U of M startup enVerde LLC to commercialize new waste-to-energy gasification technology

May 24, 2017 - The Minneapolis-based clean tech startup company enVerde has signed an agreement with the University of Minnesota to develop a technology that converts organic waste materials into synthetic gas (syngas). The waste-to-energy technology, which allows organic wastes to be instantly gasified rather than combusted or incinerated, was developed and patented by Associate Professor Paul Dauenhauer.

“We formed enVerde to identify and commercialize differentiating technology breakthroughs that met two key criteria for success: excellent environmental performance with strong economic viability,” said Dave Goebel, a longstanding energy and chemical industry executive and University alumnus, who is enVerde’s CEO and founder. “We have seen decades of attempts at deriving energy from waste, but what really sets our technology apart is that we avoid high capital and operating costs while significantly reducing the environmentally harmful effects and byproducts of burning waste. Since we are repurposing organic wastes to clean energy with catalytically-driven processes, we are not creating new sources of carbon.”

“As we scale this technology up from the lab, we will be evaluating the wide range of potential feedstocks that exist locally and globally,” said Dr. Andrea Festuccia, enVerde’s chief engineer and scientist. “Waste biomass from forestry and agricultural activities will be our top priorities. Materials that are land-filled or pollute our communities—especially in areas where sanitation and water cleanliness are critical—will also be assessed. Wherever there are humans there will be waste streams for us to address and convert into useful green energy.”

Once created, syngas can be used to power generators to make electricity and to create heat. Syngas is also a raw material component that can be substituted for traditionally produced chemicals—including petrochemicals—in the creation of industrial and household products and a variety of other fuels. It is especially valuable as a fuel in areas where natural gas is not readily available.

Excerpt taken from a news release written by Dan Gilchrist, Office of the VP for Research and Dave Goebel, CEO and Founder, enVerde LLC. Click on the link below to read the full news release.

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