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Assessment of the Energy Potential of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in Freetown, Sierra Leone

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1105902, PP. 1-15

Subject Areas: Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Keywords: Electricity Generation, Lower Calorific Value (LCV), Waste Management, Waste-To-Energy, Freetown, Population, Waste Generation Per Capita

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Electricity supply in Freetown has been unreliable partly due to lack of sus-tainable alternative generation sources, and the city is beset by poor waste management system, which has led to indiscriminate waste disposal since the end of the country’s civil war in 2002, contributing to air and water pollution. This necessitates the need for research and development on Waste-to-Energy (WtE) technologies. Waste generation was estimated using population data from Statistics Sierra Leone (SSL), and analysed using reasonable assumptions and theories based on previous studies, and information on waste generation per capita was collected from publications and grey literatures. Energy poten-tial was estimated from the amount of waste by component and their fuel characteristics to calculate the Lower Calorific Value (LCV) for each waste category. The weighted LCV of each waste component was then calculated and added to get the LCV of the overall waste stream. The study revealed that with the population of Freetown estimated at about 1,200,000, and a waste generation per capita per day of 0.5 kg, at least 600 metric tons of waste could be generated per day or 219,000 metric ton of waste annually. About 83% of this waste is combustible, and with an overall (LCV) of 6.4 MJ/kg, the energy potential was estimated at 398.2 kWh per ton of waste, (enough to meet the electricity needs of about 50 Freetown homes in one day). This result could inform policy makers and developers that the energy sector of Sierra Leone and other developing countries with similar waste characteristics could be diversified by utilising waste resources.

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Ngegba, A. O. and Bertin, A. J. (2020). Assessment of the Energy Potential of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Open Access Library Journal, 7, e5902. doi:


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