Cambrian Innovation and Lagunitas Partner to Launch Breakthrough Wastewater Treatment Technology

EcoVoltwill eliminate 10 trucks per day and generate clean energy at Lagunitas Brewing Company


LagunitasBoston, Mass., November 26, 2013 – Cambrian Innovation announced the installation of EcoVolt, the world’s first bioelectrically enhanced wastewater treatment system, at Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, CA. EcoVolt empowers customers like Lagunitas to cut operating costs and monetize their process and wastewater streams while significantly increasing plant sustainability.

Lagunitas Brewing Company is one of the fastest growing craft breweries in the nation, and well known for its hoppy beers with irreverent names such as Hairy Eyeball, Hop Stoopid, and Lagunitas Sucks. Until now, Lagunitas transported its 50,000 gallons per day of high-strength wastewater to East Bay Municipal Utility District (MUD), requiring over 3,000 trucks a year. This is a reality for many breweries, as breweries produce wastewater streams rich in nutrients (food source) that disrupt biologically based municipal wastewater systems. The wastewater must then be treated to comply with environmental regulatory standards and comes with both monetarily and environmentally high costs.

“We’re delighted for the opportunity to help Lagunitas address their water management and sustainability goals,” said Matthew Silver, CEO of Cambrian Innovation. “Beverage companies across the country are rightfully concerned about rising energy and water costs. Yet, wastewater itself contains energy. The Cambrian EcoVolt system uses recent advances in biotechnology to capture this energy, turning wastewater from a hassle to a revenue source.”

Developed with assistance from the National Science Foundation, EcoVolt uses electrogenic organisms to generate clean energy from wastewater. These recently discovered organisms convert wastewater pollutants into electricity, which is subsequently funneled to a circuit and back into an electrode where a different set of microorganisms convert electricity and carbon dioxide into methane fuel—forming a complete treatment process. The methane can be used on-site for clean power and heat production.

EcoVolt is a robust, end-to-end, anaerobic wastewater treatment solution that can be rapidly installed and scaled across a range of biological oxygen demand (BOD) loadings. Its bioelectric capability allows for continuous, remote monitoring and control. Because EcoVolt is prefabricated and provides for turnkey installation, the system can easily accommodate facility expansion, as well as new system installations. These attributes minimize installation and operation hassles.

“We looked at a lot of options for onsite treatment…” says Lagunitas CFO Leon Sharyon, “…EcoVolt takes anaerobic digestion to a new level allowing for remote monitoring and greater control.”

Taking the Diesel Out of the Beer.

Demand for Lagunitas is increasing in many states across the US, and with this demand has come a mission to take as much diesel as possible out of the beer in everything from sourcing to shipping. As part of this initiative, Lagunitas is building a second brewery in Chicago (opening early 2014); shipping malt by train, directly to Petaluma—eliminating about 600 trucks every year; and now, with the new EcoVolt wastewater treatment solution, they will be eliminating 10 trucks per day from the brewery—over 3,000 trucks annually.

“Relative to the other anaerobic digestion systems we evaluated, the Cambrian system offers a scalable solution allowing us to add capacity as we grow… and requires much less operating oversight,” says Leon.

Small Footprint. Big Change for the Industry.

As Leon says, “those traditional systems looked like industrial powerplants, but the EcoVolt ships self-contained, literally, in a shipping container. Its smallness is huge on so many levels.” Especially since any energy created that Lagunitas does not use can be put back on the grid for Petaluma.

About Cambrian Innovation

Cambrian Innovation is a leader in the development of environmental solutions using biotechnology. Spun out of MIT in 2006, Cambrian has scaled and validated solutions to recover resources from wastewater, eliminated energy required for wastewater treatment, radically reduced the cost of nitrate-nitrogen treatment, and helped agricultural operations monitor their inputs more easily and efficiently. Its flagship product, EcoVolt, is the world’s first and only industrial-scale, bioelectrically enhanced wastewater treatment system, empowering food and beverage companies to cut water and energy costs while monetizing their wastewater. Headquartered in Boston, MA, Cambrian Innovation can be found online at


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