When sewage is treated at a wastewater treatment facility, biosolids are the byproduct. After being separated from the water, biosolids are usually sent to a landfill or incinerated. That doesn't mean that they're without value, however. Vitruvian Energy has created a process to make a usable fuel out of this human waste product, and while the source is pretty gross, it is undeniably abundant, and the results are much cleaner.

EEB can be made for less than $4 a gallon.

In a process that Vitruvian Energy claims is energy efficient, biosolids are femented and introduced to a type of bacteria to create PHA plastic. Reacting the PHA with ethanol creates the ethyl-3-ethoxybutyrate (EEB) biofuel. Vitruvian says EEB can be blended up to 20 percent with gasoline or diesel without any engine modifications. This lowers the carbon footprint of the fuel it's blended into, and serves to oxygenate diesel, leading to fewer harmful emissions. EEB can also be made using other organic waste products, such as corn stover, rice straw and distillers grains.

EEB can be made for less than $4 a gallon and isn't subject to the maddening market fluctuations and international politics of fossil fuels. Furthermore, EEB's carbon footprint is 70 percent less than that of fossil fuels. Vitruvian also sees potential for EEB to be used on its own to power vehicles or burned to produce electricity for the grid.

So far, Vitruvian Energy has used grants from the California Energy Commission and National Science Foundation to develop EEB, and has tested the fuel in a Pontiac Solstice at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Now, Vitruvian is wants to test EEB on a larger scale in the real world in order to prove EEB's viability to interested parties in the wastewater treatment industry. In an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, Vitruvian Energy hopes to raise $200,000 to build a prototype EEB production line and to run a test vehicle for a year on an EEB-diesel blend on the streets of Seattle. Donors can score some interesting perks such as shirts and bumper stickers that say "Get Clean with Poopaline." Learn more about EEB in the video and press release below.
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Seattle startup launches crowdfunding campaign for organic waste biofuel

Seattle, WA, USA, 17 November 2014

Vitruvian Energy, a Seattle-based Social Purpose Corporation, has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for its EEB biofuel. This biofuel can power a vehicle, blend with gasoline and diesel, or produce clean electricity.

EEB is made from organic waste materials that are currently under-utilized as a potential source of renewable energy, including sewage treatment biosolids, agricultural by-products such as corn stalks and rice straw, and animal waste from ranches and dairies. These organic waste sources have the potential to make the United States a net energy exporter, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and dramatically lower our carbon footprint.

Vitruvian Energy's initial source material for developing EEB is sewage biosolids, the carbon-rich, dirt-like organic material that remains after wastewater is treated. By using biosolids as the energy source, every community has the starting material to produce clean, affordable, renewable energy.

As we face the challenges of climate change, multiple renewable solutions are needed to replace the energy we currently generate from fossil fuels. The EEB biofuel complements other types of renewable energy, such as solar and wind, by producing energy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition, because EEB can blend up to 20% with gasoline and diesel or be burned cleanly for electricity, it integrates with our existing energy infrastructure.

EEB is backed by 5 years of research and development, including grants from the National Science Foundation and the California Energy Commission.

The Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign will allow Vitruvian Energy to build a pilot EEB production facility, use EEB-infused diesel to power a vehicle, and demonstrate the economic and technical value of EEB in real-world conditions. As a licensed Washington State Social Purpose Corporation with a triple-bottom-line approach, Vitruvian Energy is committed to bringing this renewable energy breakthrough to communities everywhere.

Indiegogo page: www.indiegogo.com/projects/community-sourced-biofuel

Vitruvian Energy website: www.vitruvianenergy.com

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