Jun 212017
 

via A Better Earth

In a classic tale of turning trash into treasure, two different processes soon may be the favored dynamic duo to turn food waste into green energy, according to a new Cornell University-led study.

“Food waste should have a high value. We’re treating it as a resource, and we’re making marketable products out of it,” said lead author Roy Posmanik, a postdoctoral researcher. “Food waste is still carbon – a lot of carbon.”

The researchers show that by using hydrothermal liquefaction before anaerobic digestion, virtually all of the energy is extracted from the food waste. In hydrothermal liquefaction, the waste is basically pressure cooked to produce a crude bio-oil. That oil can be refined into biofuel.

The remaining food waste, which is in an aqueous state, is anaerobically digested by microbes within days. The microbes convert the waste into methane, which can be used to produce commercial amounts of electricity and heat.

“If you used just anaerobic digestion, you would wait weeks to turn the food waste into energy,” said Posmanik, who works in both the laboratories of co-authors Jeff Tester, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, and Lars Angenent, professor of biological and environmental engineering. “The aqueous product from hydrothermal processing is much better for bugs in anaerobic digestion than using the raw biomass directly. Combining hydrothermal processing and anaerobic digestion is more efficient and faster. We’re talking about minutes in hydrothermal liquefaction and a few days in an anaerobic digester.”

Food waste is the single largest component going into municipal landfills in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. About one-third of the world’s food – nearly 1.3 billion tons – is lost or wasted, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. For all industrialized nations, food waste accounts for roughly $680 billion annually. In addition, composting and digestion of food waste are inefficient and slow.

Putting hydrothermal liquefaction first in an engineering process and finishing with anaerobic digestion completes a food-water-energy nexus, Posmanik said. “We must reduce the amount of stuff we landfill, and we must reduce our carbon footprint. If we don’t have to extract oil out of the ground to run cars or if we’re using anaerobic digestion to make green electricity, we’re enhancing energy and food security.”

Learn more: Transforming Last Night’s Leftovers Into Green Energy

 

The Latest on: Food waste into green energy
  • Mine shaft energy storage and post-consumer packaging: the best green innovations of the week
    on February 16, 2018 at 12:00 am

    With businesses in a feel-good mood to tackle pressing global issues, edie has once again pulled the best innovation stories of the week into this neat and tidy little green package ... cans and other forms of waste. Energy storage is seen as key to ... […]

  • Bateman Food Recycling Bill Would Reduce Waste
    on February 15, 2018 at 9:52 am

    The legislation calls for large generators of food waste to separate it from other forms of trash, providing the opportunity to prevent methane released into the atmosphere and fuel electricity production from a renewable form of energy. “A single ... […]

  • Biogen acquires Tamar Energy
    on February 13, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Biogen has expanded its food waste recycling ... metric tons of food waste each year and provide green electricity generation of 25 MW. Spence Clunie, managing partner of Ancala Partners LLP, said, “Acquiring Tamar Energy represents an opportunity ... […]

  • Supermarket Food Waste: What’s Most Likely to Get Tossed?
    on February 12, 2018 at 11:25 am

    More research confirms: the banana is the king (of supermarket food waste ... re actually edible from bright green to completely black. But dark bananas aren’t necessarily bad: as the fruit ages, bacteria turn starch into sugars—and the peel turns ... […]

  • Myeasha Taylor on Overlapping Urban Food Production, Technology, and Energy for Solutions in the Food System
    on February 8, 2018 at 10:07 am

    FT: What’s the most pressing issue in food and agriculture that you’d like to see solved? MT: I would like to see more local farms with access to land ownership or putting green spaces ... integrating energy efficient technologies into agricultural ... […]

  • Anaergia, Maui EKO open green waste dialogue
    on February 7, 2018 at 12:00 am

    A morbark grinder machine processes green waste into mulch Tuesday afternoon. EKO Plant Manager Ruben Fonseca said Monday that he has only met with the energy company a few times ... crop residues and food waste to create compost — not just sludge. […]

  • Leading Dairy Producer Shows Food Manufacturers How Waste-To-Energy Innovation Achieves Outstanding Environmental And Production Benefits
    on January 16, 2018 at 12:00 am

    The Waste Water Treatment ... Such plants produce green energy from pollution present in wastewater, using high-performance anaerobic bacteria to digest the dissolved and suspended organic matter, which is converted into biogas, a mixture of methane ... […]

  • Suit: Food waste-to-energy plant owes $5M
    on May 19, 2015 at 10:53 am

    (WOOD) — The $22 million Fremont plant that turned food scraps into green energy ... 100,000 tons of waste each year from West Michigan food processors, most notably nearby baby-food producer Gerber Products Co., and turn that into energy. […]

via Google News and Bing News

  No Responses to “Two different processes soon may be the favored dynamic duo to turn food waste into green energy”

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: