Summary of the alternative thermochemical processes assessed

Life BIBW 2992 assessment (LCA) is a tool that can be used to compare such technologies and to evaluate their environmental performances, allowing decision makers to be correctly informed (Moberg et al., 2005). LCA has previously been used to assess waste to energy treatments of MSW, accounting for all processes from collection to material recovery and electricity generation (Consonni et?al., 2005 and Evangelisti et?al., 2014). However, relatively few studies have been published using LCA to evaluate advanced thermal treatments other than incineration. Zaman (2013) analysed a pyrolysis-gasification process for MSW, revealing better environmental performance compared with conventional incineration; however, inventory data for the process were based on a plant in the UK although the study was based in Sweden. Khoo (2009) assessed eight different advanced treatment technologies; however the analysis was not consistent in terms of feedstock treated by each plant (from MSW to tyres). Pressley et al. (2014) recently published a study on gasification of MSW with a Fischer–Tropsch process for production of liquid transport fuel from the resultant gas but the production and consumption of chemicals used were not included in the system. Al-Salem et al. (2014) analysed a low-temperature pyrolysis process for waste treatment; however the study considered plastic residue only. Finally, Arena et al. (2014) presented a comparative attributional LCA of a moving grate combustor and a vertical gas shaft gasifier coupled with direct melting, a technology mostly used in Japan. Results from fats paper are compared with the findings of our study in Section 5.