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Fostering Jewish-Arab Cooperation:  Waste-to-Energy as a shared local resource in the Middle East

 

Prof. Abraham Kribus, Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University (TAU)
Dr. Ibrahim Yehia, Triangle Research & Development Center (TRDC), Kafr Kara

Motivation

Heat and power generation using pellets made from forestry residues is common in Europe and other regions having substantial forests. In Israel and other countries around the Mediterranean and in the Middle East, it may be possible to develop a similar renewable energy solution using marginal biomass and agricultural waste, especially from the olive and grape sectors. This is a natural topic for cooperation of Jewish and Arab farmers: both produce similar waste streams, and joint local treatment of this waste into a valuable energy resource is the most cost-effective approach.

Method

The proposed joint research project is intended to define the scientific, technological and economic foundations for development of a joint Jewish-Arab cooperative industry for conversion of biomass and agricultural waste into a renewable energy resource. The steps in the research will include:

  • Mapping the biomass and waste produced in Israel and in neighboring countries, by amounts, seasons, geographical distribution, and types
  • Analysis of chemical, mechanical and thermal properties of the main types of biomass and waste available in the region, and their suitability for forming pellets for combustion
  • Designing and optimizing the composition and production processes for combustible pellets
  • Assessing the potential local end uses of the combustible pellets (e.g., domestic heating, industrial heat, power production)
  • Analyzing the economic feasibility of the waste-based pellets for the local market compared to other sources of combustible fuels.

Participants

The initial core of researchers will come from TAU and the TRDC. As the project evolves, it is desirable to add researchers from other institutions in Israel and in neighboring countries to provide additional local data and expertise.

Anticipated outcomes of the project

The long-term objective of this research is to create opportunities for business cooperation between Arabs and Jews, and creation of joint Jewish-Arab ventures, in a topic of significant economic and environmental benefit to all communities. The research project will develop the knowledge, technology and economic basis for creation of such ventures.