Biofuels Digest Interview with SynTech CEO Wayne McFarland

The Competitive Edge: SynTech Bioenergy, Inc.

In April 2019, Biofuels Digest interviewed SynTech CEO Wayne McFarland for the publication’s “The Competitive Edge” column, which features Q&As with “the advanced bioeconomy’s rising stars.” Following is an excerpt from that interview.

Q: What was the reason for founding your organization – what was the open niche you saw that could be addressed with a new product or service? What was the problem, or gap, or opportunity?

I founded SynTech Bioenergy based on my belief in the potential of bioenergy to make a significant dent in the global environmental crisis. I have spent more than a decade in the field of renewable energy, focused on finding solutions for converting biomass and other problematic global waste streams into carbon-negative clean energy. Seeing the positive impact we can make on global warming and climate change has only fueled my passion. There really is no need for us to continue burning and burying waste or even just allowing it to rot on the forest/orchard floor or farm field. Technologies exist today which can solve multiple energy, environmental, economic, social and political problems through the advanced thermal conversion of biomass, municipal solid waste and other waste streams to sustainable, clean, carbon-negative energy. This energy takes the form of power, heat, advanced drop-in liquid fuels which need neither blending nor engine modifications, and low carbon products made from or enhanced by the high-quality biochar produced in this process.

Q: Competitively, what gives your technology, product or service set an edge in cost or performance, sustainability, or any other aspect, that makes it stand out from the crowd? In short, what makes it transformative?

Our proprietary BioMax® technology is a commercially proven power generation solution capable of delivering highly reliable, uninterrupted power from a wide range of biomass feedstocks, as well as processed MSW and biosolids, in a highly scalable yet compact footprint. With more than 100,000 commercial operating hours globally, a single BioMax® modular biopower system can displace up to 8,608 metric tons of environmental carbon per year.

Bioenergy technologies have enormous potential to provide clean, carbon-negative energy at the facility level, right where the waste is created and the power and heat are needed or at the community level: essentially, wherever it makes the most sense and can be implemented quickly, at lower cost and connected to the needs of consumers. This technology can operate on-grid, off-grid or as a micro-grid. Use of bioenergy will help put an end to burning or landfilling wastes, particularly biomass, green and organic wastes and, in the process, keep millions of tons of carbon out of our environment every year. It will also create jobs all up and down the employment value stream; not just in the communities where they are located, but also in the communities where they are manufactured, from clerical and labor all the way up to science, technology and communications.

Perhaps most importantly, the new bioenergy technology, the tech whose adoption is building and whose future is bright, is carbon-negative in operation. This means taking carbon out of the environment—water isn’t used, so no contribution to the depletion of clean water supplies. No water is produced to be cleaned up or disposed of. This technology is already helping to relieve the pressure and reliance on vanishing fossil fuel resources.

Q: What are the 3 top milestones you have accomplished in the past 3 years?

  1. We have executed an agreement to develop 4 large (3MWe) projects for a single fund in CA, three of which already have executed interconnection agreements and the first of which just received its PPA on April 16th.

  2. SynTech has recently commenced operation of its first facility in Japan which now operates alternately on wood chips and bamboo chips as part of a Japanese Distributorship JV in Tokyo, Japan under the name SynTech Japan Co, LTD which is now the exclusive distributor of BioMax® units in Japan and which already has several additional projects in various stages of permitting.

  3. We have also just executed an agreement for the first of several project in HI with a west coast-based customer which will serve as our local sales and marketing partner in a segment of the HI energy market in which they already have a substantial market presence.

Q: What are 3 milestones you will accomplish in the next 3 years?

  1. Completing the 103 projects now pending in our pipeline and continuing to grow that pipeline;

  2. Continuing to enhance the output of our product by both continuous improvement and fostering a rather robust future product roadmap and technology horizon;

  3. Opening substantial additional markets by driving down the cost of our technologies through the benefits of efficiency of scale in manufacturing and procurement (not to mention lean manufacturing) in order to open more market including the rest of the US, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, India, China and elsewhere and, in so doing, having an even more prolific positive contribution to reversal of the harmful effects of climate change;

To read the rest of the interview, please go to:

Kevin McFarland