Electro-Active Technologies was spun out of Oak Ridge National Laboratory based on research done under funding from DOE-EERE BioEnergy Technology Office awarded to ORNL under the CHASE (Carbon, Hydrogen and Separations Efficiency) FOA. Co-founder Abhijeet Borole had been working in the area of bioelectrochemical systems for many years and had the idea to use microbial electrolysis to use biofuel waste in order to make hydrogen for use in the process. Co-founder Dr. Alex Lewis was brought in as a PhD student to help advance this technology, and through this work they developed a system capable of converting almost any organic waste stream into protons and electrons using a robust 'electroactive' microbial community. The success at laboratory-scale sparked the founding of Electro-Active Technologies in August of 2017 by Dr. Alex Lewis and Dr. Abhijeet Borole. At this time, biorefineries were still struggling to develop, and so Electro-Active Technologies turned their attention to a more pressing problem and opportunity: food waste.