Turning Food Waste Into Energy and Fuel
I am sure you are familiar with the rising costs of living, food prices going up, electricity and gas energy prices soaring, petrol and diesel costs as demanding as ever with no ceiling in sight. This inflation might be acceptable and a part of economy growth if only our wages were rising too, but their not. So what can we do about it? Start going through our bins that’s what!
Statistics say that forty percent of our food waste is still going into landfills when it could be getting recycled into green energy to run our factories, offices and homes as well as fuel our vehicles! Amazing, but how can food be turned into this really useful clean energy?
Anaerobic Digestion is a process that can turn food into into either Renewable Energy or Biofertiliser. There are four stages of food component break down known as Hydrolysis, Acidogenesis, Acetogenesis and Methanogenesis for which there are two outcomes. Biogas consisting of large quantities of methane gas which can be used as renewable energy and heat reducing the need for fossil fuel use and reducing carbon dioxide. The other is Digestate, a left over product which is packed with nutrients. After pasteurisation, it makes a fantastic fertiliser.
Used cooking oil can also be refined into Bio diesel which can be used to power motor vehicles with out all the nasty pollution.
The main stumbling block as usual is the cost of investment and development into the technology that can make all of this happen. Once we start collecting commercial food waste in sufficient quantities it will become viable to invest in anaerobic digestion. Research suggests that if 5.5 million tonnes of food waste was treated by AD it could generate enough electricity to meet the needs of up to 164,000 households.
Fuelling Cities On Coffee
London produces over 200,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds each year, but Bio-Bean have found a great way to turn that waste into green energy. This innovative company use patented technology to turn coffee grounds into bio-mass pellets and bio-diesel for heating and transport. This great company set out to address to global concerns: 1. establish responsible waste collection and disposal 2. achieve clean cheap energy production. Bio-Bean is already recycling 30,000 tonnes of the 200,000 tonnes of London’s coffee waste every year preventing harmful green house gas emissions. To find out more about this incredible company and their work visit their website here. I look forward to seeing this technology growing and expanding into all of our towns and cities.
Did you know that tea and coffee grounds also make your compost heap in the garden extremely fertile?
Becoming Self Sufficient On Potato Peelings
If all food waste, such as potato peelings, were collected, the UK could become almost self-sufficient in fertilisers. We would no longer have to import or synthesise them at a cost to the environment, which would reduce the cost of farming, benefit the creation of a new organic industry and create jobs.
Leading By Example
Norway’s Oslo, a city built on oil, is now leading the way in green technology recycling, running it’s public transport on Bio-gas from waste food and burning the rest of the cities waste to generate electricity. Countries such as the UK are even paying Norway to take their rubbish to be burned and generated into energy which makes money for the country once again. Think we might be missing a trick somewhere……