Resource recovery and life cycle assessment in co-treatment of organic waste substrates for biogas versus incineration value chains in Poland and Norway

The BioTEnMaRe project (Innovation in recycling technologies relating to sewage sludge and other biowaste – energy and matter recovery) is funded by the Polish – Norwegian Research Programme, and is coordinated by Czestochowa University of Technology, with NTNU and NMBU as Norwegian partners. Østfoldforskning is subcontracted to NTNU for the work of developing this report.

The Organic Waste Substrate Treatment Tools (OWSTT) were developed as a part of the master thesis of Simon A. Saxegård under the supervision of Helge Brattebø at NTNU, Industrial Ecology programme, spring 2015. The objective of the thesis was to perform a generic life cycle assessment (LCA) for biogas production from organic waste sources in Norway. Part of the thesis work resulted in the generic OWSTT model developed in SimaPro 8. OWSTT has been used for three parallel LCA master theses, assessing four cases. Three of the cases are generic: two respectively for Norway (Saxegård 2015) and Poland, and the third compared with Denmark (Danielsson 2015). The fourth case was a forecasting analysis for the Norwegian pilot biogas facility, The Magic Factory (Hegg 2015) based on assumed values for that specific plant. Each thesis assesses the environmental contribution of anaerobic treatment to biogas and bioresidual production, relative to common organic waste treatment alternatives. These theses are recommended reading as supplementary information to the following report.

The early OWSTT version was developed as part of a master thesis. An LCA of anaerobic treatment for both Poland and Norway based on previous work in the project was initiated in order to ensure its capability as a contribution to the Polish-Norwegian BioTEnMaRe project work package (WP) 4. WP1 and WP2 performed direct analyses on degradability and co-digestion effects on sewage sludge (SS/SwSl) (1), grease fats and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW/OMW)1. The analysis is presented in chapter 4: WP4 – BioTEnMaRe – LCA of alternative organic substrate treatment in Poland and Norway.

The additional development of the OWSTT model was initiated by NTNU by Helge Brattebø and Simon A. Saxegård, now at Østfoldforskning. S.A. Saxegård has carried out the development in direct correspondence with the BioTEnMaRe project and for educational purposes at NTNU. The objective was to go through the model, identify and reduce epistemic uncertainties, correct the language of the model and develop a database tool that can summarize the data for multiple case assessments. The database was to be filled with data for both a revised Norwegian case and a Polish case based upon the experimental data found through WP1 and 2. A sequence of the database inventory is presented in appendix 5. As a result of technical challenges using calculated parameters in SimaPro 8.04, a second development package was initiated to transfer the Material flow analysis (MFA) to a Microsoft Excel version. The MFA tool can be used independently from the LCA tool in SimaPro.

(1) The notations differ in the BIOTENMARE project and the OWSTT model. SS is the notation used in the Polish case, while SwSl is the OWSTT notation. The same is true for OFMSW, used in BIOTENAMRE, while organic municipal waste (OMW) is the notation used in OWSTT.