2014 Clean Tech Innovator of the Year: Dr Ruihong Zhang
The SARTA Clean Tech Innovator of the Year is Dr. Ruihong Zhang. Dr Zhang is is a professor of biological and agricultural engineering at University of California Davis. Her technology is being commercialized by CleanWorld, the
Sacramento based company that brought Northern California its closed-loop food waste-to-energy BioDigester. There are two digesters, one in Sacramento and the other located at UC Davis. CleanWorld is one of 96 clean-tech companies making the Capital Region a leader in climate-tech innovation.
“High Solid Anaerobic Digester (HSAD)” technology was also recognized in 2006 by the California Energy Commission and CalRecycle for its capacity to address multiple economic and environmental issues, including the elimination of a waste stream that burdens our landfills, instead using it to create and capture methane (or biogas) and transforming that into electricity, transportation fuel, and fertilizer.
While anaerobic digestion is not a new process, Dr. Zhang’s innovations made it work faster and more efficient, making it possible for anaerobic digestion of food waste to be scaled and commercially viable.