SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMH121607
Module Leader Jim Baird
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Entry requirement to programme

Summary of Content

The aim of the module is to provide an overview of advanced waste treatment technologies (AWTT) with potential to reduce reliance on landfill as the disposal route for municipal solid waste (MSW). The need for advanced waste treatment technology will be critically examined and put into context with national and international waste management strategies. Relevant technologies will be described and assessed in detail.


THEME 1: CONTEXT FOR AWTT Context and Background Environmental Action Programmes Waste Management Policy Legislative and Regulatory Drivers Waste Arisings and Data Collection Basic Costing Economics Appraising Technologies THEME 2: PHYSICAL TREATMENT Pre-treatment/sorting technologies (waste) Recyclates handling (value adding sorting technologies) THEME 3: BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT Composting and Anaerobic Digestion THEME 4: MECHANICAL-BIOLOGICAL TREATMENT (MBT) Integration of previous themes in Mechanical Biological Treatment and assessment of the combined system. THEME 5: THERMAL RECOVERY Advanced Thermal Treatment Autoclave/Steam treatment Pyrolysis/Gasification High temperature combustion/ Refuse derived fuel Plasma arc/Vitrification THEME 6: OUTPUTS, OUTLETS, STANDARDS & MARKETS Overview of environmental standards and the impact these can have on AWTT choice. End-user product quality specifications for various materials are also discussed.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Appreciate that changes in environmental policy are driving towards a lower reliance on landfill as the main waste management option.2. Be able to discriminate between and evaluate the wide range of generic technologies available for handling wastes.3. Identify suitable combinations of physical, biological and chemical processes to treat waste.4. Justify the choice of technology by its ability to maximise the inherent resource value of waste materials.5. Critically appraise the fact that waste treatment processes will have outputs and by-products for which markets and outlets are required.6. Argue the case for a necessary paradigm change within the waste industry: from understanding materials as wastes to appreciating them as resources with an inherent value.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The strategy for delivery of this module is through lectures and seminars, and Blackboard facilitated independent/directed learning and discussion. The lectures will be aimed at presenting the fundamental theory and background to the subject. Face to face and online discussions and seminars will deepen the students' understanding and enhance their ability to critically assess the subject matter. Learning and teaching strategies will be developed and implemented, appropriate to students' needs, to enable all students to participate fully in the module.

Indicative Reading

Indicative reading as indicated by on-line course documents. Resource Recycling (magazine) BioCycle (magazine) This module does not rely on text books to deliver this fast-changing topic. Standard reading materials such as PAS100 are made available to the students instead. Students are also encouraged to consult scientific journals, guidance notes and similar publications from regulatory bodies in order to build their knowledge of new developments in the industry.

Transferrable Skills

Written report skills Appraisal and analysis Critical thinking Evaluation and synthesis of technical and policy information Discussing and debating skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 32.00
Independent Learning (FT) 50.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 60.00 45% Coursework 2 - Case study report - critically assess different technologies (3500 words)
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 45% Coursework 1 - Report - integration of technology (1500 words)