Waste to Energy: Techno-Economic Cost-Benefit Analysis

All Energy Pty Ltd

  • Project code: PRJ-009747

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Friday, March 20, 2015

  • Project completion date: Wednesday, September 30, 2015

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 3-Contributing to efficient and secure chicken production systems


The project will complete a concept study for converting chicken meat industry waste into energy and a solid co-product via a thermal process. The aim is to determine the economic viability (payback period and internal rate of return) for a thermal WTE facility that utilizes the most up-to-date technologies. A thermal process can reduce grid power and heating fuel costs whilst also generating a solid which can be used as a fertilizer or soil substrate. Spent litter and process plant waste will both be considered.
The project will approach the problem in stages;
1. Industry review and Basis of design: Summarize previous work on waste availability and composition, on-site heat and power loads, federal/state-based regulation and disposal requirements relevant to associated waste streams, the planning approval process, additional drivers/constraints for change, and international approaches. A technical specification will be created for vendor pricing from thermal WTE technology vendors (e.g. pyrolysis, gasification, mass combustion).
2. Techno-economic Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA): Assess the economic feasibility of WTE technology. An optimized thermal treatment system will be compared to previously published anaerobic digestion results. This will include consideration of disruptive project models including leasing and build-own-operate to reduce upfront capital requirements. The Renewable Energy Target (RET) and the proposed Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) will also be considered.
It is envisaged that a potential outcome from the CBA will be a modular and/or highly transportable system which can deal with a range of waste tonnages by replicating the module with an appropriately sized power generator set (e.g. engine). Suitable WTE technology will be matched to the feedstock.
3. Final report detailing study outcomes for dissemination.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

All Energy Pty Ltd

Objective Summary

Stage 1: Industry Review and Basis of Design
Previously published data will be utilized to minimize the project budget.
1.1: Problem definition of for the chicken meat industry and documentation of current practices in order to better understand the role that waste to energy (WTE) can play in providing a value-adding alternative treatment option.
1.2 Review of existing industry practice with regards to waste streams produced (i.e. volume per head processed and typical composition) and treatment systems employed (i.e. size, type, performance and cost).
1.3 Review of current Federal/state regulatory landscape and WTE planning approval requirements.
1.4 Review of additional drivers (i.e. ease of maintenance/operation, social license) and constraints (i.e. budgetary and or space restrictions, lack of industry knowledge) to adoption of WTE.
1.5 Review of international and domestic adoption of WTE and/or any research and development activity in this area.
The anticipated outcomes of the afore-mentioned review activities will be to define the key unit operation requirements, suppliers available, quality requirements of product streams and processing variables requiring consideration.
Stage 2: CBA
2.1 Technical specification of a suitable waste stream(s).
2.2 Budget vendor pricing for WTE plant.
2.3 Block flow diagram & high level mass and energy balance for an entire plant.
2.4 Fully installed capital cost estimate including plant tie-ins and balance of plant requirements.
2.5 Operating cost and revenue / savings estimate.
2.6 Cost-benefit analysis (including payback, rate of return, net present value).
2.7 Preliminary sensitivity analysis: to determine the process variables & scenario assumptions which have the greatest impact on the overall economics.
Stage 3: Final study report and summary flyer.