According to a UN report, over 80% of wastewater is left untreated globally and discharged into the environment, the equivalent of two million Olympic swimming pools of wastewater polluting our land and waterways every day. In addition, each year the U.K. alone sends 7.2 million tonnes of unavoidable food waste to landfills which releases greenhouse gases into the environment as it decomposes.
In a bid to drive the food and drinks industry towards carbon neutrality, London-based wastewater treatment and bioenergy startup WASE has raised over £1 million funding. The round was led by Elbow Beach Capital. This is the company’s first investment as it wrapped up a £20 million fund for decarbonisation and sustainable energy just last week. The round also saw the participation of Science Angel Syndicate, and the European Union’s Climate-KIC’s investment support programme Found by Us, Funded by You.
The company is initially targeting the U.K. brewery sector, as breweries can produce up to ten pints of wastewater per pint of beer. Funds raised will go towards installing a commercial industriWASE Biocentre system at Hepworth Brewery, progressing WASE’s sales pipeline, increasing R&D spend and supporting key hires across the commercial, research, engineering and finance teams.
The startup is developing a cheap and efficient way to treat organic waste. It has created a modular solution for food and drink manufacturers to turn waste into renewable energy. WASE’s industriWASE systems use a proprietary electro-methanogenic process to treat wastewater and unavoidable food waste and in turn produce renewable energy onsite, providing up to 90% of their energy demands. With over 300,000 SME food and drink manufacturers in the U.K. and EU alone facing significant legislative and consumer pressure for sustainable products, the potential uptake of WASE’s solutions is significant.
The company is currently working with food and drink manufacturers, including Hepworth, Hobsons, and Forest Road Brewing. Going forward, it aims to install over 1000 systems in the next five years, generating over 500-gigawatt hours of renewable energy and saving over 140,000 tonnes of carbon.
Dr. Thomas Fudge, CEO, WASE said: “To create a sustainable future, we are excited to unlock the power of waste to make it the fuel of the future.”
Jon Pollock, CEO, Elbow Beach Capital said: “From day one, we’ve been incredibly impressed by both WASE’s technology and the expert team. We are firm believers in greening up from within industry and WASE’s technology is a perfect example of this. We look forward to helping the startup to rapidly commercialise this pioneering technology.”