Waste-to-energy firm Ze-Gen gets $4.5 million

The company plans to open a test facility later this month which will use gasification to convert waste to electricity.

Ze-Gen has pulled in a pile of money to make power from piles of trash.

The Boston-based company on Monday announced that it has secured $4.5 million in funding to carry through on its plans to build a facility that converts municipal solid waste into electricity.

As previously reported, Flagship Ventures led the financing which was joined by VantagePoint Venture Partners. The $4.5 million complements an initial $2.25 million in seed funding.

Next week, Ze-Gen will open a test facility in New Bedford, Mass, which will take construction site debris and pass it through a bath of molten metal.

That gasification process, which can work with a range of waste products, chemically changes the trash into a liquid synthetic gas, or syngas, which is burned to make drive a turbine and make electricity. The plant is expected to operating commercially next year.

Waste-to-power technologies don't benefit from government clean energy subsidies, but Ze-Gen says that its facilities will be cleaner than fossil fuel power plants and use a renewable resource: municipal trash.

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