100 years of waste incineration in denmark

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  • 1. DET BEGYNDTE P FREDERIKSBERG

    100 YEARS OF WASTEINCINERATIONIN DENMARK

    From Refuse Destruction Plants

    to High-technology Energy Works

    By

    Heron Kleis, Babcock & Wilcox Vlund

    and

    Sren Dalager, Rambll

  • 100 YEARSOF WASTEINCINERATIONIN DENMARK

    From Refuse Destruction Plants to High-technology Energy Works

    By

    Heron Kleis, Babcock & Wilcox Vlund

    and

    Sren Dalager, Rambll

    3

  • 54

    1. THE BEGINNING 1930 - 1962IT BEGAN IN FREDERIKSBERG . . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 4GENTOFTE INCINERATION PLANT . . . . . . . . .PAGE 7THE NEW PLANT IN FREDERIKSBERG . . . . . .PAGE 9AARHUS INCINERATION PLANT . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 11VLUND AN ESTABLISHED SUPPLIER . . . . . .PAGE 14WHATEVER HAPPENED TO COPENHAGEN? . . .PAGE 16THE GERMAN OCCUPATION1940-45 AND THE POST-WAR ERA . . . . . . . . .PAGE 17

    2. THE BREAK-THROUGH 1963 - 1989INCINERATION RE-EMERGES IN THE 1960S . . .PAGE 20THE POLLUTION BOARD ANDTHE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT . . . .PAGE 27THE ENERGY CRISES OF 1973 AND 1979 . . .PAGE 29THE DIOXIN DEBATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 30

    3. FROM DISTRICT HEATING TOCOMBINED HEAT AND POWER 1990 - 2003

    CHP AGAIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 34ENERGY 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 35TAXES AND SUBSIDIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 36THE PLANTS OF TODAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 37

    4. THE FUTURE AFTER 2003BEST AVAILABLE TECHNIQUE (BAT) . . . . . . .PAGE 40THE CHALLENGES OF TOMORROW . . . . . . . .PAGE 44

    POSTSCRIPT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 46MUNICIPAL WASTE INCINERATION PLANTS INDENMARK AND THE FAROE ISLANDS . . . . . .PAGE 47LITERATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .PAGE 48

    CONTENTSIn September 2003 the Municipality of Frederiksbergcelebrated its centenary as the first municipality inDenmark ever to supply its inhabitants with districtheating.

    The heat was produced on the basis of waste collectedin the municipality. The original district heating plantwas therefore also Denmarks first incineration plant,and waste has in fact been incinerated in at least oneplant in Denmark throughout the period of 1903 to2003.

    Waste incineration therefore also celebrated its centen-ary in 2003. Initially, there were only a few plants, butapproximately 40 years ago the situation changed. Itbecame more and more common to exploit the energycontent of the waste for the production of heat, andtoday the technology and pollution control methodsapplied are so highly developed that incineration hasbecome the officially prescribed method for the treat-ment of incinerable waste in Denmark.

    Consequently, Denmark has achieved a leading posi-tion regarding the percentage of waste incinerated andknow-how in the area.

    During this 100-year period the Danish society hasundergone tremendous developments in terms ofnational income as well as technology and the way oflife significantly differs from what it used to be 100years ago. These changes have had an impact on theincineration plants too. The waste composition and theway in which the waste is collected and transportedhave changed. The plants have become more compli-cated because of increasingly stringent environmentalstandards. They are now however operated by a lot lessstaff.

    The authors of this book have been involved with incin-eration for 50 and almost 40 years, respectively. Theyare both approaching retirement and therefore feel called upon to look back on the first 100 years of wasteincineration in Denmark.

    The authors hope that this book will preserve a cornerof Danish history, and naturally they also hope that thereaders will find it interesting.

    PREFACE

    The bottom ash from both the first and the second incineration plants in the municipality of Frederiksbergwas taken to a crushing plant in front of the old stack.After crushing, the bottom ash was brought by tippers to the area in the front where it was allowed to age priorto being sold.

    100 YEARS OF WASTE INCINERATION IN DENMARK PREFACE

  • municipal solid waste to supply steam,hot water and electricity to the newhospital.

    Consequently, in February 1902, itwas decided to establish an incinera-tion plant with three units from the

    British company of Hughes & Stirlingand steam boilers from Babcock &Wilcox as well as two coal-fired steamboilers, a hot water system and anelectricity generator so that the inci-neration plant in effect became acombined heat and power plant The

    plant was commissioned in September1903.

    This is the introduction of a descrip-tion from 1948 of the at the timeexisting second plant for the incine-ration of municipal solid waste inFrederiksberg.

    The plant from 1903 was not onlyDenmarks first waste incinerationplant, but also Denmarks first districtheating plant, even in the form of acombined heat and power plant. Theplant was located on a site opposite towhat is today Frederiksberg Hospital.

    Vlund was there tooThe district heating contract wasassigned to Vlund, which was ayoung company at the time. In thecompanys 25th anniversary bookfrom 1923, it reads that: A large con-tract worthy of a mention was thedistrict heating plant located at theincineration plant of Frederiksberg.The piping work was the most compre-hensive work of its kind ever perfor-med, and it had to be concluded in justfour months. It consisted of high-pressure steam pipes, hot water pipesand return water pipes installed intunnels from the boiler system of theplant to all the buildings at Frederiks-berg Hospital and an Old PeoplesHome, and was later extended by hotwater pipes leading to the publicbaths of the municipality of Frede-riksberg. A total of 8500 m of pipeswere installed and approximately 800valves and taps were applied. For thiswork Vlund received due recognition,not just because of the good work-manship, but also because of the tighttime schedule within which the com-prehensive work had been performed.

    100 YEARS OF WASTE INCINERATION IN DENMARK

    6

    In September 1903 incineration wasintroduced as a method for the treat-ment of waste in Denmark.

    Even before a municipal reform in1970, Frederiksberg an enclavelocated in the middle of the capital ofCopenhagen was one of the smallestmunicipalities by area in Denmark.On the other hand, it was the mostdensely populated one. It is thereforenot surprising that this municipality realised in 1897 that soon it wouldnot be possible to identify sites suit-able for the landfilling of municipalsolid waste within the boundaries ofFrederiksberg which is why the pos-sibility of establishing a waste incine-ration plant was investigated With a

    view to examining the combustibilityetc. of the municipal solid waste gen-erated in Frederiksberg, a sample wassent by rail to the waste incinerationplant in Hamburg where the waste wasincinerated on a test basis. The resultof the test was that the waste was com-bustible, and much heat was producedso that steam could be generated insteam boilers. Moreover, the quality ofthe bottom ash was good and could beapplied for various technical purposes.

    At the same time in August 1898 ithad been decided to build a complex ofbuildings nearby for a new municipalhospital in Frederiksberg Anobvious solution was to exploit theheat produced from the incineration of

    1. THE BEGINNING

    7

    IT BEGAN IN FREDERIKSBERG

    1. THE BEGINNING

    1903-1962

    One of the furnaces at Frederiksbergs firstincineration plant. Source: Frederiksberg Forsyning.

    Frederiksberg municipal culture and sports centre, The Boiler Hall. The buildings, whichwere erected in 1903 on the basis of drawings prepared by the chief architect of the Danishstate-owned railway company, Heinrich Wenck, housed Denmarks first incineration plantuntil 1934. From 1934 to 2000 the buildings were used as a steam heating plant.

  • The description of the Frederiksbergplant continues: Following a test forthe incineration of Gentoftes munici-pal solid waste in the rotary kiln atthe incineration plant of Frederiks-berg, the Municipality of Gentoftedecided to establish a new incin-eration plant based on Vlundsrotary kilns. Therefore Frederiksberg suspended its plans for the construc-tion of its own incineration plantpending the operating results fromGentofte.

    The plant in Gentofte one of themunicipalities in the cocktail beltnorth of Copenhagen was inaugur-ated in 1931 in the presence of PrimeMinister Thorvald Stauning. Theplant consisted of two steam pro-ducing incineration units with a jointcondensing turbine, and the coolingwater was re-circulated across a largewooden cooling tower. It did not onlyincinerate waste from Gentofte, butalso from the adjacent municipalityof Lyngby-Taarbk.

    Collection by motor-driven vehiclesMotor-driven vehicles constructed byVlund and equipped with two sep-arate waste containers collected the

    The plant was what would today becalled a batch-fired plant. The wastewas fed to the furnace in batches, anda long time passed until ignition.When this finally happened, anamount of polluted gas and steam wasformed and emitted directly to the air.Even with a very high stack, this couldbe a nuisance to the surroundings.Another negative impact was the for-mation of bottom ash cakes, which

    consisted of poorly combusted waste,wrote Vlund in 1936.

    Vlunds former chief engineer, EvaldBlach, noted in 1962 that the plantconsisted of a number of cells, eachwith a capacity of approximately 1 t/h The manual operation was expensi-ve and the deslagging was difficult,very unpleasant and gave rise to a lotof false air.

    A new plant was plannedBy the 1920s the plant had become toosmall, and in the summer of 1925 thetechnical department of the Munici-pality