Food going to waste is a problem in the US and elsewhere in the developed world. However, the High-solids Organic-waste Recycling System with Electrical Output device, or HORSE for short, developed by Impact Bioenergy, could go a long way towards alleviating this problem on the consumer side.
HORSE is not a real living being, but it could be called a ‘living’ machine. It can best be described as a portable anaerobic digestion system, which is capable of accepting a whole range of organic waste materials, such as kitchen scraps, yard waste and even paper, and turning it into a liquid fertilizer and even energy in the form of biogas and electricity.
The creators claim that one HORSE unit can, in a year, convert 25 tons of organic waste into roughly 5400 gallons of liquid fertilizer and up to 37 MWh of energy. So 135 lb (61.2 kg) of organic waste input into the device in a day, could have a yield of 360,000 BTU of energy and 2.5 kW per hour in electric output every day. And this output would be achieved with almost no waste.
Needless to say, placing these devices in neighborhoods around the world could have a significant impact on local waste management issues, renewable energy production, and reduced transportation emissions. Together with other recycling and waste-reduction programs, it could, conceivably eliminate the need for organic waste pickup, and remove all the carbon emissions of this activity.
Impact energy is currently raising funds to start building a containerized production model. They are doing so via a Kickstarter campaign and have not yet reached their $43,300 goal, but the campaign still has about a week to go, so hopefully they will get there.