Use of Cotton Apparel Waste as an Energy Source for Biomass Boilers: A Feasibility Study

Chethiya Prasanga, Amalka Nawarathna, Pavithra Rathnasiri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The steady growth of the Sri Lankan apparel manufacturing sector over the last three decades has resulted in generating large amount of solid apparel waste. Currently, it is a massive environmental and financial burden of the sector. As a solution, few apparel manufacturers have initiated using apparel waste, specifically the cotton apparel waste for biomass boilers. The apparel sector as one of the major thermal energy consumers, they consider it as a possible solution not only for the apparel waste disposal issue, but also for the challenge of getting continuous supply of firewood for the boilers. However, the promotion of such a solution throughout the apparel industry is impractical without a feasibility study in terms of social, environmental, financial, legal and technical aspects over its mechanism. Therefore, this research focused to identify the feasibility of using cotton apparel waste for biomass boilers as an energy source. Towards this aim, a qualitative research approach was followed involving the case study strategy. Basically, two cases were selected and analysed the feasibility of using cotton waste for boilers under pre-determined feasibility criteria in detail. Data collection for the case study was done through a document survey and expert interviews. Findings revealed the entire feasibility of environmental, financial, legal and technical aspects and in overall it can be concluded that the use of cotton apparel waste for biomass boilers as an energy source is feasible. Accordingly, this study provides insights into making decisions on managing both waste disposal and heat energy requirement issues of the apparel factories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Design and Nature and Ecodynamics
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2021

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