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UT Grad, CBE Research Professor License Technology


Group of people gather around one side of a table at ORNL.

Photo provided by Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Dept. of Energy. Seated, from left are Michelle Buchanan, ORNL deputy for science and technology, Alex Lewis, CEO of Electro-Active Technologies, and Stacey Patterson, University of Tennessee Research Foundation president, who signed the licensing agreement for two ORNL microbial electrolysis technologies. Standing, from left are Mike Paulus and Jennifer Caldwell of ORNL, Abhijeet Borole of CBE and Electro-Active Technologies, Maha Krishnamurthy of UTRF, and Edna Gergel and Brian Davison of ORNL.


A Tennessee graduate and his professor recently licensed a way of turning food waste into fuel.

Alex Lewis, who graduated with a doctorate in energy science and engineering from the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education in 2017, and Research Professor Abhijeet Borole, who was Lewis’s mentor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and now works in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, founded Electro-Active Technologies with an eye on improving sustainability efforts.

Their research was supported by the US Department of Energy and the UT Research Foundation, culminating in them licensing a pair of ways of converting food waste into fuel at an August ceremony at ORNL.

More on their startup, technology, and licensing can be read on ORNL’s website.

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