A recent techcrunch article on a certain company turning organic food and yard scraps into energy amongst other things got me curious. The fact the folks at Harvest the company in question had added an additional $6M to its series B funding efforts, definitely added to my interest in finding out what they do.
Harvest deploys best-of-breed technologies to produce renewable energy and high value soil and organic fertilizer products; all from what one would otherwise have considered “waste” materials. The technologies include composting, anaerobic digestion, and biomass gassification. in their view organic waste is not waste at all. Its a gold mine waiting to be tapped. Their value chain relies on the following inputs to their processes and technologies – food scraps, yard debris, paper fibers, manure, crop, etc. These are sourced from residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural entities. Through various technologies such as composing, anaerobic digestion etc, they are able to convert these raw materials into many products in the following categories – soil products, renewable energy and engineered products. What would normally have gone waste is converted into useful products and put back into circulation.
Harvest truly innovates when it comes to organic waste. Their anaerobic digestion, material recovery and biomass gasification technologies produce clean, low-cost energy in the form of biogas or syngas. According to the company, this can be converted into electricity, heat and natural gas suitable for use in a variety of applications. Similarly, Processed Engineered Fuel (PEF) and Hog Fuel (that comes from wood chips) is another good way for organics recycling. Lastly, their technologies help produce high quality compost mulch, biochar that can be used to sustain agriculture, conserve soil and water, control erosion and mitigate climate change.
Harvest truly deserves every cent and more of their funding!