Waste to Energy: The Future of Renewable Energy Via Circular Economy

April 13, 2021 |

By Rafi Sela, Founder and CEO of AR Challenges

Special to The Digest


The world is struggling to act on the climate impact via various new standards and regulations. While the USA declined participation under the Trump administration, the new Biden one will continue to push the climate impact situation. One of the critical issues is the Circular Economy system to reduce waste. The electricity solution although 100% clean on pollution, will turn into a major waste problem of critical magnitude with the waste of batteries.

The current renewable energy solutions are ONLY sun and wind. Both these systems are still struggling to find economical energy storage to be able to provide 24/7 service. The PV panels, once exhausting their lifetime, will also create a major waste problem.

The biggest climate impact problem is, by far, the waste processing one. For various reasons, WASTE to ENERGY (W2E) has not taken off. This market segment has yet to show a successful approach and gain back the trust of governments and investors.

We would like to offer a new paradigm approach to these issues.

W2E (Heat Based)

We would like offer a new approach based on total waste processing, zero waste, circular economy and distributed energy. This new approach does not need to replace solar and wind but merely complement them into 24/7 energy supply, with no storage utilizing expensive electricity storage schemes.

Actually, the proposed approach is simple, easy to use and extremely environmentally safe.

The circular economy’s first stage is waste processing (except hazardous and C&D). The ability to perform a compete processing scheme at zere waste to landfills, solves the current major waste problem. This ability eliminates the need for source recycling and waste separation, which solves the multi-bin and recycling “cages”. It is back to the one bin solution. This is a great positive impact on the environment by cleaning the sidewalks from recycling bins, and dramatically reduces the number of vehicles to collect the waste.

Once all waste is processed, the second stage is turning it into clean energy. The major reason for the current W2E failure, is the inability to produce even caloric value syngas to operate gas engines and turbines. The new approach actually utilizes heat as the energy source and eliminates most of the gas operation and pollution problems.

The new approach to energy based on heat does not interfere with the quest for cleaner power supply, but rather provides clean power for most of the energy uses. The major advantage of heat is zero pollution.

The heat approach also helps in distributing power to the user’s source (Communities, Hospitals, Hotels, Industry, Airports, Seaports & Railways).

The power utilization analysis for most customers, shows that only 25%-30% of the electricity is actually used for lights and motors. The rest (70%-75%) is used to produce heat based services such as HVAC, hot water, steam and water purification (desalination). Each power generating equipment produces approximately 1.5 MW/heat for every MW electricity. This phenomenon helps in reducing the actual power generation and utilizing the access heat for the other uses. It also eliminates the need for cooling down systems and provides higher efficiencies.

So, what are the real advantages of this new paradigm change:

  1. Solving the world’s waste processing problem.
  2. Producing clean energy (hot air).
  3. Providing distributed energy supply via microgrids (eliminating large power generating units and high voltage grids).
  4. Eliminating the use of gas based HVAC by utilizing absorption systems.
  5. Dramatically reduce the price per KW/H to the consumers.
  6. New technologies of organic waste processing, to supply clean Jet Fuel instead of Bio-Jet fuel, saving the airline industry $$$$.
  7. Reducing the cost of operation of Hotels, Hospitals, Airports and Seaports.
  8. A new unique approach to railway operations, eliminating the use of diesel power and reducing pollution.


The pursuit of W2E based on a circular economy, zero waste and especially utilizing heat as the fuel source establishes the company as a leader in the social and climate impact. The social impact is based on activities performed in a country and providing additional jobs at all levels. Furthermore, it enables the upgrade of the local industries in both technology and management.

The climate impact is even more dramatic. The system being totally clean provides eligibility for both green funding and carbon credits. It is the fastest way to a carbon neutral society.

The current approach to renewables based on solar and wind is yet to be perfected. Combining these with W2E based on heat solves the interruptible power supply and provides clean 24/7 power generation.

Finally, the various advanced applications have a major impact on many aspects of the day to day life. From hospitals to airports, railways and maritime, this new approach provides a very high impact.

It is time to start thinking “outside the box” and adapt new approaches to reduce pollution.

W2E as energy storage

People are looking to replace the use of fossil-based energy with renewables. However, the concept is that renewables are solar-based and wind-based systems.

The major setback of these solutions is the intermittent power supply. Since the power (electricity) generation is currently moving from large generation units to smaller local supply systems eliminating long haul grid traffic, the current solution poses a serious problem for the continuous power supply.

The acceptable solution is storage. However, physics is preventing the reduction of storage costs which makes it less economical.

For some odd reason, noone is looking at W2E as a solution. The reason was that W2E, until now, had major problems and thus was not playing a role in the storage market.

There is however, a new approach to the problem. It is a hybrid W2E System based on all waste processing, zero waste to landfills, hot air based gasification and distributed power generation via microgrids.

This same system can be installed as a supplement to the renewable systems and provide the necessary power gaps at a very competitive price. Moreover, it solves the major problem of waste processing and eliminates other problems such as landfills and waste separation at the source.

It also reduces the cost to the municipalities for waste processing, eliminates vast methane pollution from landfills, and provides continuous power generation at the source.

Large power generating wind and solar systems are costly operations, especially since they need large grid infrastructures and very sophisticated power control systems.

The patented use of hot air as fuel of the EFGT turbines (External Fired Gas Turbine) is capable of quick start and stop and can be used as the power supply equilibrium at a fraction of the storage prices. Batteries of all sorts pose a major waste problem once they have exhausted their service.

It is time to wake up to a new circular economy based system that reduces pollution, solves serious waste problems, and generates clean energy for all.

About the author:

Rafael (Rafi) Sela is the Founder and CEO of AR Challenges. He poses a B.Sc. ME and MBA. Experienced engineer and manager in large multidisciplinary projects in security and defense. In the last 6 years turned into the W2E system design and has managed one of the most advanced systems providers in the world.

For further information: Rafi Sela, CEO, AR Challenges Ltd. Email: [email protected], Ph: +972507438934


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