SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Clean World Partners (CWP), based in Sacramento, CA, today announced it received an important strategic investment from Gold River, CA based Synergex International Corporation, which purchased a controlling interest in CWP – a clean technology start-up, which owns proprietary pioneering technology that converts food and other organic waste into energy, fertilizer and additional valuable byproducts.
Founded in early 2009 by Sacramento entrepreneurs Warren Smith and Greg Hayes, CWP licensed innovative anaerobic digestion (AD) technology from UC Davis (UCD) invented by world-renowned scientist Dr. Ruihong Zhang. The technology features advantages over existing AD technology by reducing waste processing time and maximizing energy production. These advances make the technology capable of scaling to fit the needs of both small and large waste producers, increasing access to this rapidly emerging waste management solution. CWP's goal has been to build the nation's first commercial high-solid anaerobic digestion facility.
"This investment by Synergex provides us the operational capital and management expertise that will allow us to quickly act on our business plan and make the first U.S. high-solid AD system a reality," said company co-founder Smith. "The food processing industry is under tremendous pressure to find more sustainable alternatives to landfills for disposing food waste. We are now in a position to serve that need sooner."
"There are many great technological innovations out there, but most lack the business acumen to get to market," said Synergex's Michele Wong, who is the new CEO of CWP. "We have 35 years of experience in productizing technology and getting it to market. Over the last decade, we have evaluated the emerging clean technology sector and realized that our expertise and experience position us well to assist start-ups in the space and to provide them the tools and organizational development needed for success." The investment is being managed by Synergex Ventures – a wholly owned subsidiary of Synergex, which has experience helping start-up ventures work through challenges to commercialize their products. Nine years ago, Synergex provided similar services to Altergy Systems, which has grown from a small start-up incubated at Synergex to a 40,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Folsom, CA and now sells its fuel cells across the world.
The existing CWP management of Smith, Hayes and SVP of Operations, Steve Tourigny, will remain in place, supplemented by Synergex resources, including Wong as the new CEO. The company also recently brought aboard Josh Rapport as Director of Research and Development. Rapport, who has a PhD in Bio-environmental Engineering and Microbiology, an MS in International Agricultural Development from UCD, and a BS in Biology from Stanford, has consulted with industry and government stakeholders on AD projects prior to joining CWP. He also ran the UC Davis Biogas Energy Project, which successfully demonstrated Dr. Zhang's AD technology at a three-to-five tons-per-day pilot scale.
CWP is currently in discussions with several food processors in the Central Valley to build its pioneering facility. It is targeting to have its first project under contract by the end of the first quarter and to have it built and operational by year's end. The company received a $1.3 million grant from the California Energy Commission under the State's AB 118 program and will use those funds to pay for predevelopment work on this initial project.
Anaerobic digestion is simply the controlled breakdown of organic matter without air, used to manage waste and/or to release energy. It is a biological process that produces an energy-rich biogas, principally composed of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2), which can be used as a fuel. It is used primarily in the United States as a wastewater treatment solution.
CWP seeks to propagate its new technology as an affordable solution to manage high-solid organic waste, such as food and agriculture waste, which is currently either composted or sent to landfills. The challenge with this manner of waste disposal is that it allows greenhouse gas emissions, which are 72 times more harmful than equivalent CO2 emissions from automobiles. California currently disposes six million tons per year of food waste according to CalRecycle. If this waste were digested, it would produce enough energy to power 107,000 homes and provide the equivalent environmental benefit of removing 1.5 million cars from the road.
About Clean World Partners
CWP partners with businesses and communities to convert organic waste to renewable energy, soil enhancement products, and other valuable byproducts with proprietary technologies that are scalable, cost-efficient, and effective. Learn more at www.cleanworldpartners.com.
About Synergex Ventures
Synergex Ventures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Synergex International Corporation, an industry leader at the forefront of technology for more than 30 years. Learn more at www.synergex.com.
SOURCE Clean World Partners