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Waste-to-electricity firm Ze-gen raises funds

Additional $2.5 million debt financing from Pinnacle Ventures will finance construction of full-scale gasification plant.

Ze-gen, a company which has a process for converting municipal waste into electricity, has raised $2.5 million to fund construction of its first full-scale plant.

Gasification hardware at Ze-gen's pilot plant. Ze-gen

Pinnacle Ventures on Thursday said it will provide the debt financing, which will be used to develop a commercial plant. Ze-gen's pilot plant opened in the middle of last year in New Bedford, Mass.

Ze-gen developed a process to turn municipal solid waste into electricity, which you can sell onto the grid or to an on-site consumer.

Through gasification, it turns waste into syngas--a combination of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen--which is then used to fuel a power generator.

Ze-gen is one of many companies looking to use waste as a renewable fuel source. Early this week, EnerTech Environmental raised a $42 million round to finance construction of a plant that turns sludge and industrial wastes into a solid fuel that can be burned.

"High energy costs, the need for more clean and renewable energy generation, and a growing waste disposal problem have created the ideal environment for the Ze-gen solution," said Pinnacle Ventures partner Patrick Lee in a statement.

Ze-gen has raised $8 million to date. The company intends to begin construction of its full-scale commercial facility by the end of 2008.