How to turn leftovers into electricity | ReInventors

How to turn leftovers into electricity | ReInventors


– Well, I think if I got
one of these for my house, I could cancel my
gym membership. So this is the
inside of a horse? This is not what I expected
a horse to look like. – Horse is actually an acronym. – What does it stand for? – It stands for high-solids
organic-waste recycling system with electrical output. – I can see why you
shortened it to H.O.R.S.E. So can you tell me what
happens in this space. – So the H.O.R.S.E.
is this living system. We convert food scraps
into fertilizer and energy. Nothing’s wasted, zero waste. – So how does it work? – So we’re gonna give
you our tricycle. It’s a cargo tricycle. – The future is now. (bicycle horn beeps) Whee. – [Jan] We pick up food
waste at restaurants and breweries. We bring it back here
to feed the machine. You actually dump the
food waste into a chute. – Yum, lunch. – [Jan] And we have a large,
it’s like a meat grinder. – You know, if this weren’t
getting turned into fuel, I might just make myself
a salad right now. – [Jan] It sort of
chews things up. – I worked out this week. I got it. – [Jan] We can do
protein and fat. – So you could do bodies. – We could do, well we could. – You could do bodies,
maybe next year. – Yeah, maybe next year. And then, right below
us is a mixing pump. – Really brings me back
to my days on the farm. Farmville is what
I’m talking about. – And that pumps and
circulates the food and the microbes together. It’s 30 days in here. – It’s a very slow
digestive system. – It is, the microbes
just naturally make renewable natural gas. We make electricity
out of the gas. You can plug your Nissan Leaf
into it, your electric bike, or we could power food
trucks even with this. And then the tank behind me
is the liquid fertilizer. So everything is
inside this box. We’ve really worked
hard to make it compatible with urban settings. – Yeah, it looks
like a tiny home, but covered in space blankets. – Yeah. – And with weirder furniture. – Yeah, that’s what
we were trying to do is miniaturize something
that has always been big and now it’s miniature. There are lots of big digesters, but you have to $5 million
dollars or $50 million dollars. – If I wanted to
get one of these, how much would it set me back? – It’s about the
cost of a Tesla. – Alright, well I could just
park it next to my Tesla. – Yeah, that’s right, yep. Pretty good burgers. – What do we do with
our organic waste now. If your organic waste
doesn’t go to the H.O.R.S.E, where does it go? – Well, on a national basis, it’s landfilling
or incineration. A lot of the West Coast
cities and Northeast cities, there’s composting, but that generally involves
a dumpster, a truck, hauling it to somebody
else’s community. In this case, we’re
trying to minimize or eliminate trucks, be zero waste and generate
valuable commodities within a one or two-mile radius. We’re at a brewery here today. – So what I always say
is there is no such thing as garbage, just
resources out of place. And we produce a
lot of resources left over from the
brewing process. – (coughs) – Yeah a little dusty. – The spent yeast out
of the brewery is. It’s amazing. It’s got a lot of gas potential. We feed the H.O.R.S.E.
twice a week and then the
machine runs itself. When you look at
who’s inquiring, it tends to be
islands and campuses whether they’re
corporate, government, college campuses. We’ve exported a couple
kits to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. – What’s your grand
vision to this? How is this gonna
save the world? – You’ve got wind and solar, you’ve got some
tidal stuff going on. This is a whole new category that is starting
to be talked about, this bio-energy space. We’re trying to
democratize this, make it affordable, simple, and it lets people
be more self-reliant or more energy-independent. – Nothing like an e-bike
ride in the morning. – [Jan] It’s a bit of a miracle
that you can take something that’s really ugly
and smelly and problem and you can convert it into
something commercially valuable. – It looks like mud but
the smell is actually sorta pleasant. It smells like Thanksgiving. It’s actually pretty,
I would eat this.

17 thoughts on “How to turn leftovers into electricity | ReInventors

  1. Thats pretty good, maybe we could also use our poop as fertilizer. I heard its one of best, cheapest and organic methods to fertilize our crops.

  2. Glad to have another great PBS channel!!

    I assume they have to combust the gas to run the generator, how does the greenhouse gas output of this compare to a regular natural gas fueled-energy plant? Are the environmental savings exclusively from the lack of trucks and other infrastructure?

  3. I can't wait for more. PBS has been growing recently and added many amazing channels like this to its network. I just subscribed and really look forward to every video that I feel will rekindle my love and hope for humanity with each episode. I do just want to say that the graphics on the people is a little fuzzy, but not the rest of the images. I don't know if this is intended, but I love it all nonetheless.

  4. What a great channel! Can't wait to see what you guys do next, I hope it goes big like the other channels!

  5. The generator is a standard gasoline engine with spark plug. A natural gas kit is installed on the air intake so it can run on either gasoline or natural gas or both. Biogas is a weak natural gas with 60-80% of the fuel value vs. regular natural gas (contains some CO2) – but this engine runs fine on biogas.

  6. Great video, really expands the mind. But again, more informations would be welcome, how much energy could be generated, how much wasted on transport etc…

  7. Yay, bioreactors! I've always loved the idea, but could never find any information about them. Thanks, Katie!

  8. Brilliant! I can really see this working in downtown Indianapolis – in a few different locations. would be nice to see them be early adopters

  9. After watching two videos I love this channel already and I love this guy for wanting to democratize green energy solutions.

  10. I wonder if the anaerobic fertilizer can be upgraded to aerobic compost tea, and then used to innoculate biochar from a pyrolysis based biomass gasification system

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