Transforming Food Waste Into Energy
By Robert W. Grim, Senior Vice President Global Sales
Boosting biogas production at wastewater treatment plants through anaerobic digesters is increasing throughout the United States. Some plants seek to become “energy neutral” by increasing the amount of methane gas ‘biogas’ produced, which can result in the surpassing of “energy neutrality” through net energy production. While Washington, D.C. Water is taking the lead with their latest upgrade to produce energy, there is a growing trend to codigest food waste across the United States to boost biogas at wastewater treatment plants with anaerobic digesters. Plants, like the one operated by the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Oakland, Calif., are doing just this, putting energy back on the grid.
Sometimes overlooked in the wastewater treatment discussion of human and animal solids digestion is food waste, which has been flowing to wastewater treatment plants, like those in Washington D.C. and Oakland, Calif., for decades through residential and commercial plumbing via food waste disposers.
What’s more, the latest technology, such as the Grind2EnergyTM system from InSinkErator®, delivers even more food waste from commercial establishments directly to digesters. For those food service establishments producing at least one ton of food waste per week, this new system is poised to help renewable energy production virtually anywhere it’s needed and where food waste is produced in volume.
Rob Grim presented a seminar on “Grind2Energy: A Sneak Peek at Food Waste Disposer Innovation” at PHCC’s CONNECT 2013 in Las Vegas. More product/industry updates will occur at CONNECT 2014, Oct. 8-10 in New Orleans.