US-based Enexor BioEnergy turns organic and plastic waste into clean energy
In 2017, founder and CEO Lee Jestings founded Enexor BioEnergy, a manufacturer of renewable energy and carbon conversion solutions in Tennessee, United States. After emerging victorious in the inaugural OCBC Sustainability Innovation Challenge (OSIC) last year, Enexor BioEnergy launched its pilot programme at the start of 2023 and plans to install its first systems in Singapore come 2024.
From a one-man show to a team of 35 today, Enexor BioEnergy is primed to roll out its patented Bio-CHP™ modular unit across the United States and in the Asia Pacific. Its Bio-CHP™ system enables businesses to generate clean onsite energy from organic and plastic waste that would have otherwise gone into landfills.
Using state-of-the-art technology, its Bio-CHP™ units can be monitored remotely and maintained locally – enabling Enexor to remain lean as it pursues a global footprint for its Bio-CHP™ units.
What Enexor stands for
Enexor is a portmanteau name, combining the words ENergy, EX (‘from’ in Latin) and ORganic (getting energy from organic waste).
During Lee’s travels around the world, he observed how the cities and companies he visited had a common struggle – managing both organic and plastic waste material.
Converting these materials into clean energy was a perennial challenge. With his engineering background and experience in building small businesses, Lee developed a sustainable business model and a viable onsite solution that redirects both organic and plastic waste into clean energy. Such a solution could potentially benefit companies all over the world.
Enexor’s energy and carbon conversion solution is possibly the first of its kind to help solve the world’s organic plastic waste problem. Its small and modular units can also be rapidly deployed across diverse climates – from a retail outlet in the United States, to a remote village in Africa, and even humid environments in the Asia Pacific.
A businessman at heart, Lee recognised that the business had to make economic sense for him and his customers. Thus, instead of selling his Bio-CHP™ units, he came up with a unique business model of selling a service instead. This also allowed him to retain full control of the product’s intellectual property and maintenance requirements.
The Bio-CHP™ system provides controlled, 24/7 renewable power ideally suited for microgrids. It can be installed and commissioned in just a single day, and multiple systems can be installed side-by-side to generate up to 2.5 MW of combined power.
Abundant opportunities lie ahead
Enexor’s growth trajectory in the last five years has been admirable. As it scales up its operations, the company is looking to hire a dozen more team members within this quarter.
Enexor is ramping up for upcoming opportunities in the sustainability sector. With competition still scant in this sector and given their current scale, Enexor’s team has managed to conquer technological challenges swiftly.
While its product remains in the prototyping stage, there is still room for it to grow, especially with new investors on board. The company’s next aim is to convert the prototypes to beta units and eventually go into full-scale production. There are currently three prototype units at their US headquarters, with showcases planned in Nashville, Asia and South America in the coming months.
Winning over challenges
To spearhead a profitable solution in the clean energy sector is a big challenge in itself. But Enexor is not stopping there – it has set its sights on a global footprint by building in remote monitoring capabilities and durability to withstand diverse climate types.
This provided them with the confidence and motivation to participate in the OCBC Sustainability Innovation Challenge (OSIC). The company was involved in several opportunities pre-COVID-19 and started to see interest from the Southeast Asian region, which is made up of many islands. These islands are typically dependent on diesel power, which is expensive and damaging to the environment. In need of clean energy solutions but with little room to create a big solution, Enexor pinpointed Bio-CHP™ as the answer.
OSIC helps them focus on this area of potential clientele. It was also the most logical step to do a major showcase and develop relationships to eventually launch in this region.
The team pitched their solution as a device to help solve organic plastic waste that can be easily moved and installed. The resilient asset and unique business model that does not require companies to invest huge sums of capital won over the judges and landed Enexor the top prize.
Through this challenge, Enexor will begin piloting its winning solutions in the US in early 2023. The second phase, commencing later in 2023, will see Enexor bringing its calibrated solution to international markets, including Singapore for SATS at Changi Airport.
With SATS as its pilot project, Enexor sees this as a lighthouse customer to increase its base in Singapore and nearby countries – should they successfully demonstrate how their product can redirect in-flight organic waste to clean energy instead of taking up precious space in landfills.
Through OSIC, the company has received strong interest from other countries to install its product in prominent facilities around the region. The future is bright and green.
The OCBC Sustainability Innovation Challenge is part of OCBC’s initiative to support climate actions for a sustainable future. In its inaugural edition in 2022, OCBC collaborated with SATS to find solutions to reduce food and packaging waste to help improve food security and mitigate carbon emissions.
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