PurposeEnergy’s mission is to capture the millions of tons of wasted organic material flowing from industrial food production plants, converting them into valuable renewable energy, clean water, and healthy soil amendments. We reduce the cost of disposal by anaerobically treating process wastewater, organic solids, slurries, and fats onsite, eliminating the costly need to truck waste offsite for treatment. By managing customers’ waste streams on an outsourced basis, we aim to free up time and capital for companies to focus on growing their core business. Our team is committed to technical excellence, net-energy- positive processes, and delivery of strong financial and ESG benefits to all stakeholders.
In 2007, Natural Gas prices were elevated and volatile, pricing between $8 and $17/mmbtu. Industry leaders and economists voiced concerns over rising costs and availability of steady supply. Eric Fitch, PurposeEnergy’s Founder saw opportunity in the chaos and started work on a solution that would change the biogas industry.
An MIT trained Engineer, Fitch started exchanging ideas with a friend working at Boston’s Harpoon Brewery. Fitch saw the potential for renewable energy in the tons of brewers waste generated by the craft beer industry. He set out to find or develop a technology that would efficiently turn these hard-to-digest organics into valuable biogas.
Who he found – on a hog farm in South Dakota – was a scientist from Gainesville, Florida. Fortunately for Fitch, Dr. David O’Keefe had been developing an anaerobic digester with a novel design for treating high-solid-content wastes and was performing testing on scraped manure from two farms. Pooling their efforts, Fitch and O’Keefe evolved the design and piloted their new technology at the Yuengling Brewery in Tampa. The pilot was a success, and the team patented the system we call the Tribrid-Bioreactor™ today. PurposeEnergy was born.
In 2008, PurposeEnergy executed an agreement with the Magic Hat Brewing Company to design, build and operate its first anaerobic digester facility in South Burlington, Vermont, enabling a significant increase in production capacity. That system has since been expanded to accept trucked organics from a range of local breweries, distilleries, ice cream and other food producers. To date, it’s biogas-powered generator has supplied more than 9.5 GWh of renewable energy to the Vermont power grid.
Building on our initial success, PurposeEnergy expanded to assist other breweries and food and beverage producers needing to improve waste and wastewater handling practices and their bottom lines.
Fast forward to today, we have expanded our abilities to provide a full slate of services including leading wastewater consulting engagements and full-service design, financing, and operation of waste organics to energy systems, leading to delivery of seven industrial scale pretreatment plants. As we have grown, we have expended our treatment offering to include byproduct treatment of cheese, yogurt, distilling, nutraceutical, and depackaged food waste, growing our target market. Our relationship with Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners dramatically increases our ability to finance, build and operate new projects for our clients, freeing their capital and management skills to focus on growing their food production business.