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Published Papers & Presentations

Scientific Papers

For an excellent source of scientific information on waste-to-energy and its safety, please check out this page.

Waste-to-Energy Benefits

For an excellent source of information on waste-to-energy and its benefits, please check out these documents.

  • Energy from Waste Can Help Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Matt Kasper, Center for American Progress, April 2013
  • Opportunities to Increase and Diversify Domestic Energy Resources: A Path Forward for States to Create and Retain Jobs - Democratic Governors Support Waste-to-Energy as a Job Creator, Democratic Governors Association - Center for Innovative Policy, September 2012
  • Democratic Governors Support Waste-to-Energy as a Job Creator - English Summary - Democratic Governors Association - Center for Innovative Policy, September 2012
  • Democratic Governors Support Waste-to-Energy as a Job Creator - Spanish (Espanol) Summary - Democratic Governors Association - Center for Innovative Policy, September 2012
  • Reconsidering Waste-to-Energy - Booz and Company, Public Utilities Fortnightly, March 2012
  • Reconsidering MSW as a Renewable Energy Feedstock - EESI 2009
  • Heating and Lighting the Way to a Sustainable Future - CEWEP 2009
  • Waste in, (mega)watt out - CEWEP 2009
  • Energy Answers' Papers

    Business Vehicles for Accomplishment (PDF)

    "At this point in time, with rising global energy demand, increased local concern for the environment, global warming mitigation agreements and government incentives for solving these problems, the prospects for the private sector solution providers to structure economically attractive alternatives is excellent. The vehicles we create to accomplish business objectives can be used to appropriately allocate the project risks, protect the participants, yield significant profits for all and provide an opportunity for major corporations to make significant contributions to improving our environment. We at Energy Answers look forward to the new challenges." - Patrick F. Mahoney, P.E., D.E.E - 6/21-22/2005, 14th Annual AHC Corporate Affiliates Workshop, Saratoga Springs, NY

    Solid Waste as an Economic Generator for Sustainable Development (PDF)

    "Energy Answers is not a large corporation. We do not produce and sell products which may have an environmental impact. We are a small organization, dedicated to cleaning up the mess and eliminating waste. Our products are systems which take in waste and utilize it to recover energy and materials in forms which will be attractive to the market place. Our sole business is renewable energy, environmental improvement, reduction of waste and conservation of resources." - Patrick F. Mahoney, P.E., D.E.E - 6/18-19/2001, 9th Annual AHC Corporate Affiliates Workshop, Saratoga Springs, NY

    Comparative Impacts of Local Waste-to-Energy vs. Long Distance Disposal of Municipal Waste (PDF)

    "As the cost of energy and transportation fuels continue to rise and landfill space in large urban centers is zoned out, there has been renewed interest in assessing other viable, proven, waste management alternatives that are presently available. This paper compares the environmental impacts, as well as the most obvious economic impacts, of local, state-of-the-art facilities that combust MSW and recover electricity, heat, and metals, with the alternative of diesel truck hauling of MSW to distant landfills, as is presently the case for New York City, Toronto, and most other major urban cities." - Jack Lauber; Margretta E. Morris; Priscilla Ulloa; Floyd Hasselriis - 6/21/2006, Air & Waste Management Association Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana

    Comparison of Air Emissions from the Proposed WSREC and Longhaul Landfilling (PDF)

    "A side-by-side comparison of expected air emissions between a WTE Facility and longhaul landfilling an equivalent quantity of waste, including vehicular emissions associated with both options, indicates that the WTE Facility would be a better choice for minimizing emissions. Despite public perception that the emissions from municipal waste combustion facilities are greater and more harmful than the emissions from landfills, only recently have assessments of landfills begun to analyze emissions other than fugitive emissions from a landfill surface." - Gary G. Pierce - Comparison of Air Emissions from the Proposed WSREC and Longhaul Landfilling

    Minimum Dioxin with Maximum Resource Recovery (PDF)

    "Extensive research has been conducted into the means by which dioxin is formed in, and emitted from, MWC units. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has studied MWC emissions and adopted increasingly stringent emission standards for new and existing MWCs, in both 1991 and 1995." - Patrick F. Mahoney; Gary G. Pierce; Gordon L. Sutin - 6/2/1997, Dioxin '97 Conference, Bloomington, Indiana

    Others' Papers

    Why the Fairfield Renewable Energy Project Makes Sense for Baltimore and Maryland (PDF)

    "The construction and operation of the Project will be a significant economic development for the Baltimore City and the State of Maryland, creating immediate well-paying jobs and generating a wide range of tax revenues that will benefit all levels of government. The construction phase of the power plant will occur over a period of approximately 3 years, during which time the State will not be incurring an energy payment for the electrical output of the facility. During its construction phase, the Project will generate an average of 620 direct jobs each year and 358 additional indirect and induced jobs in Maryland." - Sage Policy Group Report - October 2011

    Analysis of Municipal Solid Waste Management Alternatives for the Greater Baltimore Region (PDF)

    "In comparing the net total GHG emissions from the regional PRF scenario with those from the landfill scenarios, the landfill alternative produced between 2 and 4 times more CO2-equivalent emissions than the PRF (Processed Refuse Fuel) alternative. This range is based on GHG emissions, namely CH4 and CO2, and converting these emissions into CO2 equivalents using the factor of 23 for CH4 and 1 for CO2 from fossil sources." Research Triangle Institute Report - October 2011

    Is it Better to Burn or Bury Waste for Clean Energy Generation? (PDF)

    "The use of municipal solid waste (MSW) to generate electricity through landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE) and waste-to-energy (WTE) projects represents roughly14% of U.S. non-hydro renewable electricity generation. Although various aspects of LFGTE and WTE have been analyzed in the literature, this paper is the first to present a comprehensive set of life-cycle emission factors per unit of electricity generated for these energy recovery options. In addition, sensitivity analysis is conducted on key inputs (e.g., efficiency of the WTE plant, landfill gas management schedules, oxidation rate, and waste composition) to quantify the variability in the resultant life-cycle emissions estimates. While methane from landfills results from the anaerobic breakdown of biogenic materials, the energy derived from WTE results from the combustion of both biogenic and fossil materials." - P. Ozge Kaplan, Joseph DeCarolis, and Susan Thorneloe - Environ. Sci. Technol., 2009, 43 (6), 1711-1717; DOI: 10.1021/es802395e; Publication Date (Web): 10 February 2009

    Health Risks of Lanfilling versus Combustion of Municipal Solid Waste: An Illinois Comparison (PDF)

    "Current policy envisions a hierarchy of steps for guiding the management of municipal solid waste (MSW); they are: source reduction, recycling, combustion and landfilling. The last two processes frequently spark public debate about health risks. Intensive efforts to eliminate these steps through recycling have demonstrably resulted in diversions of 50% or less; thus, the hierarchy still includes combustion and landfilling. Mitigation of their impacts on community health is the objective of added laws passed and regulations promulgated over the past decade. Paralleling these control efforts has been the development of multi-pathway assessment methodologies designed to provide at least a standard approach for comparing risks if not a reliable quantitative estimator of absolute risk. This paper updates previous risk-risk comparisons of landfilling vs. combustion of MSW by applying current methodologies to assess the technologies in the context of existing regulation. Risks of either technology fall within the regulatory precedents for acceptability during the operational phase (30 yrs) and the early closure phase (40 years), but the ultimate releases of leachate from the landfill generate potentially large risks over a time interval beyond this horizon." - Alan Eschenroeder and Katherine von Stackelberg - 6/20-24/1999, 92nd Annual Meeting & Exposition of Air & Waste Management Assoc., St. Louis, MO

    Re_Covering All the Bases: A Comparison of Landfills and Resource Recovery Facilities in Puerto Rico (PDF)

    "Every community in the United States, and indeed globally, must decide how to manage its municipal solid waste (MSW). Puerto Rico faces an extraordinary challenge today as it struggles to upgrade its solid waste infrastructure. Full management of MSW includes a mix of materials diversion, source reduction, and disposal activities, with the most appropriate mix depending on local economic, social, political, and environmental conditions." - Marie Lynn Miranda, Ph.D. and Brack Hale, M.E.M. - 6/19/1999, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC

    Highlights - Independent Review of Energy Answers Resource Recovery Technology (PDF)

    "An 'Independent Review of Energy Answers Resource Recovery Technology and its Potential Application in Europe' was conducted by Juniper Consultancy Services Limited, Gloucestershire, England, to assess its capabilities against European regulatory norms, current practices and the competitive performance of typical state-of-the-art facilities in Europe." - Kevin Whiting, B.Eng., C.Eng., PhD, FIChemE - 2/2006, Juniper Consultancy Services Limited, Gloucestershire, England

    Greenhouse Gas Dynamics of Municipal Solid Waste Alternatives (PDF)

    "Replacement of landfills with municipal waste combustors significantly reduces greenhouse gas impacts. Conventional comparisons between these alternatives consider a fixed time horizon, whereas this analysis traces the integrated time history of the emissions over the periods of operation and post-closure years. As greenhouse emissions trading markets mature, communities that switch to the combustor alternative may accrue financial credit that could offset higher amortization and operational charges. Thus, consideration of greenhouse gas reduction benefits adds a new dimension to the economics of solid waste management." - Alan Eschenroeder, Harvard School of Public Health - October 2001, Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association