What is OnToL?
OnToL is an online tool for the economic and ecologic evaluation of enhanced landfill mining (ELFM) projects. In short, the tool assesses the economical and climate impact of an ELFM project, in comparison to the reference case in which the landfill is not mined. The model is built on existing mathematical models to determine this impact, based on all the material flows out of the landfill. These material flows are related to (in)direct CO2 emissions and/or costs (negative flow) and to avoided emissions and/or revenues due to useful outputs (positive flow, e.g. material savings).
Within the model, seven processes are considered to be relevant for the material flows, costs and impact of a potential ELFM project:
- The landfill characteristics (e.g. waste composition, type of management, ...);
- Excavation, sorting and upgrading of the waste materials;
- Thermal utilization of combustibles;
- Solid residues processing of incineration ashes;
- Material recylcing of metals, minerals and plastics;
- Landfill receiving waste /residues from the mining project;
- Reference case for landfill (i.e. scenario in which the landfill is not mined).
How to use OnToL?
To use OnToL, it is necessary to create an account, for which the user needs to register with his email address. After registration, the user can access the OnToL platform and create different landfill mining projects that need to be evaluated. For each project, the user should enter all the necessary data asked by the tool. For some of the data entries, default values are provided but can be changed for the majority of the parameters. The requested data is divided into four categories: material, energy, climate and economy. When this form is complete, the results of the landfill mining evaluation can be displayed by means of different data formats.
A more detailed explanation on the use of this tool can be found in the OnToL manual.
Why is OnToL included in the Orion tool?
Within the Orion roadmap, the ONTOL tool was included to identify the landfill sites that are promising enough to develop a successful business case. By using this tool, the landfills viable for an ELFM project can be distinguished from the landfill sites that are, at that particular moment, not suitable for business development. For the latter, an interim use can be set up instead.
This tool is suggested to obtain more information on the economic feasibility of a potential landfill mining project. Therefore, the most important output from this tool corncerns the results on the economy of the ELFM project. More specifically, the total net present value (TNPV) of the project will be provided to the user and is based on the net present values of all costs and revenues of the project. This value can be used to answer the following question in the roadmap. If the value is negative, there will be no revenue for the landfill mining project and OnToL will characterize the project as not economically viable. However, no potential renvenues for the further rehabilitation of the landfill site are taken into account. Therefore, the Orion roadmap suggests that projects with negative TNPV's could also be considered as viable business cases when there is a promising opportunity identified for rehabilitation of the landfill site.
Within the Orion roadmap, there are two steps at which the use of OnToL is necessary to proceed: use OnToL default values and use OnToL detailed investigation.
Use OnToL default values
The first one suggests to run the OnToL tool with the default values for specific parameters provided by the tool itself. In this way, a general view can be obtained on the viability of the project with limited input, effort and investment. For this general assessement, a threshold value of -200 000 euro for the TNPV was determined. Hence, if the estimated losses for your ELFM project are smaller than 200 000 euro, a business case could be set up for the valorization and rehabilitation of the landfill.
Use OnToL detailed investigation
The second one suggests to run the OnToL model with detailed information of your landfill for all the parameters. In this way, a more accurate estimation of the TNPV of the landfill project can be determined. This will require more efforts from the user in terms of data collection and assessment and will take more time than the first general assessment. However, when a more detailed investigation is performed, more certainty will be obtained on the profitability of a potential landfill valorzation and rehabilitation project. In this case, a smaller TNPV of -20 000 euro was determined as threshold value.