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Online determination of fossil carbon dioxide emissions in incineration plants

Research project within the Industrial Doctoral School at Umeå University

The Industrial Doctoral School and Umeå Energi are funding a PhD student who will develop methods to determine the fossil share of carbon dioxide emissions from waste incineration plants with high time resolution. It will be investigated whether optical in situ measurements and machine learning can contribute to reaching the goal. The project is carried out in collaboration between the Applied Optics research group, led by Florian Schmidt, and Umeå Energi.

Ph.D. Student and supervisor

Alexandre Salou
Doctoral student
Florian Schmidt
Associate professor

Project overview

Project period:

2023-09-01 2027-08-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Applied Physics and Electronics

Research area

Energy engineering

Project description

In a circular and carbon neutral economy, non-recyclable waste can be used for energy recovery through incineration together with material recycling and carbon separation. An obstacle to effective implementation is that the instantaneous waste composition is usually unknown. At the same time, the EU's emissions trading system requires industry to measure and compensate for fossil carbon dioxide emissions. Current experimental methods to distinguish fossil from biogenic carbon dioxide emissions and waste fractions are time-consuming and expensive.

The project aims at employing fast and robust in situ measurements of relevant atomic and molecular markers, including isotopes, in the flue gas using laser-based techniques to determine the shares of fossil and biogenic carbon dioxide with high time-resolution. The possibility for optical on-site 14C detection will be explored. Knowledge of the actual flue gas composition and the chemical composition of common waste types combined with machine learning could also enable online determination of the input waste fractions. The proposed methods will be validated in the laboratory and tested at a 65 MW waste incineration plant at Umeå Energi. The project will enable an optimized incineration process and provide information on the bottom ash composition as well as feedback to the waste providers.

Latest update: 2024-03-04