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About Us

KAHUenergy keeps waste out of landfills and greenhouse gasses out of the air by converting any waste – including pharmaceutical and hazardous materials – into clean energy through waste plasma gasification.

With locations in South Carolina and Georgia, KAHUenergy provides one of the first environmentally sound and sustainable alternatives to landfills and incineration. The current KAHUenergy plasma gasifier processes one ton of waste daily, which, according to MIT, is equivalent to preventing one ton of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.

KAHUenergy is expanding to process 85 tons of waste daily by 2025 and 500 tons by 2026. This will remove over 200,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions in two years, aiding the global goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

OUR STORY

KAHUenergy began on a tennis court in South Carolina in 2012, when two guys with big dreams of making a difference bonded over their mutual interests in medical waste and cool technology. What started as a tennis match turned into a successful cleantech startup that is still thriving more than a decade later.

An accomplished entrepreneur in the commercial real estate space with a passion for the environment, James McKissick joined forces with award-winning tennis coach and businessman Mike McCuen to build KAHUenergy from the ground up beginning in 2014. Together through tireless research and trial-and-error, KAHUenergy’s co-founders discovered that gasification is an environmentally sustainable solution to the pressing problem of waste management. 

OUR JOURNEY

Operating originally as Eastern Medwaste, Mike and James began approaching South Carolina hospitals to haul away their medical waste. They soon discovered that despite state laws mandating incineration, the state lacked any incineration facilities for this market at the time. Hospitals were struggling with the proper disposal of hazardous waste, expired pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and trace chemotherapy drugs. Challenged by a problem that lacked a tangible solution, James and Mike sought to find a more environmentally friendly method of disposal. Gasification soon emerged as the answer. The process, through extreme temperatures, transforms virtually any kind of waste into sources of clean energy. 

Faced with overwhelming demand from customers and a potentially profitable solution, James and Mike set their sights on purchasing a gasifier under the company’s new name, KAHUenergy. Together they scraped, scrounged and both mortgaged their houses to obtain a one-ton mobile plasma gasifier in 2021. 

Committed to making a positive impact on the planet, KAHUenergy currently processes one ton of non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste per day. Profitable since operations began in 2022, the company seeks to purchase four 20-ton gasifiers in 2024 to process 85 tons of waste per day by 2025. Today the management team has expanded to include business legend Rowland Hanson and communications expert Amanda Olson, who both bring passion and expertise to the table. Based on the Hawaiian word “kahu,” which means caretaker or guardian, KAHUenergy is devoted to protecting the planet from harmful practices and providing sustainable solutions to the climate crisis. 

VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Beyond the short-term goal of acquiring more gasifiers to increase capacity, KAHUenergy sees exciting potential in innovative applications of its technology. Some potential projects include:

  • Bringing mobile gasifiers to concerts and festivals to “green” events by processing waste on site and providing a source of clean energy
  • Using the syngas produced to sustainably power its own boilers, creating a closed-loop system
  • Deploying mobile gasifiers to natural disaster/FEMA sites
  • Using the technology to build self-propelled barges that process plastic in the ocean
  • Eliminating PFAS, aka “forever chemicals,” through gasification and continued R&D
  • Partnering with colleges to engage students in expanding technology and creating sustainable solutions
  • Tackling the opioid crisis by safely destroying confiscated and expired pharmaceuticals