Converting Solid Waste to Energy-Intensive Materials Workshop

Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott
Newark, NJ
November 7-8, 2019

ARPA-E is interested in technical pathways towards improving the economics of waste-to-materials & energy technologies. One area of interest is the production of valuable ash with consistent chemical properties from incineration of mixed municipal solid waste. Another interest deals with technologies and approaches that enable Artificial Intelligence (AI) to characterize, classify and predict MSW streams from source to facility.

The workshop convened leading experts in waste-to-energy, combustion, pyrolysis, and cement to identify technology approaches capable of significantly improving the consistency and value of ash from municipal solid waste incineration through pre- and post-combustion analytics, pre-combustion additives, combustion conditions, and ash processing. Participants lent their expertise to help set technical and cost targets in the framework of LCA and LCC methodologies that will help us define a successful research program and explore possible technology pathways.

Targeted outcomes included:

  • Identification of novel waste-to-energy technology pathways;
  • Identification of data gaps and boundaries for LCA/LCC assessments;
  • Identification of candidate materials to be used as pre-combustion additives;
  • Identification of MSW separation limitations and potential technical pathways to overcome these limitations;
  • Identification of innovative pathways to produce valuable co-products at WTE plants;
  • Identification of other innovative technologies that meet the performance objectives; and
  • Identification of new markets for co-products from WTE plants.

Thursday, 11/7

Time Event
10-11:45 One-on-one meetings with Dr. Douglas Wicks, PD (Junior Ballroom Salon A-B)
11:30-12:30 Registration/Lunch (Junior Ballroom Foyer)

Welcome and Introduction to ARPA-E (Junior Ballroom Salon E)

Dr. Jennifer Gerbi, ARPA-E

Monetizing Innovative Disposal Applications Solutions

Dr. Douglas Wicks, ARPA-E

Speaker – WTE Research in USA

Dr. Marco Castaldi, City College of New York (CCNY)
1:30-1:35 Panel Introduction 

Panel Discussion – Understanding Waste Streams

Dr. John Fernandez, MIT             

Dr. Nalin Kumar, NanoRANCH

Shafiq Jadallah, Sustayn Analytics
2:20-2:30 Q&A/Discussion 
2:30-2:40 Coffee Break

Speaker – Lessons from Coal Combustion Residues (CCRs)

Dr. Gaurav Sant, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Breakout 1 Overview       

Dr. Douglas Wicks, ARPA-E

Breakout Sessions:

Group 1: Comprehending the Waste Stream (Salon D)

Group 2: Additives to the front side (Salon F-G)

Group 3: Waste Combustion Residue (WCR) in the back side (Salon A-B)
5:00-7:00 One-on-one meetings with Dr. Douglas Wicks, PD (Junior Ballroom Salon A-B)
5:00 Dinner On Your Own/Informal Networking

Friday, 11/8

Time Event
7:30-8:25 Breakfast & Registration
8:25-8:30 Panel Introduction 

Panel Discussion – Closing the cycle

Bryan Blackburn, Redox Power Systems, LLC

Chad Haynes, LanzaTech
9:00-9:10 Q&A/Discussion 

Use of Life Cycle Analysis and Life Cycle Costing models in Waste-to-Materials and Energy pathways

ANL and Collaborators

Breakout 2 Overview

Dr. Douglas Wicks, ARPA-E

Breakout Session 2:

Process Optimization, achievable goals, metrics and boundary

Group 1 (Salon D)

Group 2 (Salon F-G)

Group 3 (Salon A-B)
11:40 Lunch on your own
12:15-3:00 One-on-one meetings with Dr. Douglas Wicks, PD (Junior Ballroom Salon A-B)