Converting Food Waste to Energy

Food waste is a huge problem in American restaurants. Most restaurants do their best to maximize the use of their ingredients, but there is always some waste (can't eat peels after all!) and patrons can be extraordinarily wasteful. One company wants to put all that old food to use making energy for restaurants.

AeroThermal, a renewable energy company, says that there is enough energy in one ton of fast food waste to generate 635 kilowatt hours of renewable energy using biogas. The process can not only break down food waste but can also break down paper and cardboard as well. The system uses anaerobic bacteria and an autoclave to draw the gas off. Gas generated by the process could also be used to power vehicles that run on natural gas.

Perhaps one day restaurants will have to sort out their food waste separate from their plastic waste for this process! Or maybe there could be a small unit made for businesses? It would certainly cut down on trash and energy bills, and give the kitchen crew a quick way to dispose of all the peelings from their fry cutter. Another way you could deal with food waste is composting it on site or offering the leavings to organic farmers. Just make sure they have a big truck!


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