Waste to energy feasibility, challenges, and perspective in municipal solid waste incineration and implementation: A case study for Pakistan

Abdul Mannan Zafar, Sahar Shahid, Muhammad Imran Nawaz, Jawad Mustafa, Sidra Iftekhar, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shamas Tabraiz, Elza Bontempi, Muhammad Assad, Fatima Ghafoor, Saleh Al-Farraj, Mika Sillanpää, Sami Souissi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Pakistan faces social and health issues due to the mismanagement of municipal solid waste (MSW) in urban and rural areas. Unhygienic conditions due to roadside disposal of MSW negatively affect society, aesthetics, economy, and tourism. This study aims to determine the potential of thermal energy-based MSW incineration technology for electricity generation and waste volume reduction in six major cities in Punjab, namely Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, and Sialkot. In this study, the heat content was calculated using the modified Dulong's equation for the calorific value (CV). Population, waste generation rate, waste characteristics, moisture content, and local public practices also affect energy potential and were considered in the calculations of electricity generation potential. Furthermore, three different sensitivity analysis trials of the power generation capacity were performed with various waste-to-energy (WtE) plant output efficiencies. The analysis of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from MSW incineration and CO2 reduction was compared with existing local practices. For WtE potential, Lahore has an energy recovery of 552 kWh/ton of MSW. Carbon footprints can be reduced by incinerating waste rather than disposal through pollution-generating local practices, such as open burning. The study results showed that MSW handling in Punjab can be utilized for WtE generation, a potential alternative to fossil fuel combustion for sustainable energy solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100595
JournalChemical Engineering Journal Advances
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon footprints
  • Energy potential
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Revenue collection
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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