Waste-to-Fuel Technology in Albania—How to Implement a Renewable Energy System in Europe’s Largest Onshore Oilfield

  • Besmir Buranaj HoxhaEmail author
  • Dael Dervishi
  • Kyle Sweeney


Albania has historically been known to have an active but challenging drilling activity that demands the most innovative technology to develop, predominantly, medium-heavy oil reservoirs. Although recent efforts have been made by the government to stimulate and expand the largest onshore European oilfield, technical and economical obstacles are prevalent. These obstacles make it difficult to fully develop reliable and profitable hydrocarbon bearing zones in a downturn economy, especially since Albanian oil can be costly to produce and refine. Due to these typical issues that affect many local energy sectors, many developed countries diversify their energy production to avoid strict dependency on crude oil. An emblematic and modern option that is extensively gaining popularity in Europe focuses on renewable energy from sophisticated recycling programs. Although Albania is a relatively “green” country when it pertains to its electricity production (97% hydropower and 3% fossil fuels), it has yet to develop energy-recycling programs that it can salvage for self-sustainable energy sources. The past years have seen a conscious revitalization and stimulation in the mentality of green economy in Albania. But, in comparison to the rest of “western Europe” that are leading world examples in efficient recycling, it is significantly lagging with initial strides just now focusing on aligning national legislations with current EU models. Furthermore, two crucial reasons that should motivate Albania to investigate new applications for energy recycling are: (1) alternatives to crude oil and petroleum products that can be supplemental and provide stable access to fossil fuels; (2) industrial and municipal recycling via waste management to reprocess waste and produce industrial raw material-spawning the emergence of a “circular economy” to develop the backbone needed to strengthen the industrial and manufacturing markets for a self-sustaining economy. Accordingly, in this paper, the topic that will be addressed, given the recent decrease in oil & gas prices, focuses on the Albanian energy sector’s capability to sustain and develop a supplementary recycling program via “waste-to-fuel” (WTF) technology (biofuels and/or inorganic waste). With the intent that it could function cooperatively with Albania’s active drilling program to mitigate dependency on a single fuel source and produce enough fossil fuel in an effective and sustainable manner.

Key words

renewable energy pyrolysis waste-to-fuel technology circular economy plastic-to-fuel alternative energy 


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First, Besmir Buranaj Hoxha would like to thank his mentor, his father Burhan Hoxha, who has been continually supportive of his scientific and technical endeavors. Without his wisdom and guidance, this technical paper would have not been possible. Secondly, Besmir Buranaj Hoxha would like to thank Marton Herczeg from the European Institute of Innovation & Technology for his direction on waste management implementation into a circular economy model based on the European Commission program. Besmir Buranaj Hoxha would like to thank AKBN, especially Artan Leskoviku and Luan Nikolla, for their recurrent support to provide government data in the Oil & Gas sector. We would like to thank personally Ervin Shehaj at Green Line Albania for providing waste/littering information. Furthermore, we would like to thank Q. Sinaj Shpk for providing environmental data from the Albanian oilfields. Lastly, we would like to thank Dr. Zhien Zhang, editorial supervisor for Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering (JNGSE) for providing global plastic waste data & China waste management data. The final publication is available at Springer via

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PetroFluids LLCHoustonUSA
  2. 2.McCain InstituteWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Fulbright Program & UNDPPrishtinaUSA

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