Waste to energy: Lessons from Japan

Posted on September 16, 2021 by DrRossH in Landfills and Disposal

There is one major exception, however: Japan. In the early 2000s, gasification and the less commonly used pyrolysis processes together had a market share of over 50% in the waste-to-energy sector. While this has now fallen to an estimated 25- 30%, Japan’s waste industry would still be inconceivable without gasification plants.

Japan’s preference for gasification is a result of its geography. Large parts of the island nation are so densely populated that there is extremely limited scope for building landfill sites, where the residual waste from thermal recycling could be disposed of. In addition to a very strict separation and recycling regime, gasification is therefore a key lever in Japan’s waste management strategy in order to minimise the use of landfill.


No bottom ash would appear to be attractive for this method.