Tech design completed on ‘trendsetting’ food waste processing plant

By Staff Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food waste Anaerobic digestion

Construction of the UK’s largest anaerobic digestion (AD) plant is about to begin after the specialist technology provider completed its detailed design of the site.

The Selby Renewable Energy Park’s 165,000-tonne plant will use food waste to generate 8 MW of energy and create high-nutrient fertilizer. Austrian experts Entec Biogas have finished the site design and will provide the technology for the project.

Funded partly by the UK Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP), the facility will also have a state of the art pre treatment hall that will allow all forms of packaged food waste from supermarkets, food processors, local authorities, restaurants and waste management companies to be processed.

Bernhard Schultz, Entec Biogas CEO, said he believed the Selby project would trigger a slew of other plants in the UK.

“After having successfully realised AD plants for food waste in Japan and Germany, we are very happy to set up a milestone in the UK market with the largest AD plant for food waste,” ​he said. “We see high potential for these types of plants during the next few years in the UK market. In general, these types of biogas plants for food waste are trendsetting for the whole European market.”

Government strategy

According to research from WRAP, total annual food waste in the UK amounts to around 18-20 million tonnes – with food manufacturers and processors estimated to generate about 20 per cent of this. Retailers are believed to generate about 1.6 million tonnes, with food service and restaurants producing about another 3 million tonnes. The remainder comes from the agricultural and horticultural sector, and commercial food waste from such sources as hospitals and schools. Household food waste contributes an estimated 6.7 million tonnes per year.

The UK Government has announced its intention to divert as much food as possible away from landfill sites through such schemes as AD plants

Anaerobic digestion technology breaks down organic material by micro-organisms in a sealed environment without oxygen present. The process produces a biogas which can be used to power a combined heat and power plant (CHP) to generate green energy.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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