This study aims at estimating the energy and environmental performances of a new cogenerative configuration of the waste to energy (WTE) plant in Piacenza. At present, the plant is authorized to treat 120,000 t/y of waste, but this limit does not represent the full treatment capacity of the facility. To exploit the plant potential and, at the same time, to reduce total equivalent emissions of the WTE process, a cogenerative configuration has been proposed. In this new scenario a back pressure turbine would be installed in parallel to the existing one, in order to supply heat to the district heating network of Piacenza and the total amount of waste treated per year by the facility would be increased to 134,100 t. The increase of 14,100 t should be satisfied by industrial and commercial waste, which would otherwise go to landfill. To compare the cogenerative scenario with the current situation, the environmental impact for the two cases has been evaluated by means of a life cycle assessment methodology. The results of the analysis show that the new configuration can ensure significant energy and environmental benefits.

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