Innovation Crossroads at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Electro-Active Technologies utilizes an advanced microbial and electrochemical process to efficiently degrade organic wastes into electrons and protons to produce renewable hydrogen. We have developed a patented process which results in a robust microbial community capable of high-rate and efficient conversion of any organic waste into electrons to produce hydrogen. The use of a waste feedstock enables our process to more than double the electrical efficiency of renewable hydrogen production compared to water electrolysis, providing a more cost-effective alternative.
Alex Lewis is Cofounder and CEO of Electro-Active Technologies, a public benefit corporation developing a modular system for converting food waste into hydrogen. The company was spun out of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2017, built on >5 years of DOE funded research. The underlying technology uses a combination of biology and electrochemistry to convert food waste and electricity into a low-cost, zero-emission fuel in hydrogen. Additionally, the compact, modular system enables onsite deployment to work with waste generators, waste haulers, and municipalities. Overall, our circular approach to hydrogen production can create a negative carbon pathway over the life cycle through reduced transportation, abatement of landfill emissions, and replacing fossil fuel use, bringing additional marketable sustainability benefits to our customers.
Dr. Abhijeet Borole has been conducting research on bioelectrochemical systems for the last 10 years. He was at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) until February 2018, after which he took the lead in advancing the MEC technology at Electro-Active. He has a total of 21 years of experience in energy R&D and developed unique bioprocessing strategies and has been working on optimizing reactor design, reducing material costs while maintaining performance. He has published 75 peer reviewed publications, 8 books in biocatalysis/bioenergy, and 5 patents.
Jordan Brewer earned his B.S. degree at the University of Tennessee in Bioprocess engineering. He has experience in rapid prototyping, 3D printing, implementation of electrical sensor and control systems and works at the the interface of biological problems and engineering solutions. At Electro-Active, Jordan has taken the lead on developing process control via software development and hardware fabrication and installation to monitor important parameters in the system and trigger responses to enable system automation for autonomous operation resulting in enhanced system reliability.