Converting human waste to energy, here today; dung farms booming tomorrow


Frank Sinton thinks human waste is highly underrated -- and highly profitable. A tech entrepreneur and the founder of PMC BioTec, Sinton pounds the table for the benefits of better processing of biowastes as not only environmentally sound but also good business. And he has the technology to prove it. His company and others are on the leading edge of a new generation of companies trying to improve the way society deals with biosolids, also known as sludge.

America spends $5 billion a year dealing with sludge. Biosolids producers pay hundreds of dollars a ton to remove it, quickly filling landfills or other means of disposal, Sinton said on Sept. 15 at the AlwaysOn Going Green Conference in Sausalito, California. The scope of the globe's sludge problem is mindboggling. Every year, cattle feedlots produce more than 150 million tons of animal waste; the U.S. and Europe together generate 40 million tons of sludge from sewage treatment; and food production waste weighs in at a staggering billion tons per year.

Originally published