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Refuse-derived fuel sales surge

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

A new study by Fact.MR estimates that the refuse-derived fuel market will reach around 50 million t in 2019, which is a growth of around 3% y/y compared to 2018. Various factors, ranging from narrowed prospects of landfill and increased waste generation, to government support for establishing energy from waste facilities to local players, continue to drive the development and adoption of refuse-derived fuels worldwide.

Governments across the world have already started to emphasise the waste-to-energy (WtE) potential of their countries, exploiting waste that otherwise abuses landfills, to create fuel that serves as feed in myriad applications. Refuse-derived fuel adoption will benefit from a growing number of WtE facilities abreast of government initiatives towards reducing plastic waste and carbon emissions. As the pressure on landfill continues to grow, the future points at the development of mega capacity WtE plants worldwide, driving demand for refuse-derived fuel while creating sustainable ecosystems.

The study suggests that the global interest in refuse-derived fuel will see a considerable growth, as it gains momentum as a viable option for sustainable energy. Greater levels of waste ensued from rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, and has led the focus of governments on waste management frameworks. Additionally, the push for clean energy sources and reducing dependency on landfills will continue to favour WtE establishments, thereby creating demand for refuse-derived fuel.

Cement kilns

According to the study, stakeholders in the market are concentrating on exploring the application scope of refuse-derived fuels. However, their use in co-processing in cement kilns is expected to lead the way, accounting for around 60% of market shares. The energy intensive nature of cement kiln production has prompted the search for feasible substitutes for conventional fossil fuels, such as refuse-derived fuels.

The impetus to fossil fuel alternatives in the production of cement is evident, being driven by government initiatives to use residential and industrial waste for the production of bioenergy. The requirement for alternative fuels and raw materials has complemented the need for refuse-derived fuels as kiln feeds. Refuse-derived fuels offer an opportunity to improve the thermal substitution rate of the cement kilns, while achieving an apt and consistent calorific value for firing cement kilns.

Europe and APEJ

According to the study, the profitability of Europe for stakeholders in the refuse-derived fuel market is here to stay. The region is estimated to account for around 60% of sales of refuse-derived fuel in 2019, and the status quo is expected to prevail in the foreseeable future. The lead of Europe in the refuse-derived fuel market in underpinned by the presence of large-scale co-processing plants and robust internal trade activities apropos of refuse-derived fuel.

The study opines that opportunities are imminent in developing economies in APEJ, as governments undertake initiatives that promote waste management and derived fuel as alternatives to the fossil fuels used as feeds in cement processing and power generation industries. As energy from waste becomes an imperative source of bioenergy in APEJ, governments in the region are encouraging the stakeholders to adopt best practices for refuse-derived fuel production, while promoting the establishment of WtE plants.

The refuse-derived fuel landscape continues to witness the inclination of companies to strategies, including collaborations, business expansion, and joint ventures, to increase their involvement across various nodes of the value chain. The study finds that the long-term investment of stakeholders in developing markets is expected to bring in average returns, whereas the success rate will remain high.

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European cement news Cement news 2018