Waste to energy company EnerTech Environmental has closed a second round of financing, for $42 million, that was co-led by Citi’s Sustainable Development Investments unit and Masdar Clean Tech Fund. Atlanta-based EnerTech will use the funds to develop its sludge-slurping technology, “SlurryCarb,” which takes watery biosolid wastes and converts them into a renewable solid fuel that the company calls “E-Fuel.” Yum!
The key to EnerTech’s SlurryCarb process is the “carbonization” of the biosolid slurry, which separates out CO2 and leaves behind a high-energy, hydrophobic sludge. The company says this allows for up to 80 percent of water content to be removed mechanically, which uses less energy than boiling the moisture off. The end result is a renewable fuel that can be sold, as well as pre-treated waste water that can be sent back into the municipal stream.
EnerTech’s business model is poised to capitalize on three cleantech sectors: low-energy sewage treatment, renewable fuel creation, and water reclamation. The private company, founded in 1992, is taking a waste-to-energy approach to sewage…but will it make them stinking rich?
Perhaps. Waste-to-energy companies and water reclamation companies have been receiving significant investment. Canada’s PlascoEnergy, for example, last month received an investment from private equity firm First Reserve. Also last month, Orange County brought online a water treatment plant that reclaims sewer water for drinking water.
EnerTech’s recent funding follows the company’s $160 million financing of their Rialta, Calif., commercial SlurryCarb plant that’s scheduled to come online early this year and convert 683 tons of biosolids into fuel a day.
The California plant will be able to process 15 percent of the biosolid wastes produced in the Los Angeles area, the company says, which will help to move Southern California’s water treatment system further into the cleantech realm. The company has been running a 20 ton-per-day facility in Japan for three years.