The Use of Organic Waste as an Eco-Efficient Energy Source in GhanaReport as inadecuate

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The problem of municipal solid waste MSW management has been an issue of global concern in recent times and has engaged governments and local authorities in their quest to manage solid waste in a sustained manner. One proposition which has the potential of solving three problems at the same time is the use of the biodegradable component of MSW as a source of energy to augment energy supply. This research therefore assessed the use of the organic fraction of MSW as an eco-efficient energy source in Ghana. A study of Ghana’s solid waste profile was undertaken and the fraction of biodegradable component was found to be approximately 60%, with a heating value of 17 MJ-kg and a moisture content of 50%. Moreover, it was established that 0.5 kg of solid waste is generated daily by each Ghanaian, meaning that about 5610 tons of the organic fraction could be made available every day to generate energy to the national grid. It was also established that waste disposal in Ghana is largely by way of open dumping as primary collection of waste from households in Ghana is limited to high-income communities which represent only 11% of the population, whereas secondary collection from transfer points to the disposal facilities is inefficient. With representative power output of 1.66 MWh-tonne a total of 3320 GWh of energy can be produced annually from the 4 proposed plants, generating net revenue of about $111,600,000. As an optimizing step, a waste incineration scheme was suggested in which the off-gases produced from organic waste combustion could be used to produce electrical power with steam in a multi-stage heat exchanger-steam turbine configuration, and the off gases again used for pre-drying of the organic waste in a cycle. A state-of-the art waste incineration technology was used as a model and adapted to suit Ghana’s tropical conditions. MSW combustion releases less CO2 for the same power output 837 Ib-MWh than any of the other conventional fuels do, and is therefore a good fuel for the fight against climate change.


Municipal Solid Waste; Organic Waste; Biodegradable; Eco-Efficient; Pre-Drying; Waste Incineration; Climate Change

Cite this paper

R. Ohene Adu and R. Lohmueller -The Use of Organic Waste as an Eco-Efficient Energy Source in Ghana,- Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 553-562. doi: 10.4236-jep.2012.37066.

Author: Robert Ohene Adu, Reiner Lohmueller



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