Canada ranks among the highest producers of solid waste per capita in the industrialized world, and landfills over two-thirds of its waste. In total around 26 million tonnes of waste is disposed of in thousands of landfill sites across Canada. Tipping fees vary across the country, but are on the increase. Landfills are the responsibility of the local government. Once the environmental impact study is completed, permits must be obtained from the local, state and federal governments. The cost of building a landfill varies according to a) location, b) application fees and c) engineering cost. Landfilling waste is not a cheap option, currently in the greater Vancouver area the tipping fee is over $100 per tonne.
Municipal Solid Waste is a major problem for all cities, both the landfill and Incinerator solutions cause significant environmental problems such as air and land pollution. Significant amounts of toxic materials are buried under ground including the waste generated from an incinerator. The public is cognizant of global warming issues and the CO2 emission problems. Currently most western countries are considering replacement of the incinerator and landfill solutions. They are looking forward to the new technologies such as gasification waste-to energy and Pyrolysis.
MSW is mixed waste containing various composites to be treated and as a result is not applicable for traditional Pyrolysis technologies. The only alternative method, besides the APS System, is to ‘gasify’ the MSW waste. The APS system offers the other best solution for dealing with MSW by incorporating Pyrolysis technology with gasification in its three stage process, thereby eliminating the emission problems resulting from incineration.
The APS system, unlike a gasification system does not convert hydrocarbons solely into fuel gas. The first priority of the APS system is to produce fuel oil, then syngas. The APS system can be used also as gasification system by adjusting the processing temperature. However the Company does not recommend the above because the gasification process that produces fuel gas requires a gas turbine to generate electricity. The gas turbine is often more expensive than the APS system and the electricity may not be a readily marketable product, as it must connect with a transmission network requiring regulatory approval and the additional cost of transmission lines to connect to the grid. Fuel oil is much easier to store and sell. Also the investment cost of the APS plant is far less than a gasification power plant.
Processing of municipal solid waste produces several high quality by-products, depending on the general make up of the waste: