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Incinerator Waste Project
 
1 Introduction
 
Open dumping and burning of domestic waste is a common phenomenon in many middle and low-income countries (MLICs). Burning often takes place at waste disposal sites and can be a result of spontaneous combustion or deliberate attempts to reduce waste volume to enable the recovery of recyclables (i.e. glass, metals etc) easier. The open burning and, often, incomplete combustion of waste can result in toxic releases both to air and groundwater. These releases can contribute to lasting environmental damage and have serious implications for the health of people and livestock.

Incineration does have an impact on the environment and should not be seen as the only solution for waste management but just as one of a number of options that could be appropriate to a given situation. Incineration, regardless of the technology used, has many detractors who see it as a polluting technology and consider that even the current tough emission limits set by many high income countries (HCIs) as unacceptable. Compared with modern high-tech incinerators the LCI does not conform to most emission limits set by many HCIs and it would be unrealistic for a low cost incinerator to meet them.
However, any emission generated by an incinerator has to be assessed in relation to the situation and not in isolation. For example, controlled high-temperature incineration would produce fewer emissions that open low-temperature burning of waste material. Therefore incineration is a legitimate waste management tool and could be an appropriate waste management tool in some situations.

To tackle waste disposal problems successfully, it is important that those responsible for waste management have at their disposal appropriate waste management strategies and technologies together with guidance on how and when to use them. It is with this in mind that this manual has been developed.
 
2 Background
 
The LCI design is the outcome of a research project initiated, commissioned and funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) under the Knowledge generation and Research (KAR) programme.

The research project set out to design, build and test an appropriate incinerator that can be constructed at low cost, using locally available materials, to promote cleaner and more complete combustion. As well as technical aspects the project also investigated now the incinerator could be integrated into a waste management system – waste sorting, waste handling, recycling, income generation and bringing on board those who, usually in the informal sector, derive an income by scavenging from waste dump sites. Full details of this work are available from Intermediate Technology Consultants (ITC) or on the project web site (see section 4 Further information).

A full scale prototype was built and tested in the UK to assess whether it would meet the design criteria in terms of waste pre-sorting and materials recovery, operating temperature, waste throughput, emission levels and structural integrity. Throughout the test period flue gas emissions were monitored including O2, CO, NOx, HCl and particulates. Full test results can be found the UK prototype test report.
 
3 LCI Design

3.1 General

Capital cost: £20,00 (materials and labour)
Throughput: 400kg/hour MSW
Operating temperature: 850°C +
Construction materials: Refractory brick, refractory cement, angle iron, channel section steel, steel sheet (1 & 3mm) and round bar (12 & 16mm diameter)
Construction skills: Brick working, welding, general fabrication.

3.2 Design Criteria

Front-end operation
 Pre-sorting to remove non-combustibles (glass, metal etc), PVC, batteries and other fractions, which could cause pollution when incinerated, and some organic fractions.
 Sorting area and storage of pre-sorted waste to be as close as possible to feeding position to minimise internal transport.
 Manual feeding
Combustion
 Combustion must be self-sustaining without using fossil fuel burners.
 Achieve combustion temperatures of at least 850oC for 2 seconds.
 O2 levels between 8 & 11%
 Throughput 400kg/hour
 High thermal mass combustion chamber.
 Sub-stoichiometric combustion in the primary chamber under natural draught conditions.
 Operate with MSW of calorific value 7000 – 9000 kJ/kg.
 Manual stoking and de-ashing to be undertaken in a manner that minimises air ingress and without compromising the operators’ health and safety.
 Forced draught secondary combustion to promote complete combustion.
 Locally available biomass derived support fuels can be mixed with the MSW as required and also be used for start-up and close down.

3.3 LCI Design

The LCI consists of an inner refractory-brick built incinerator surrounded by an outer protective (to keep people away from hot surfaces) wall made from standard cement blocks. There is a gap of approximately 300mm between the inner and outer construction. The incinerator is a simple two-chamber design with vertical sidewalls and a low sprung arch roof. The walls are double thickness (i.e 225mm) to provide both structural stability and high thermal mass. The roof is single brick with a thick layer of sand on top to provide a high degree of thermal mass. The roof is sprung between steel buckstays, which are situated between the inner and outer walls. The outer wall is a vertical wall, without a roof, that follows the contour of the incinerator.

The primary chamber is a simple tunnel design with a low arched roof. Combustion takes place on a stepped grate system consisting of three grates (one drying and two combustion grates) inclined at 20° from the feed (front) end of the incinerator and a burn out pit. The top grate is the drying grate and consists of a solid floor made from refractory brick. The two lower grates are combustion grates and are made from perforated refractory bricks sitting on top of a steel primary-air plenum. Primary combustion air can also be provided from the side slightly above the grates. Combustion takes place under sub-stoichiometric conditions and using natural draught.

The secondary chamber starts as a tunnel with a low arched roof, situated above the middle combustion grate and at right angles to the primary chamber, after which it forms an ‘S’ shape chamber, forcing hot gases to pass first vertically downwards, then vertically upwards. Secondary air is by forced draught and enters the chamber just at the start of the chamber. After the secondary chamber the hot gases pass into the tertiary chamber (the stack) where they are cooled by mixing with cool air.

The low arched roof of the incinerator is supported by buckstays, located within the gap between the incinerator and the outer wall, and tensioned using tie bars. Sheet steel is braced between the buck stays and the gap produced between the sheet steel and the incinerator wall is then backfilled with fine sand to provide a seal, so helping to reduce the likelihood of air ingress into the combustion chamber and also acting as a low-cost insulation material.

MSW is fed from the drying grate end of the primary chamber and residuals removed from the other. Stoking is manual, using a combination of agitators and raddles on the grates and forcing the MSW onto the drying grate from the feed chute.
 

Reports

 

Inception Report

Project Overview

Need and Demand Survey

Need and Demand Addendum

Field visit to the Gambia

Waste Analysis Gambia

Waste Analysis Kenya (a)

Waste Analysis Kenya (b)

Waste Analysis Zimbabwe

Waste Analysis Malawi

Technical Review

Study Visit to South Africa for Dissemination

Evaluation of Hoffman Kiln Technology

Overview on Research Findings

Test Rig Report

 

For further information on this project please contact consulting@practicalaction.org.uk

 

Sub-Saharan Rural Transport Study

Country: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Tanzania and Zambia Dates: 2005-2007 Client: World Bank
The Sub-Saharan African Transport Policy Program (SSATP, managed by the World Bank) commissioned a study to develop and test a methodology for the rapid assessment of rural transport systems. The guidelines specified passenger and freight transport for distances of 5–200 km, encompassing much rural transport, but excluding within-village transport, long-distance national transport and international corridors. Under a contract implemented by Practical Action Consulting in 2005, a multidisciplinary team met in Ethiopia to devise the survey methodology. Four national experts and the team leader implemented the methodology in selected regions of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Tanzania and Zambia. The team reconvened in Kenya to review the methodological lessons and the survey findings.
Final Reports: (to follow)
The rapid assessment of rural transport services
The rapid assessment of rural transport services in Southern Province, Cameroon
Les services de transports ruraux au Burkina Faso: le cas de la région de la boucle de Mouhoun
The rapid assessment of rural transport services in Iringa Region, Tanzania
The rapid assessment of rural transport services in Singida Region, Tanzania
The rapid assessment of rural transport services in Luapula Province, Zambia
 
Feasibility Report for ENGAGE Project
Country: UK Date: 2004 Client: Warwick District Council
This report was part of a project looking at the feasibility of specific renewable energy schemes for community sites in Warwick district. Members of the community were asked what they felt about renewable energy and to suggest possible sites. Selected sites were then analysed to produce an indicative technical, economic and social assessment in line and social assessment in line with the agreed project terms of reference.
Final Report

Feasibility and Impact Assessment of a Proposed Project to Briquette Municipal Solid Waste for Use as a Cooking Fuel
Country: Rwanda Date: 2003 Client: Business Linkages Challenge Fund (BLCF)
Assessment of the viability of a waste pelletisation project to use organic municipal waste in Kigali as fuel.
Final Report Annex 5 Annex 7

Affordable Micro Irrigation Technologies for the Poor
Country: India and Zimbabwe Date: 2003 Client: DFID
Research examining the impact of AMITs on the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers and the use of a market-driven approach in the dissemination of these projects.
Final Report Factsheet

Private Infrastructure Service Providers - Learning from Experience
Country: Bangladesh and Peru Date: 2003 Client: DFID
Project studying the demand for and the use of possible guidelines on how to develop effective, sustainable and cross-sectoral support structures for small scale independent infrastructure service providers.
Final Report

Making Knowledge Networks Works for the Poor
Country: UK Date: 2003 Client: DIFD
An initiative seeking to improve the integration and co-ordination internationally of information and knowledge resources on appropriate technology.
Final Report

The Impact of Energy Infrastructure Projects on Poverty - a Sustainable Livelihoods Analysis
Country: Kenya and Nepal Date: 2002 Client: DFID
An analytical review of two case studies of energy infrastructures projects: micro-hydro installations in Nepal and Kenya.
Final Technical Report Nepal Case Study Kenya Case Study

Powering the Island through Renewable Energy - Isle of Wight
Country: UK Date: 2002 Client: EU
Project preparing a renewable energy strategy for the Isle of Wight.
Background Analysis Cost Benefit Final Strategy

SEEP BDS Conference
Country: USA and UK Date: 2002 Client: DFID
Attendance of BDS course in Washington to help enterprise development specialists design best practice business development services initiatives and improve the outreach, cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and impact of their BDS offerings to micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SEs). PAC produced draft recommendations to inform the DFID research agenda on how BDS methodology can assist DFID in-country offices in their production of country assistance plans and lessons on how SEEP influences internal and external policy makers.
Presentation Role of SMEs in infrastructure Service Delivery Leaflet

Low Cost, Low Maintenance Propeller Turbines
Country: Peru Date: 2000 Client: DFID
A project to develop, test and transfer the design of a propellor water turbine suitable for manufacture in small workshops in developing countries.
Background Installation Guide Drawings Guia de Fabricacion Guia de Montaje

A Guide to Producing Manuals and Facilitating Participation in the Planning of Off-Grid Electrification Projects
Country: Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe Date: 2000 Client: DFID
Project addressing the question of to what extent, and by what means, can participatory techniques be used for the planning of decentralised rural electrification schemes in developing countries. A planning manual was produced allowing communities to learn about the technology options available, assess their requirements and decide upon the most appropriate technical solutions in their area.
Prelimary Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 References

Best Practice in Small-Scale Gemstone Mining
Country: International Date: 1999 Client: DFID
This study researched and collated information on practices employed by the gem mining industry with a view to developing a recommended "best practice" for future development.
Sri Lanka Factsheet Socio-economic Study Manual Presentation