SpectioNZ, a clean tech company based out of Wellington, New Zealand, has developed a process for converting organic waste (like human feces) and plastic into energy. Currently operating out of the business incubator CreativeHQ, SpectioNZ is testing a trial converter at the Paraparaumu wastewater treatment plant.
At the treatment plant, dehydrated waste is mixed with plastic, fed into the unit, and heated in the absence of air (a process called pyrolysis). The heated material converts to gas (including methane), which is intended to power turbines and produce electricity.
In New Zealand, 3 million tons of waste goes into the landfill each year; 1.8 million tons are organic. Not only does that create tremendous potential for energy creation, but also negates the need for New Zealand to ship its waste to China (thereby producing an energy savings).
With the 1kW power supply process deemed a success, the company now has its sights set on the creation of a 100 kW version. SpectioNZ is funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.
Note: readers may also be interested in Living Labs' showcased company Urbiotica, which monitors garbage receptacles in cities.