Industrial water-cleaning waste-to-energy technology competes for national prize

Nov. 16, 2010
OAKLAND, CA, Nov. 16, 2010 -- Novel technology that efficiently cleans industrial wastewater while it captures oil in the water to use as biodiesel feedstock has made FogBusters a finalist contending for the Cleantech Open 2010 National Prize...

• Patented hydraulic separation method pulls fat, oil and grease from industrial wastewater to make biodiesel

OAKLAND, CA, Nov. 16, 2010 -- Novel technology that efficiently cleans industrial wastewater while it captures oil in the water to use as biodiesel feedstock has made FogBusters a market success and a finalist contending for the Cleantech Open 2010 National Prize. FogBusters was selected as the winning California team in the Air, Water and Waste category of the Cleantech Open's prestigious annual competition, and will now compete for the grand prize at the Cleantech Open National Awards Gala and Expo, to be held in San Jose on November 17.

Market leaders in the food, dairy, algae and biofuel industries -- such as Cargill Corporation and Ventura Foods -- have been quick to adopt FogBusters' revolutionary oil/water separation technology, while the petroleum, chemical and remediation industries are testing additional applications.

A total departure from the chemical, centrifugal and adsorptive separation technologies currently used, FogBusters' machines efficiently purify wastewater with a non-chemical, gravity-driven system that captures fat, oil and grease (FOG) in highly concentrated form for sale as biodiesel feedstock. This transforms a manufacturer's EPA-mandated water treatment program from a costly compliance obligation into a profit center. Moreover, FogBusters makes wastewater treatment less expensive and more sustainable by reducing or eliminating the use of chemicals and the generation of oily sludge that requires disposal in landfills. With FogBusters equipment, clients get their wastewater cleaner more reliably and sustainably at a lower cost and make money selling recovered waste oil to biodiesel manufacturers.

FogBusters is a member of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program, which provides design and engineering software for emerging cleantech companies in North America and Europe to accelerate development of solutions to the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Autodesk is also a national sponsor of the Cleantech Open 2010 competition.

Oil/water separation is essential in many industries, but the various technologies used all have serious performance, cost and sustainability problems. For example, in the petroleum industry, oil refineries produce six gallons of wastewater for every gallon of petroleum processed and currently treat their water using a technology introduced eighty years ago. FogBusters' gravity-driven, non-chemical, low-energy separation system is now enabling companies to profitably capture and recycle oil suspended in wastewater while achieving superb levels of purity in treated effluent. Each year, millions of tons of animal fat, vegetable oil and petroleum products extracted from wastewater end up as oily sludge in landfills, and FogBusters' breakthrough technology creates an opportunity to profitably use these as fuel.

"We are honored with the recognition from the Cleantech Open," said Bradley Mart, CEO of FogBusters. "FogBusters' technology platform answers urgent multi-industry needs for more efficient processes that can increase profitability and sustainability simultaneously. Thanks to our participation in Cleantech Open, we have already been approached by a number of major companies interested in applying FogBusters technology to their own applications and potential investors we were unlikely to meet on our own."

In March of this year, 271 teams across five regions submitted entries to the Cleantech Open business competition -- the most ever in the five-year history of the competition. 81 of those teams made it through to the semifinals; 18 teams were selected as finalists after a rigorous judging process. "Our mission is to find, fund and foster the most promising cleantech startups across America," stated Rex Northern, executive director of the Cleantech Open. "The judges were impressed that FogBusters has a fully-commercial, revenue-generating product with blue chip reference customers validating the equipment's impressive financial and sustainability benefits."

About FogBusters
Based in Oakland, California, FogBusters Inc. sells manufacturing and wastewater treatment equipment based on a revolutionary oil/water (liquid/liquid) separation technology platform useful in many process and extractive industries. Beneficiaries include the food, fuel, transportation, maritime, pharmaceutical, chemical, cleaning product and personal care industries. By removing virtually all oil and/or fat at the head of existing wastewater treatment systems, FogBusters delivers cleaner water at a lower cost, prevents downstream system upsets and eliminates chemical use, while simultaneously recovering waste material that can be profitably reprocessed or recycled. For more information, call 415.425.5590 or visit

Cleantech Open Sponsors
The Cleantech Open is made possible by the generous support provided by Global Partner: Chevron; Global Foundation Partner: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; National Sponsor: Autodesk; Multi-Regional Gold Sponsor: Wells Fargo. The California region is additionally supported by Platinum Sponsors: Pacific Gas & Electric and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati. The North Central and Rocky Mountain regions are additionally sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Faegre & Benson. The Pacific Northwest region is additionally sponsored by Platinum Sponsor Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

About The Cleantech Open
The Cleantech Open is the world's largest cleantech business competition. Its mission is to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with big ideas that address today's most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges. The program provides the infrastructure, expertise and strategic relationships to turn ideas into successful global cleantech companies. Since 2006, through its one-of-a-kind annual business competition and mentorship program, the Cleantech Open has helped hundreds of clean technology startups bring their breakthrough ideas to fruition, helping alumni contestants raise over $280M and creating an estimated 2,000 green collar jobs. Fueled by a network of more than 750 volunteers and sponsors, the Cleantech Open unites the public and private sectors in a shared vision for making America's cleantech sector a thriving economic engine.