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University-Industry Engagement Advisor

U Minnesota start-up seeks funding for process that converts waste into gas

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 12th, 2018

A University of Minnesota start-up is seeking funding to commercialize a technology that turns organic waste into synthetic gas.

enVerde uses a process that takes a wide variety of waste — from livestock manure to plastic garbage — and gasifies it without any combustion or incineration. The output is syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which can be used as fuel or made into a range of chemicals. For example, the process could be applied at a hog farm by converting manure to syngas in order to power an on-site electricity generator.

“We really wanted to find something with a low-cost base, and we wanted to find something that would perform well environmentally,” says enVerde CEO Dave Goebel.

Compared to current methods of syngas production, enVerde’s system uses considerably less energy and at a much lower cost. The start-up hopes to eventually launch a demonstration plant, but it needs significant seed capital to take that step.

“It really is at a critical point,” says Goebel. “We have to get across, as they say, the ‘valley of death.’”

enVerde worked with the University of Minnesota’s tech transfer office to patent its process and has received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Source: Star Tribune

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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