“What is wasteful that we can harvest and use more efficiently?” ~ Bob Powell, CEO, Brightmark Energy

Bob Powell spends a lot of his day thinking about waste. His company, Brightmark Energy, converts two very different types of waste into energy and other useful products. 

Converting manure to energy with methane digesters

Brightmark Energy builds and operates methane digesters that convert manure and other organic waste into renewable natural gas and valuable natural fertilizer. Managing manure in this way prevents methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from escaping into the atmosphere and helps to keep nitrogen and phosphorus out of our waterways.

Converting plastic waste back into diesel and other petroleum products

Brightmark Energy’s Plastics Renewal Technology can take a mixed stream of almost any type of plastic waste and convert it to low-sulfur diesel fuel, naptha and wax. They are nearing completion of their first large plastic renewal facility, located in Ashley, Indiana. When completed it will keep tons of plastic out of the landfill and provide products that would otherwise be produced from crude oil.

Bob Powell’s clean energy journey

Bob didn’t start his career in clean energy. He started out working with utilities and power producers to build or acquire coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants. He even did some work for oil and gas companies.

Over time Bob became disenchanted with the environmental damage that the fossil fuel industry was causing. He jumped over to the clean energy industry by starting his own solar company in 2009. In 2015 he became CEO of Brightmark Energy and switched his focus to converting waste-to-energy. 

In this episode you’ll learn about some exciting ways that we can convert waste into energy and useful products and reduce the demand for fossil fuels.


Brightmark Energy

What's your idea for fighting climate change?

Would you like to support the show?