A blog from University of Borås

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waste energy for ice-free streets!

If you experience icy winters and falling down in slippery roads, you are not alone! It is common in Sweden to hear about this type of news when temperature falls down suddenly and ice covers the roads.

In Borås as the same as many other cities in Sweden, waste is burned to produce electricity and district heat to warm up the houses in the city. In Borås, there are 2 waste incinerators with total power of 40 MW and burning about 300 tons wastes per day (municipal and industrial). Part of this heat is used to heat up the streets in the central part of the city and thaw the ice during the winter. This heat is transported via hot water and distributed to the tubes that are underground in the street. I took this picture recently, when they are renovating one of the streets in the city. If you are in Borås now, you can see how the make it!


  1. This feels like very wasted waste energy! Waste incineration emits very toxic pollution, not only carbon dioxide. But on the other hand, one has to compare it with all the salt used otherwise, so it's an interesting idea.

    1. You could be partly right. However, the emissions (PM10 and toxic gases) depend on the technology used as we don't have here in Borås. In addition, slipping on icy road can have much higher costs for the society if considering the hospital costs, etc.

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