an official journal of: published by:
Editor in Chief: RAFFAELLO COSSU


  • Therese SchwarzbaCk - Institute for Water Quality and Resource Management, TU Wien University, Austria
  • Manuel Hahn - Institute for Water Quality and Resource Management, TU Wien, Austria
  • Stefan Spacek - Institute for Water Quality and Resource Management, TU Wien, Austria
  • Johann Fellner - Institute for Water Quality and Resource Management, TU Wien, Austria


Released under CC BY-NC-ND

Copyright: © 2022 CISA Publisher


Differenciating between material fractions in refuse-derived fuels (RDF) is relevant to determining the climate relevance of RDF (fractions of biomass and fossil matter). This differentiation is associated with analytical challenges. A method was applied using balance equations, which contain the elemental composition (C, H, N, S, O) of the RDF and the sought for material fractions. For the first time this so-called adapted Balance Method (aBM) was applied to oil-contaminated RDF with the aim of not only distinguishing between biomass and fossil matter but between fossil matter from plastics and from oil-contamination as well. Thus, the balance equations and the following data reconciliation was adapted. It is shown that the balance method is based on mathematics that provides valuable insight far beyond the basic types of calculation since the calculation takes place in higher dimensions. It is also shown that the operation of the algorithm can be represented graphically in the lower third dimension. The mass of oil contamination as well as the mass of biogenic and fossil matter could be determined for the RDF considered. Problems concerning relatively high uncertainties still need to be solved due to the similar elemental composition of plastics and oil. However, it is shown that the aBM is capable of distinguishing between more than two material fractions in RDF, which the other available methods cannot and which can be relevant for greenhouse gas reporting but also for process control purposes.


Editorial History

  • Received: 25 Jul 2022
  • Revised: 20 Feb 2023
  • Accepted: 15 Mar 2023
  • Available online: 31 Mar 2023


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