Success Report of the two-day UK-KSA Waste2Energy event

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A UK-Saudi Collaboration

The project’s objective is to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s capacity and capability to convert waste to energy whilst promoting UK prosperity.

Success Report of the two-day UK-KSA Waste2Energy event

We are delighted to report the success of the two-day UK-KSA Waste2Energy event held at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, on the 4th and 5th of March 2024. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to all attendees, speakers, and the organizing team for contributing to the triumph of this event. Special appreciation is extended to Naif Makki from the Ministry of Energy, Saudi Arabia, and his colleagues for their valuable participation.

Taking place at Conference Aston, Aston University, the event attracted experts in the Waste2Energy field and a diverse audience from academia, industry, and government in the UK and Saudi Arabia, including experts from Norway. Deputy Dean EPS, Tony Dodd, warmly welcomed attendees with opening remarks, highlighting Aston University’s extensive engagement in the waste-to-energy sector through substantial industrial and academic collaborations globally. He emphasized the advancements made by institutes like EBRI in waste-to-energy technologies, contributing to sustainable energy development.

Muhammed Imran (Waste2Energy project lead) provided an insightful overview of the project, emphasizing the significant opportunities it offers to UK industries and academia for funding, collaboration, and PhD opportunities in KSA. Prof. Aamir Farooq from KAUST, KSA, delved into Fuel Screening and Laser Sensing for Waste-to-Energy Applications.

Iain Mansell from West Midlands Combined Authority provided insights into West Midlands’ innovation programs, and Mark Sommerfeld from Renewable Energy Association discussed the evolving waste-to-energy policy landscape in the UK. The event featured presentations from experts covering thematic areas such as Hydrogen, Pyrolysis, Gasification, Wastewater Treatment, MSW, and Incineration. Notable speakers included Prof. Bassam Dally (KAUST,KSA), Paula Blanco-Sanchez (Aston University), Simone Morra (University of Nottingham), Vesna Najdanovic (Aston University), Sanjay Nagarajan (University of Bath), Paul Knobbs (Aston University), John Clealand (SIRC, KAUST Beacon Development, KSA), Johnny Stuen (Kanfagroup, Norway) , Katie Chong (Aston University), Alfred Fernandez (Aston University), Mohammad H. Alotaibi (KACST, KSA), Abul Hossain (Aston University), Adil Eltayeb Abdelnour (ESTIDAMAH, KSA), Ainul Nadirah Izaharuddin (Mechatherm, UK), Abdul Raheem (Aston University), Afrah M. Aldossari (KACST, KSA) and Daniel Jozef Nowakowski (Aston University).

Panel and round table discussions explored funding and investment opportunities, collaboration, and PhD opportunities, opening up new avenues for the project team. Panelists, including Tim Miller (Aston University), Taghred Alhazmi (Saudi Investment Recycling Company), Amana Bezanty (KEW Technology), Jim Schubert (NEOM, KSA), and others, addressed burning issues in thematic areas, while Paul Knobbs (Aston University) shed light on research and funding opportunities at domestic and international levels.

Prof. Patricia Thornley(Director, EBRI, Aston University) provided an overview of research capabilities and expertise at the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute during the EBRI lab and plant tour for KSA visitors. Attendees also had the opportunity to visit EBRI’s biochar demonstrator plant, where technical details were explained by Tim Miller and Doug Nangle (Combind Ltd), showcasing the advantages and opportunities of biochar and associated bioproducts.

The event concluded on its second day with a visit to the Sustainable Energy Centre at Kew Technology, where Amana Bezanty and the team provided a detailed tour of the facility. We trust that everyone enjoyed this remarkable two-day event, and we eagerly anticipate the future opportunities and collaborations that may arise as a result.

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