"Clean" Mobile WTE Combustor As Starter MRF & Landfill Alternative

A Starter MRF is a low-cost waste collection/recycling solution for small cities/regions in developing countries. It composts organic MSW, sorts out valuable recyclable materials, & then brings the leftover inorganic, non-recyclable waste to a small-scale mobile combustor we have designed that not only "cleanly" destroys this waste that would have been burned in an open pit or sent to a non-sanitary dump, but also produces about 100kW of power that can be used to power a community building

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About This Innovation

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Provide a status update for your Innovation.

Our Starter MRF can be a long-term substitute for building $$$ landfill in secondary and tertiary cities in developing countries - compared to their current solution of sending trash to garbage dumps or open burning. Unlike traditional incineration ($$$ million cost, immobile, lots of ash, dirty air), our production-ready small-scale mobile combustor travels by truck/ boat to waste (minimal ash, & clean scrubbed air).  Our combustor can annually destroy up to 7000 tons & produce 700,000 kWs.   We expect a Starter MRF to filter out 80% to 90% of the trash from composting and recycling/reuse.  Thus, a Starter MRF, with just one of our combustor units, could handle a lot of garbage.   When the inorganic non-recyclable waste exceeds the capacity of one unit, the local waste management firm can add another mobile unit for about $1.25M --and, we believe, be profitable.

About $5M was invested in the development of the technology from funding of a startup focused on a transportable power plant.  Company pivoted and gave back IP to FBB Combustion's founders -- therefore, we are not starting from concept or idea, but with about 1000 hours of operational testing of the same combustion technology used in our unit. 

1) We need funding to produce the first production-ready combustor unit.  In less than 8 months we would have a tested and fully-EPA certified working unit!

2) We have entered into encouraging discussions with one NGO involved in disaster waste solutions as they see our combustor as a solution for refugee camps.  Until our small-scale mobile combustor, the incineration options available to refugee camp administrators were largely ineffective, damaging to air quality, and only a slight improvement over controlled burning in open pits.  Our Unit is a game-changer as it can also dispose of plastics (clearly not an option before), diapers, and anything that can combust, and uses its “clean” hot-combustible exhaust air to produce up to 100kw/h of energy.

3) We believe our combustor --as a Starter MRF -- could be a very valuable solution for the areas where there are refugee camps, especially in the Middle East.  We contacted a NGO involved in Jordan, Palestinian Territories and Israel who was very interested -- wish we had the first one built to showcase.  

Bottom line:  By viewing our web site investor area, I have 2-page write-ups, mostly, that outline how our unit could be used to get rid of waste, create energy for local communities, at the same time.  www.wastetocleanenergy.com/ii

We need more innovation partners and funders who see the same vision as we do.  Please reach out to us.


How does your innovation work?

How It Works

Our combustion unit uses a laptop-operated proprietary control system that monitors and controls the key elements of the combustion process thereby enabling the unit to achieve combustion rates exceeding 99+ percent. This results in minimum ash generation.


To understand the innovative features of our unit, one needs to first look at the attributes of an ordinary waste management incinerator. These incinerators usually typically require a continuous external fuel source to keep the furnace at its operating temperature. This increases the cost of operation and the logistic complexity for operating in a remote location. The lower operating temperature results in greater ash generation.

Our Unit operates at temperatures in the 2200F degree range (heat of combustion) and does not require the addition of supplemental fuel. Once the combustion initiation temperature is reached the unit becomes self contained using the wood to be destroyed to maintain the Unit’s operating temperature. A cast ceramic insulation keeps the exterior surface of the Unit at a temperature level safe for human contact.


The unit is mobile as its dimensions are similar to a semi-trailer truck and is designed to be moved over the road. The Unit can be sited at the required location and can be in an operational mode in a matter of hours.


Imagine a steady intake of grinded pieces of treated wood (formerly part of a railroad tie or utility pole). Within about 15 seconds of entering the furnace, the chemicals contained within these treated wood pieces are vaporized. Within minutes 99% of the wood, itself, being subjected to the same 2200°F, has also combusted. The rest is reduced to ash, and “hot combustion air (460°F) that safely leaves the unit’s stack.

As shown below, after the intake of appropriate waste streams into our Smart Mobile Combusting Unit, we produce minimal ash, and combustible hot air exhaust (460°F). This exhaust heat is sent into a Organic Rankine Cycle power generation system to produce electricity. We believe we can connect our unit into a number of ORC systems to produce about 100kW. 

What Evidence do you have that your Innovation works?

About 1000 hours of operational testing of prototype in 2007-2010 for a transportable powerplant.  Engineering reports, reams of data.   That company pivoted and went with a different combustor.   Inventors left company, created smaller unit, added mobility aspects and other key innovations to create current production-ready unit.  The combustion technology has not changed, at all, from 1000 hours of operational testing.


Do you have current users or testers?

We do not have a current prototype to test.  Considerable money and effort was invested to create a working transportable power plant, but company pivoted and gave back combustion technology to founders of FBB Combustion.  Currently, we are seeking funding for building the first production unit, not a prototype.  This unit can first be tested, get all EPA certifications required, and then sold to a buyer for use.   We are extremely confident in our ability to manufacture this first unit. We have lined up the manufacturer and are ready to go once we either get funding (approximately $800K needed) or a bonafide buyer who would pay for the unit upon delivery after all testing and EPA certifications received.

What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?

We have a clear opportunity to create a significant paradigm shift in how we can leverage waste to energy through a unique program, I label, the Starter Material Recover Facility, or "OUR STARTER MOBILE MRF."  It is a low cost entry-level waste collection and recycling program for developing countries.    ONE RESULT: IT DIRECTLY WILL REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF WASTE DUMPED IN NON-SANITARY LANDFILL AREAS.  Our target should be secondary/tertiary cities where there are growing populations and limited waste collection/landfill infrastructure in place, and if possible, nearby rural farming areas where there is excess agricultural waste. We enable communities to take “baby steps” in their waste collection and recycling efforts, with a focus on combustible materials such as plastics and paper.  By teaming with local government, NGO & waste management firms can install our Starter MRF to spur and meet actual waste collection and recycling goals.  Thus, our Starter MRF program can play a significant role in improving the health of residents as (1) we introduce a systemic way to collect, distribute and dispose of unhealthy solid waste that normally rots in open areas and landfill, and (2) we create a value to this waste by producing community-level sustainable, reliable off-grid power directly due to these recycling efforts.   
We need to position our combustor as a tool for productivity improvements in developing countries.  Specifically, as a “starter” recycling program that PLACES A VALUE ON WASTE! It usually would involve a local waste management partner to collect a combination of household waste & recyclable materials directly at curbside, and also at community drop-off recycle treatment centers, where acceptable “recyclable” valuable waste is being delivered against a small charge.  They then transport these materials to their waste recycling center, our Mobile Starter MRF.   At the center, they first sort the materials using local labor to separate organic and inorganic waste.   Then, they can compost the organic waste, sort out the valuable recyclable inorganic materials that can sold for reuse, such as bottles/cans and other valuable recyclables that command money.   They lastly destroy all “unprofitable” inorganic non-recyclable combustible waste (up to 7000 tons per year).  This, in turn, produces industrial process heat that can be used before it is turned into about 100kW/h of electricity to power one or more buildings benefitting the community, perhaps powering a waste processing facility or water purification facility. Any leftover waste is taken to a landfill area and dumped.  

Why This Is Important:
[1] Replaces or delays the need to build a modern landfill facility as our Starter MRF sorts out valuable recyclable materials, and our combustor is the “solution” for the inorganic non-recyclable waste previously destined for landfill.
[2] Creates a “just in time” approach to waste collection and recycling  as the mobility of our unit allows us to expand or take away our MRF units to meet actual (growing or declining) recyclable material demand.
[3] Our system provides the flexibility governments, companies and NGO’s have been looking for. Often these organizations are very good at educating people about waste collection and recycling, but struggle to find cost-effective treatment options suited to small-scale environs, but without big capital expenditures.
[4] Positions recycling as a clear community reward/benefit due to direct causal tie-in for community that uses its recycled waste to “visibly” power (with “off-grid” 24/7 electricity) impactful community buildings.
[5] There is a real opportunity to spread the initial financial burden of our Starter MRF among community and global stakeholders, create jobs and deliver real humanitarian and economic value.
[6] A lower cost alternative –to prove waste collection and recycling can be done on a larger scale within these secondary and tertiary cities. 
[7] 1 ton of CO2 released in the air in New York City is the same as 1 ton of CO2 released in the air via open burning or landfill rot.    $1 spent in a Developing Country will be far more effective than $1 spent in the United States using our Mobile Starter MRF when teamed with local waste management firms and local governments.

Next Steps

In less than 8 months after we secure $800,000, we will have our first unit in the market.   We are actively working all angles to secure this funding, and would welcome all inquiries from potential partner NGOs, government entities, privates-sector waste management firms who want to license our solution, or partner with us for exclusive geographic areas.   We're open to many options and ideas.  Once our first unit is built, then we'll quiet the skeptics, have observable metrics, and seek another $5M to properly fund working/expansion capital needed to produce our first units.

Please read our two page write-ups about how our combustor can be used at www.wastetocleanenergy.com/ii