• Hafidz Alif Felyansyah

Sustainable Smart City : A Continuation of Biogas from Municipal Solid Waste

Urban governance has become a parameter to determine the level of regional progress in regulating its elements. One of the most important elements involved in urban management is the community and government. They certainly occupy a strategic position in managing the systems implemented in the city that can be related to social society and daily activities. Of course, in managing daily activities, municipal solid waste is a form of matter that needs to be observed because of its broad impact. In the current situation with dynamic environmental conditions, people need to understand that how nature works will also be influenced by how municipal solid waste management takes place. It would be very good if municipal solid waste management could be processed into bioenergy that could reduce the use of fossil fuel. The smartness of the community and government in managing this will certainly create a sustainable smart city. So, how smart is our city?

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Properties

Based on the World Bank (2012), in 2002 there were 2.9 billion people in the world producing around 0.64 kg/person/day or 0.68 billion tons per year. It is estimated that by 2012 this figure had increased to around 3 billion people producing 1.2 kg/person/day or 1.3 billion tonnes per year. Furthermore, by 2025, 4.3 billion city dwellers will be able to be accommodated with an MSW production rate of 1.42 kg/person/day, or 2.2 billion tonnes per year. In this case, it can be seen that the management of municipal solid waste is the most important service provided by the city, so further management is needed because this will usually determine the standard of living of the urban community.

Biomass Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste


Municipal solid waste (MSW) is a by-product of urban activities and lifestyles whose composition consists of biomass and non-biomass components. The components of biomass that can be called MSW include organic matter (vegetables and fruit), paper, wood, cotton, wool, leather, and clothing. Meanwhile, MSW from non-biomass is petrochemicals, metals, and glass. In this case, the biomass component usually amounts to more with an average of 78.4% of MSW, so it is necessary to control its management. This needs to be focused on because MSW that comes from biomass, if left alone, can contribute to creating greenhouse gases, thereby triggering further global warming.

Biomass Based Municipal Solid Waste to Energy

In general, the supply chain for producing bioenergy from MSW starts with waste collection and grouping, then waste storage, transportation and initial processing, and then converting it into energy.

Supply Chain of Municipal Solid Waste to Energy

(source: Vrabie, C., 2021)

In this case, the biomass made from MSW is usually processed into syngas (synthetic gas). Syngas derived from MSW is known to be convertible into various hydrocarbon biofuels and bioproducts where the production process is carried out in conjunction with inorganic catalytic processes.

Biomass of Municipal Solid Waste to Syngas

(source: U.S. Department of Energy, 2019)

In processing MSW into syngas, a gasification process is carried out. In this case, gasification is a thermochemical conversion process containing hydrocarbons into gaseous products at high temperatures with the help of gasifying agents. A gasifying agent (another gaseous compound) is used to allow the feedstock to be rapidly converted into a gas through heterogeneous reactions. In addition to syngas, the gasification process can also produce hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, and a small amount of inert gas.

Type of Biomass of Municipal Solid Waste Gasification

(source: Seo, Y., Alam, M., and Yang, W., 2018)

Gasification can occur directly or indirectly. Direct gasification occurs in the presence of a gasifying agent which oxidizes some of the feed material. In addition, the indirect gasification process is gasification carried out without the injection of air or oxygen.

Indonesia’s Regulation of Municipal Solid Waste

Based on Law no. 39 of 2009 concerning Environmental Protection and Management, discussed global environmental issues related to global warming. In this case, there are derivative rules such as Law no. 27 of 2012 concerning Environmental Permits and Presidential Regulation No. 4 of 2016 concerning the Acceleration of Electricity Infrastructure Development which is related to the policy of accelerating the development of Waste to Energy in Indonesia. Its implementation so far is considered quite good with the Waste Processing into Electrical Energy (PSEL) program. Currently, the implementation of this program is already underway at PSEL Benowo, Surabaya and the construction phase is being carried out at PSEL Putri Cempo, Solo.

Given the enormous potential for waste generated in Indonesia, the application of this technology is supported by various parties. However, the high investment in its construction has made this program less economically viable. In this case, not all regions in Indonesia have sufficient fiscal capacity to provide management funds for the program. So, for the further development of this program in all regions, it is necessary to have coordination and cooperation with the central government.



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Kementerian Koordinator Bidang Perekonomian Republik Indonesia. (2021) Pengolahan Sampah Menjadi Energi Listrik (PSEL) sebagai Intervensi Teknologi Mengurangi Volume Sampah. Available at: (Accessed: April 30th 2022)

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Pusat Pendidikan dan Pelatihan Jalan, Perumahan, Permukiman, dan Pengembangan Infrastruktur Wilayah. (2018). ‘Pengolahan Sampah dengan Konsep Waste to Energy’ BPSDM, 34-44 [online]. Available at: (Accessed: April 30th 2022)

Seo, Y., Alam, M., and Yang, W. (2018). ‘Gasification of Municipal Solid Waste’ IntechOpen, 118-120 [online]. Available at: (Accessed: April 30th 2022)

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Vrabie, C. (2021). ‘Converting Municipal Waste to Energy through the Biomass Chain, a Key Technology for Environmental Issues in (Smart) Cities’, Sustainability, 13(4633), 2-10 [online]. Available at: April 21st 2022)

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