Valorization is the conversion of waste and biomass to energy, fuels and other useful materials, with particular focus on environmental indicators and sustainability goals. It is part of the larger endeavor of loop-closing. This topic is the object of cooperation between a large number of actors from various fields of engineering sciences, health and safety.
In this paper, the relevance and the interest in this topic is discussed and supported with examples. The two examples proposed concern biomass and plastic films. Biomass has gained a tremendous interest during the ten last years and will be a subject for significant research progress in the future. The evolution of research in the production of biofuels from first, second and third generation biomass is discussed using thermal process.
The second example concerns plastic films; valorization of plastics has been investigated for two
decades already with relevant progress. However, this paper shows that there are still a number of
issues to tackle and overcome for an efficient and effective valorization of plastic films.
To improve and reach a significant valorization, integrated processes for proper separation,
detection and classification of plastic film from industrial and commercial packaging waste are
discussed. The paper also highlights the bottlenecks, barriers and challenging issues such as the
emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases, energy efficiency, modeling, characterization,
regulation and policy that will drive the development of this field in the future.
Toward the Valorization of Waste and Biomass
The mission of WTERT council is to identify the best available technologies for the treatment of various waste materials, conduct additional academic research as required, and disseminate this information by means of its publications, the WTERT web, and annual meetings.
It communicates about waste and biomass valorization to energy and materials using thermal treatment.
In particular, WTERT strives to increase the global recovery of energy and materials from used solids and to advance the economic and environmental performance of waste-to-energy
( WTE ) technologies in the U.S. and worldwide.
The guiding principle is that responsible management of wastes must be based on science and best available technology and not what seems to be inexpensive now but can be very costly in the near future.
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