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Processing food waste to produce Biogas energy

29 October, 2009

The Environmental Technology Centre at Murdoch University has been awarded a $45, 823 grant from the Waste Authority’s Strategic Waste Initiative Scheme (SWIS) to develop and standardise a small scale anaerobic digester suitable for processing food waste to produce Biogas.

With a similar combustion temperature of natural gas, Biogas can be used as a
fuel, or by using a microturbine, can be converted to electricity.

Initially a two cubic metre digester will be fabricated and the project will also investigate up scaling for larger commercial applications.

Food waste from campus outlets and Farmer Jacks at Leeming will be used in
the development of the system.

If successful, the system will have widespread applications, including zoos, prisons, cluster housing, and remote indigenous communities.

The system has multiple advantages:

- It is cost effective
- It is capable of integration with energy and fuel generation
- It decentralises the treatment of putrescibles waste
- It reduces greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating transport and associated fuel use
- The sludge produced can be recycled again or used as a liquid fertiliser.

Waste Authority chairman, Barry Carbon, said the system is a simple solution to a widespread problem.

“Organic waste makes up a significant proportion of waste to landfill and the Authority is pleased to be supporting projects like this that help to recover what is a valuable resource,” he said.

SWIS projects are supported by the Western Australian Landfill Levy fund.

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