DOST backs establishment of waste-to-energy facility in Laguna

Published October 23, 2021, 1:17 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) threw all-out support to the establishment of a 25-kilowatt (kW) waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in Los Baños, Laguna, citing the “rapidly increasing” waste generation in the country.

Waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in Los Baños, Laguna. (DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña’s Facebook page)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña graced the opening of the WTE facility which uses a direct combustion process for municipal solid waste.

“DOST supported the establishment of the 25kW Waste-To-Energy (WTE) Facility using a direct combustion process for municipal solid waste as a possible solution to ever-increasing municipal solid waste production in the country,” he said in a Facebook post on Friday night, Oct. 22.

He said to prove that WTE works has been one of my wishes at the start of my term as the DOST chief.

“Our neighboring countries like Singapore and Taiwan have functioning WTE facilities, so why can’t we do it here in the country? Earlier this week, I was able to see that vision finally fulfilled when we visited and inspected a fully-functioning WTE facility in Los Baños, Laguna.”

The DOST chief explained the direct combustion system will be fed with solid wastes generated by the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

“The combustible fraction of the solid waste will be fed into a combustion chamber with a moving grate and the heat will be recovered using a steam, which will be fed into a steam turbine to generate 25kW of power.”

Ribbon cutting ceremony for the establishment of a 25-kilowatt (kW) waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in Los Baños, Laguna. (DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña’s Facebook page)

He said the gas emissions during combustion will be monitored using a continuous emission monitoring system (CEMS) and Gas Chromatograph-Multi Spectrometer (GC-MS).

The DOST chief said a technical study zeroed in on the efficiency of the energy recovery as power from municipal solid waste to assess whether a WTE direct combustion technology is feasible in the Philippines. “Mitigation control steps for the gas emission will also be evaluated to ensure the process will be environmentally acceptable.”

He said the two-year project sought to establish a 25-kW waste-to-energy (WTE) facility for municipal solid waste based on a direct combustion technology.

Led by Dr. Manolito E. Bambase Jr., the project also aims to monitor and characterize the flue gas emissions generated by the WTE process; assess the economic viability and environmental impacts of the WTE process; and provide acton plans and recommendations for the implementation of a WTE direct combustion process as a potential option of municipal solid waste management in the Philippines. The project is funded by the DOST’s Grants-in-Aid (GIA) program.

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña visits and inspects on Oct. 20, 2021, a 25-kilowatt (kW) waste-to-energy (WTE) facility in Los Baños, Laguna. (DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña’s Facebook page)

De la Peña said the initiative can benefit policymakers, government institutions, lawmakers, and energy sector in the country.

“In the municipality level, the proposed technology can be utilized to resolve the issue of waste disposal of the university and of Los Baños. The facility can be used to treat the wastes of the university and its nearby communities.”

He laments that waste generation has become a major problem especially in highly populated areas such as Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog, and Central Luzon.

“We expect that this project will provide a science-based data on waste-to-energy technology through direct combustion system, aid in solid waste management scheme of the country by providing a technology that is compliant to international environmental standards, and aid in the assessment and improvement of WTE technologies and possibly revive the incinerations plant in the country.”

 
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