|The UC Davis Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester, which converts organic waste from campus and other sources into clean energy for the campus electrical grid, officially opens on Earth Day, April 22, 2014. (CleanWorld provides to People’s Daily Online)|
San Francisco, April 22, (People’s Daily Online)----On April 22, the Earth Day, the anaerobic digestion technology invented by Chinese American researcher Ruihong Zhang is used with U.S. largest biodigester on campus at the University of California, Davis.
UC Davis and Sacramento-based technology partner CleanWorld officially unveiled the UC Davis Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester (READ). The anaerobic digestion technology Zhang invented is being used inside large, white, oxygen-deprived tanks, in which bacterial microbes on campus waste will turn it into clean energy that feeds the campus electrical grid.
More than a decade ago, Ruihong Zhang, a professor of biological and agricultural engineering at UC Davis, started working on a problem: how to turn as much organic waste as possible into as much renewable energy as possible?
“It has been the thrust of my research to bring the innovations we made possible at UC Davis to commercial scale,” Zhang said. “This technology can change the way we manage our solid waste. It will allow us to be more economically and environmentally sustainable. I am proud and grateful to be a part of the team who helped make this moment a reality."
It is the third commercial biodigester CleanWorld has opened using Zhang’s technology within the past two years and is the nation’s largest anaerobic biodigester on a college campus.
The system is designed to convert 50 tons of organic waste to 12,000 kWh of renewable electricity each day using state-of-the-art generators, diverting 20,000 tons of waste from local landfills each year. It is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13,500 tons per year.
“The biodigester is the latest chapter in UC Davis’ world-renowned legacy of environmental sustainability," said Linda P.B. Katehi, chancellor of UC Davis. “This project stands as a model public-private partnership and demonstrates what can be achieved when research universities and private industry collaborate to address society’s most pressing challenges.”