Waste to Energy


Team Leader: Manuel Belmonte
Contact: mbelmont@ucsd.eduCurrent Members:


The Waste to Energy Project’s mission is to research, design and build a single prototype biodigester that can ultimately be scaled up in order to process dining hall food waste to produce usable methane gas to power utilities and facilities at UCSD. A goal that perfectly embodies UCSD’s initiatives towards environmental sustainability and green technologies.What is Waste to Energy?
      Waste to Energy is a process that converts organic wastes such as leftover food and manure, into usable methane gas• Produces clean burning natural gas
• Waste by-products of reaction can be used as fertilizer

Real World Successful Case — UC Davis Plant
     Professor Ruihong Zhang, with the aid of industry has worked to design and construct a large scale biodigestor at Davis.• 7.5 tons of food waste processed each day
• 1,300 kWh of energy produced each day


  • Research

             Understand fundamental variables
Understand process mechanics
Understand optimal feed conditions and reaction time

  • Design

            Develop efficient reactor design
Develop experimental procedure
Test important factors to ensure smooth operation

  • Build

           Construct working anaerobic digester
Test and optimize yield
Publish results