The best thing would be to avoid waste at all. Any residual waste is still burnt because landfills contaminate the groundwater and the methane gas they produce promotes the greenhouse effect. Thermal waste utilisation is the best possible treatment method both from an environmental and an economic perspective.
When was the plant built?
The plant was built in two stages – Line 1 and 2 between 2001 and 2003; Line 3 was completed in late 2009.
Why was the plant built next to a coal and gas power station?
The plant itself does not generate electricity but water vapour, which is then processed in the adjacent coal and gas power station Dürnrohr and leads to enormous quantities of saved fossil fuels. This energetic interplay is an ideal solution to make use of the existing infrastructure.
How tall are the exhaust stacks?
The height of the exhaust stacks is 99.8 m.
How much energy output does the plant generate?
Ca. 1.4 GWh (water vapour 50bar, 380°C)
How much waste can be burnt at the plant in one year?
The annual capacity amounts to ca. 525,000 tons of residual waste.
Are there any plans to expand the plant?
As the addition of Line 3 was fully sufficient for the plant’s current capacity, there are no expansion plans for the next few years.
Where does the waste come from?
The waste for the EVN waste utilisation plant Dürnrohr comprises the household waste of all of Lower Austria as well as industrial and commercial waste similar to household waste from all over Austria and its neighbouring countries.
How is the waste delivered to the plant?
The vast majority of waste is delivered by railway. Only a very small amount that comes directly from the surrounding region is transported to the plant by truck.
Where is the waste stored temporarily?
The delivered waste is temporarily stored either in the main bunker or in the required, smaller initial bunker due to logistical reasons until it is fed into the process of thermal utilisation.
Is the waste sorted again before it is burnt?
No, there are only inspections on a sample basis (especially with new customers). The delivered waste is subject to special specifications.
What happens to plastic waste?
The separation of plastic waste is a little more complicated because there are many different types of plastic (PET, PP, PE, etc.). Where and how plastic is collected is determined by the waste associations. If plastic is collected by type, it can be recycled. Nevertheless, only a certain share can be recycled, the rest becomes part of the process of thermal utilisation. In terms of burnt waste, it is not necessary to have all plastic as part of residual waste.
How is Austria’s waste management system organised?
A total of 558 communities of Lower Austria’s 573 communities voluntarily teamed up to form 22 individual waste associations. In 1996 these associations founded the associated company for waste management and environmental protection BAWU (NÖ Beteiligungsgesellschaft für Abfallwirtschaft und Umweltschutz Ges.m.b.H.), and became members of the new umbrella organisation to develop a joint strategy for the affordable and economic recycling of waste. At ten reloading stations all across Lower Austria, the waste is collected, pressed, and loaded into containers to be transported to the waste incineration plant by eco-friendly railway.
Why do we get waste from Italy?
In 2013 the Dürnrohr site received approximately 40,000 tons of processed municipal waste from Italy. In order to ensure the heat supply in Dürnrohr, the company participated in a bidding process in Naples and received the contract. The municipal waste was pre-sorted and very similar to our waste. These waste imports enabled the Dürnrohr plant to achieve a particularly high capacity utilisation rate. All the Italian waste was delivered by railway.
How does the incineration process work?
The incineration grate is charged with waste from the main bunker; the waste burns down completely on its own at 850 °C. Waste products and flue gas are then processed.
Are there any waste products left after the incineration process?
Yes, the following amounts of waste products are left after incineration per ton of waste:
ca. 250 kg slag
ca. 25 kg scrap
ca. 20 kg boiler ash
ca. 30 kg filter ash
ca. 0.32 m³ clean water
ca. 1 kg filter cake
ca. 4 kg plaster
What happens with these waste products?
The slag is processed at a landfill for residual materials and then disposed of.
The scrap is sent to scrap processing.
The boiler and filter ash is mixed with certain aggregates (such as cement) to solidify it and prevent any erosion; it is then disposed of.
The filter cake is also solidified and disposed of.
The plaster is used in the construction materials industry.
The wastewater passes through various cleaning systems and is then discharged into the Danube while observing the prescribed temperature requirements.
What kinds of emissions result from the incineration process?
See emission data
What is done to prevent/reduce the emissions?
An extensive flue gas scrubbing system was installed to reduce emissions as much as possible. This system comprises a dry cleaning stage (fabric filter), a two-stage wet cleaning process (scrubber), and a catalyst. The comprehensive cleaning process makes it possible to stay clearly below any prescribed emission values.
Is it possible to visit the plant?
Upon registration, the plant is open to groups of up to 25 visitors every Thursday and Friday morning. Guided tours are offered for groups of students of at least 10 years of age.
How much do guided tours cost?
Guided tours are offered free of charge.