QWM Group

Waste to Renewable Energy Plants

How Quest are turning Food Waste into a source of renewable energy

The impact of climate change underscores the growing necessity for an increased utilisation of renewable energy sources, which do not release substantial quantities of CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Certain waste produced in our daily routines is actively contributing to lessening our reliance on fossil fuels? In this post, we take a look at how the management of food and liquid waste is actively involved in generating clean energy through a method known as anaerobic digestion (AD), highlighting the pivotal role played by Quest Tankers in facilitating this process.

Sources of Food Waste

Across the UK the leading sources of food waste originates from:

Industrial: The production and preparation of food in the food industry result in significant quantities of solid and liquid waste, which would typically end up in landfills as general waste.

Hospitality: Restaurants, cafes, bars, and pubs contribute significantly to the generation of food waste.

Domestic: Everyday, households discard substantial amounts of unconsumed food waste. In numerous council areas, this waste is presently collected alongside garden waste.

Each year the UK produces around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste.1 for utilisation in AD plants to generate energy. Anticipated changes in legislation by the government are expected to substantially increase this overall quantity in the coming years. The proposed legal mandate will necessitate weekly food waste collections nationwide.

The Significance of Effectively Managing and Recycling Food Waste​

Food waste, whilst highly biodegradable, poses a significant problem if disposed of in landfills due to the generation of methane during degradation. Methane is notably more environmentally harmful than carbon dioxide, being 28 times more detrimental over a 100-year period, according to research2.

Conversely, utilizing one tonne of food waste for anaerobic digestion is estimated to prevent the release of 0.5 to 1.0 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. While reducing overall food waste and redistributing surplus food to address hunger are preferable strategies, recycling waste for clean energy remains one of the most environmentally friendly approaches to its management.

What is anaerobic digestion?

How much energy does anaerobic digestion produce?

How Quest Tankers are helping the food production industry turn their waste into power

 In addition to generating clean energy, the anaerobic digestion process yields a by-product known as digestate—a nitrogen and phosphorus-rich residue that serves as an environmentally friendly and potent biofertilizer.

 At Quest, we specialise in collecting digestate from anaerobic digestion plants and distributing it to customers across the UK. By responsibly managing your food waste disposal, you not only contribute to renewable energy production but also support local agriculture by providing an eco-friendly source of essential nutrients, conducive to robust and fruitful cultivation.

 For further details on how Quest can assist you with your liquid food waste disposal needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

1)      https://www.businesswaste.co.uk/food-waste-the-facts/

2)      https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases

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