Comparison between landfill gas and waste incineration for power generation in Astana, Kazakhstan

Vasileios J. Inglezakis, Luis Rojas-Solórzano, Jong Kim, Aisulu Aitbekova, Aizada Ismailova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The city of Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, which has a population of 804,474, and has been experiencing rapid growth over the last 15 years, generates approximately 1.39 kg capita-1 day-1 of municipal solid waste (MSW). Nearly 700 tonnes of MSW are collected daily, of which 97% is disposed of at landfills. The newest landfill was built using modern technologies, including a landfill gas (LFG) collection system.
The rapid growth of Astana demands more energy on its path to development, and the viability analysis of MSW to generate electricity is imperative. This paper presents a technical–economic pre-feasibility study comparing landfill including LFG utilization and waste incineration (WI) to produce electricity. The performance of LFG with a reciprocating engine and WI with steam turbine power technologies were compared through corresponding greenhouse gases (GHG) reduction, cost of energy production (CEP), benefit–cost ratio (BCR), net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) from the analyses. Results demonstrate that in the city of Astana, WI has the potential to reduce more than 200,000 tonnes of GHG per year, while LFG could reduce slightly less than 40,000 tonnes. LFG offers a CEP 5.7% larger than WI, while the latter presents a BCR two times higher than LFG. WI technology analysis depicts a NPV exceeding 280% of the equity, while for LFG, the NPV is less than the equity, which indicates an expected remarkable financial return for the WI technology and a marginal and risky scenario for the LFG technology. Only existing landfill facilities with a LFG collection system in place may turn LFG into a viable project.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-494
Number of pages9
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2015


  • landfill gas
  • waste incineration
  • Kazakhstan


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