Material and Energy valorisation of waste in a Circular Economy

IEA Bioenergy Task 36 Work Programme 2022-2024


Publications

IEA Bioenergy Task 36 Work Programme 2022-2024

During 2022–2024, Task 36 will focus on the effect that circular economy initiatives along the waste and energy value chain will have in the deployment of bioenergy globally.

Objectives

The specific objectives for the proposed programme are:

  • Understanding economic, societal, and environmental aspects derived from different EfW and material recycling technologies/strategies adopted.
  • Highlight the role of EfW in a circular economy.
  • Evaluation of new technologies pathways for turning waste into high valuable products.
  • Forecast waste streams composition and amounts generated as circular economy is unfolding.
  • Raise awareness within the waste and energy sector about the role of smart/digital technologies in enabling transition of sectors to circularity.

Challenges covered

The  following challenges will be covered in the work in 2022–2024:

  • Transitioning from a linear economy towards a circular one generates possibilities to both implement existing and new solutions in new settings. Just because it is technically possibly does not mean that that solution is viable or the best in the larger picture. Reaching a better understanding of economic, societal, and environmental aspects derived from different EfW and material recycling technologies/strategies adopted will help in avoiding potential suboptimizations.

 

  • The role of EfW in a linear economy has been to sanitize and decrease the volume of waste while generating useful power and/or heat in the process. Despite there will still be room for traditional solutions for waste that most probably cannot be handle in a safe matter in any other way in a circular economy; the role of EfW has to evolve and open to other opportunities to include new aspects and combinations of energy and material valorisation. This new role can encompass the development of new technology pathways to deliver high value products together with energy, but also changes in the waste amounts and compositions when waste minimisation, re-utilisation, and recycling increases. The stakeholders need to prepare for these changes. This work was begun in 2019–2021 but will continue into the new period.

 

  • Another clear trend is the increased use and capability of different digitalisation tools. The sensors evolve as do the algorithms for the use of image recognition and big data mining. The waste and energy sector needs to be more aware about the role of smart/digital technologies in enabling transition of sectors towards circularity.

 

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Task 36 for triennium 2022-2024_210826