The contribution of this chapter is to deepen and widen existing knowledge on municipal solid waste (MSW) management by analyzing different energy recovery routes for MSW. The main aspects related to the composition of waste are addressed, as well as the technological routes for thermochemical and biochemical energy usage. Within the thermochemical route, incineration is currently the most utilized technology for energy recovery of waste, with generation of electricity and heat and also a decrease in the volume of the produced waste. Gasification and pyrolysis are alternatives for the production of chemical products from wastes. The biological route is an interesting alternative for the utilization of the organic fraction of MSW, as aerobic or anaerobic processes enable the production of biogas and of a compound that can be utilized as a fertilizer. Depending on the size of the population, composition of waste, and products to be obtained (energy or chemical), more than one technology can be combined for a better energy usage of waste.
Part of the book: Energy Conversion