Municipal solid waste incineration in China and the issue of acidification: A review

Waste Manag Res. 2016 Apr;34(4):280-97. doi: 10.1177/0734242X16633776. Epub 2016 Mar 3.


In China, incineration is essential for reducing the volume of municipal solid waste arising in its numerous megacities. The evolution of incinerator capacity has been huge, yet it creates strong opposition from a small, but vocal part of the population. The characteristics of Chinese municipal solid waste are analysed and data presented on its calorific value and composition. These are not so favourable for incineration, since the sustained use of auxiliary fuel is necessary for ensuring adequate combustion temperatures. Also, the emission standard for acid gases is more lenient in China than in the European Union, so special attention should be paid to the issue of acidification arising from flue gas. Next, the techniques used in flue gas cleaning in China are reviewed and the acidification potential by cleaned flue gas is estimated. Still, acidification induced by municipal solid waste incinerators remains marginal compared with the effects of coal-fired power plants.

Keywords: Municipal solid waste incineration; acidification; dioxins; emissions; flue gas cleaning.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Air Pollutants / standards
  • China
  • Gases / analysis
  • Incineration / methods*
  • Incineration / standards
  • Solid Waste*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Gases
  • Solid Waste