UC Davis BAE READ Renewable-Energy-Anaerobic-Digester

UC Davis Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester (READ)

Campus and community food and yard waste will be put inside large, white, oxygen-deprived tanks. Bacterial microbes in the tanks feast on the waste, converting it into clean energy that feeds the campus electrical grid. (Graphic by Russ Thebaud/UC Davis)
READ Process by Russ Thebaud

Partnered with CleanWorld, the READ converts food and yard waste into clean energy that feeds into the campus electrical grid. The system is designed to convert 50 tons of organic waste to 12,000 kWh of renewable electricity each day using state-of-the-art generators, diverting 20,000 tons of waste from local landfills each year.

The READ BioDigester encompasses several of the university’s goals: reducing campus waste in a way that makes both economic and environmental sense, generating renewable energy, and transferring technology developed at UC Davis to the commercial marketplace.

Situated at the campus' former landfill, the anaerobic digestion technology biological and agricultural engineering department faculty Ruihong Zhang invented is being used inside large, white, oxygen-deprived tanks where bacterial microbes in the tanks convert the waste to energy.