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Waste Incinerator Technologies Global Markets
While global growth in incineration staggered in the wake of the global economic turndown, global incineration markets are well-poised for continued recovery and consistent growth. Since 2008, global markets for incinerators have resurged from
$7.9 billion to $9.2 billion in 2012 (CAGR of 3.9%). By 2022, global markets will more than double, reaching a value of
$16.8 billion (2012-2022 CAGR of 6.2%). Observed and forecasted growth reflects a combination of steady market expansion countered by notable contractions for select technologies and applications, through 2022. These trends reflect an array of complex market influences, ranging from technology cost effectiveness to incinerator plant capital and operation period economics to regulatory support as well as regulatory controls on incinerator deployment.
Waste management varies regionally and also based on waste content. In
North America, landfills are by far the preferred method of disposal for municipal waste. The continent is served by over 6,500 landfills. But in many areas, landfills are falling out of favor. European waste management practices stress reduced landfilling plus incentivizing or even mandating of incineration/waste to energy. And in
China, where an estimated 1,400 new landfills would need to be established by 2030 in order to handle 500 million tons of trash, the government is looking toward all forms of waste management including incineration, to minimize and reduce anticipated future waste management burdens.
North America, and in
Asia, incinerators are a technology of choice (along with boilers and industrial furnaces) for the combustion/destruction of many industrial and hazardous wastes. These include biohazardous wastes from hospitals and medical establishments, as well as select industrial and chemical wastes that cannot be easily disposed of otherwise, and that are suitable for incineration.
At the community level, the advantages of incineration are clear: incineration can reduce waste volume by 90% or more, which significantly decreases the need for landfilling and long term storage of municipal wastes. Incineration obliterates biohazards, and when managed properly with appropriate feedstocks, can minimize the toxicity of hazardous industrial and chemical wastes. New emissions control systems have been shown to greatly reduce airborne emissions, rendering incinerators safer than ever before. However, public relations issues remain to be solved. There is much ground to be gained by industry in terms of public acceptance of incineration in a growing number of existing incinerator market regions.