmark and Sweden have decided to include the emissions of fossil CO2 from municipal waste incineration plants in the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). This means that since January 2013, all waste incineration plants with an expected emission of ? 50,000 tonnes of fossil CO2 in Denmark and Sweden have implemented monitoring methods in order to quantify of the share of biogenic and fossil CO2 emissions. In 2012, FORCE Technology developed a method for long term monitoring of biogenic and fossil CO2 in stack gas based on measurement of the carbon-14 content of CO2, continuously sampled from the emitted stack gas. The method is based on the EN ISO 13833 standard. The method was presented at the CEM 2011 conference and is described in detail.

In this paper, we present an overview of the results of radiocarbon measurements of biogenic and fossil CO2 from 5 Danish and 4 Swedish waste incineration plants. Results from continuous sampling and analysis on more than 15 different oven lines over a 3 year period (January 2013 - January 2016) will be shown. The variability of results over time and geographical areas will be discussed. Furthermore, the uncertainty of the carbon-14 method will be discussed in relation to the ETS requirements

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