An assessment of the potential of refuse-derived fuel in Latvia

Elina Dace, Dagnija Blumberga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine the production and energy potential of refuse derived fuel (RDF) in Latvia, in order to understand how large an impact municipal waste incineration with energy recovery has on waste management and energy supply systems in Latvia. Design/methodology/approach: The results of the study are based on historical data of municipal solid waste (MSW) management. The potential of RDF in Latvia is estimated and future sources of RDF production until 2020 are projected. The calculations of RDF potential are based on data on MSW generation, landfilling and composition, and on the calorific value of RDF fractions. The study also takes into account experimental results of RDF production trials in one landfill in Latvia. Findings: The amount of MSW landfilled annually until 2020 will grow, therefore new waste management options will have to be found in order to comply with EU waste policy. One of the options is waste-to-energy. The energy amount potentially produced by incinerating RDF made of MSW in Latvia could account for approximately 2 per cent of the total energy amount produced in 2010, if the RDF conversion rate is assumed to be 30per cent, and up to 3.5 per cent - if the RDF conversion rate is 50 per cent. Originality/value: There are just a few studies analysing RDF potential for a certain region (in this case - country). There is a lack of data and official projections of generated waste amounts which are typical for Latvia, therefore no detailed assessments are available on how much energy it would be possible to produce from the waste generated in Latvia. In this paper, the RDF production potential itself, as well as the energy potential produced via RDF in Latvia, is assessed. In order to estimate future availability of resources for RDF production, future MSW generation and landfilling amounts in Latvia until 2020 are projected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-516
Number of pages14
JournalManagement of Environmental Quality: An International Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy sources
  • Fuels
  • Latvia
  • Municipal solid waste
  • Potential
  • Refuse derived fuel
  • Waste management
  • Waste-to-energy


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