- Impact Bioenergy, an anaerobic digestion startup, has begun testing its first "High-solids Organic-waste Recycling System with Electrical Output" (HORSE) microdigester at the Fremont Brewery Co. in Seattle.
- The brewery's HORSE unit will grind brewery waste such as yeast and spent grain before processing it into natural gas and fertilizer. The unit takes up roughly 160 square feet and has 175 cubic feet of gas storage.
- After an exclusive three-month test at the brewery, the company plans to expand to restaurant waste. Impact also hopes to eventually roll out an electric cargo tricycle for local commercial collection.
Impact Bioenergy did previous tests on commercial food waste in British Columbia and has since been looking for a new place to demonstrate the technology. It aims to make the units as self-sufficient and approachable as possible.
"We have made it simple and easy to operate this system—about as complicated as operating a fish aquarium," President Jan Allen told Biomass Magazine.
Impact is one of many small digester technologies hitting the market as food waste diversion becomes a high priority. WISErg, another food scrap-to-fertilizer company, has raised more than $24 million for its units and Hungry Giant Recycling has been growing as well. New York-based startup Industrial/Organic is in the earlier stages of developing its own technology, but shows promising potential.
According to Allen, the goal is to be a viable option for community-scale organics processing throughout the world. He even hopes to use gas from the process to make compressed natural gas vehicle fuel some day. This move toward community-scale organics solutions is an important part of the ongoing zero waste conversation and a positive step toward a closed-loop system.