Special Issue "Towards Zero-Waste Cities: Advancement in Waste-to-Energy"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Environment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lu Sun
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Interests: circular economy; waste management; eco-industrial development
Dr. Jingzheng Ren
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial and Systems, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
Interests: engineering operations research for energy, environment, and sustainability
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Yi Dou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical System Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
Interests: environmental systems engineering; circular economy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rapid urbanization and industrialization have resulted in increasing waste generation globally. As a consequence, the rate of waste generation and resultant pollution levels have risen drastically. It is important to build a circular society, reduce pollution, improve waste treatment efficiency, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the key platform of human activities, a variety of urban wastes generated due to industrial and living activities, cities should seek innovative countermeasures to optimize energy, material, and capital from lifecycle perspectives, so that the overall sustainable development level of cities can be improved. Waste-to-energy (WTE) treatment recovers the energy from various wastes, and can greatly improve overall energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the final wastes to landfills. Consequently, reducing waste and improving the efficiency of energy recovery are the key issues in waste management, which require system optimization, different technologies, energy recovery, and energy substitution integration. Furthermore, the energy recovery performance and GHG emissions reduction of different systems need to be evaluated. This Special Issue aims to:

  1. Investigate advanced technologies implementation, systemic solutions, and data-driven optimization of the waste management and energy problems encountered in cities;
  2. Post-pandemic opportunities and roles for waste-to-energy systems, such as sustainable consumption, business models, and social impacts;
  3. Promote eco-industrial development, waste recycling, landfill and final disposal reduction, achieving the zero-waste city target from a circular economy perspective;
  4. Assess advanced waste management systems from a life cycle perspective, including technology assessment, environmental impact evaluation, social benefits analysis, etc.

We welcome article types including but not limited to: data reports, general commentaries, methods papers, original research articles, perspectives, short communications, policy and practice reviews, policy briefs, and reviews.

Dr. Lu Sun
Dr. Jingzheng Ren
Dr. Yi Dou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • circular economy
  • waste management
  • energy recovery
  • energy system optimization
  • climate change mitigation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis Working toward Zero-Waste and Its Indication to Low Carbon City Development
Energies 2021, 14(20), 6644; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14206644 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 137
Low carbon city development and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation in urban communities are urgent. There is great potential to improve the GHG inventory at the community level. Meanwhile, building zero-waste cities and improving waste treatment efficiency have been significant environmental issues due [...] Read more.
Low carbon city development and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation in urban communities are urgent. There is great potential to improve the GHG inventory at the community level. Meanwhile, building zero-waste cities and improving waste treatment efficiency have been significant environmental issues due to the rapid increase of waste generation. This research aims to develop a community-scale GHG emission inventory of the waste sector and improve its accuracy and consistency through applying the bottom-up approach. This study covers both direct and indirect emissions categories of the waste sector with the goal of building a zero-waste community. Honjo Waseda community, located in Japan, was used as a case study community. Energy consumption waste treatment sectors were evaluated and calculated through first-hand field data. GHG emission estimation of the waste sector included waste incineration, residential wastewater, and waste transport. The highest emissions originated from Beisiagate supermarket due to the large waste amount produced, and the CO2-biomass carbon emissions reached approximately 50% of the total emissions. Furthermore, a quantitative analysis of the implementation of new technologies was also conducted. This study created proposals for GHG emission reduction toward a zero-waste community through the comparison of three cases. Case 1 was business as usual; Case 2 proposed a combination of incineration bio-gasification (MBT); Case 3 introduced a combination of solid recovered fuel (SRF) and a bio-gasification system. SRF contributed the most to emission reduction, and Case 3 exhibited the highest energy recovery. Furthermore, comparing the GHG emissions produced by the use of SRF for power generation and heat supply revealed that using SRF as a heat supply reduced more GHG emissions than using SRF for power generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Zero-Waste Cities: Advancement in Waste-to-Energy)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Taking advance of agriculture waste pyrolysis to produce fuels and biochar particles for biopolymer composites
Authors: Giulia Infurna, Marco Maniscalco, Giuseppe Caputo, Luigi Botta, Nadka Tz. Dintcheva*
Affiliation: Department of Engineering, University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Ed. 6, 90128 Palermo, Italy

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