Benefits to the environment

All Life Plus funded projects are selected on the basis that they can prove to provide benefits to the environment. The MARSS project has identified various direct and indirect potential benefits to the environment.

GHG emissions: Biomass fuels are considered to be environmentally friendly as there is no net increase of CO2 with combustion of biomass. Using biomass fuels for heat and power also avoid the release of methane from landfill sites.

Reducing Biological municipal waste (BMW) going to landfill: the EU Landfill Directive is particularly concerned with the reduction of biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) sent to landfill. This project provides al alternative to landfilling of biogenic material.

It is not just a problem of landfilling of BMW, but also landfilling of other fractions which should be collected, recovered and recycled or disposed of more safely without damage to the environment.

Reducing landfilling of valuable materials suitable for recycling: MARSS also provides an improved recycling system to catch essentially lost fractions such as NF metals. In Germany for example, about 0.5% NF metals are still present in Mixed MSW and can be recovered using our new plant.

Alternative to incineration: MARSS provides an alternative to Mixed MSW incineration using instead energy recovery from biomass with full use of resulting fractions – so demonstrating a way to close the loop between production of organic fractions and final recycling and disposal of the biodegradable waste fractions.

Increasing renewable energy potentials: MARSS provides a substitute green fuel for heat and power production suitable for decentralised use. Recovery of biodegradable organic fraction from MMSW with similar calorific content as coal (11000 kJ/kg) which can be used as a green fuel substitute for heat and power.

“Achieving the EU goals on climate stability means that an almost carbon-free EU power system must be in place by 2050 (IPCC, 2007). If historical growth rates of power consumption are maintained, this would mean adding a supply capacity of about 6300 TWh by 2050. Whilst improvements in energy efficiency are of vital importance to reduce that figure, renewables have a central role to play in the formation of a carbon-free power sector (CEC, 2008a)”

Lastly, soil and water contamination due to land filled or stockpiled biomass can be mitigated by firing carbon-neutral biomass fuels.