Co-founder Abhijeet Borole had been working in the area of bioelectrochemical systems for many years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and had the idea to use microbial electrolysis to produce hydrogen from biofuel waste that could be used to upgrade bio-oils. This approach would recover value from lost carbon and prevent the need for use of outside hydrogen from natural gas. This technology was developed with funding from DOE-EERE BioEnergy Technology Office awarded to ORNL under the CHASE (Carbon, Hydrogen and Separations Efficiency) FOA. Under this project, Co-founder and CEO Alex Lewis was brought in as a PhD student to help advance this technology. 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.