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  • Marcel Hendrickx

How can food waste bring down your gas bills?

Professional kitchens get through a lot of gas. Depending on the services offered to customers, burners may be lit for a significant percentage of the day. An average restaurant serving 300 covers can use around 13kg of gas per day, interestingly, an average restaurant is also likely to discard around 50kg of food waste per day. Even those with excellent waste reduction programmes in place will still have some waste from spoilage, preparation and plates.

50kg of food waste is enough to fill two bottles of compressed gas which could keep a kitchen running for 24 hours. Not only does this reduce the gas bill, it also reduces any costs associated with organic waste collection.

With the increased focus on emissions reductions, it's also the perfect way to keep food waste out of landfill where it would otherwise decompose and release methane, a gas that is around 20 times more powerful than CO2. Add to that, that the organic waste would normally need to be refrigerated to prevent insects and vermin and it would need to be transported from the premises to the waste management site, often many kilometres away, so there are additional environmental benefits in terms of energy reduction and transport emissions.

It is also a great communications tool, customers are often amazed to know that their food is being cooked with gas generated by unavoidable food waste and leftovers.

How does it work?

The process of converting food waste into gas is actually quite simple if you have the right equipment. The BioDigester from Circ can be connected to most existing installations without any major modification. With a cold water inlet, 230V electric connection, access to internet and to drainage, it's ready to go.

Users are identified by means of an app and only these authorised users are able to open the machine to deposit the foodwaste. Any kind of organic food waste including grains, dairy, meats, oils, fruits and vegetables are accepted. Once the machine is closed, the food waste is shredded to enable optimum function. All of this happens automatically, the advanced app even lets you monitor performance to see how much energy your food waste is actually generating and identify the most efficient waste combination in terms of gas output.

Circ machines can be operated remotely, are all connected to cloud based technology 24 hours a day and use artifical intelligence to constantly monitor and improve performance.

A few minutes after food waste is placed into the chamber gas is generated and can be used immediately or stored in buffer tank to be used as required. The gas can be used in kitchens, or to heat water and if your business doesn't use gas, you can connect the BioDigester to an electricity generator and create electricity instead.

Just 3-4kg of bio waste can produce 1 cubic metre of gas

And that's not all, like most processing systems there is a waste product, but in this case the "waste" is actually a nutritious and concentrated fertilizer that can be used in on site gardens, or donated or sold to farms, small holdings, garden centres or depending on the scale, even to the agricultural sector.

When considering the cost savings from not purchasing gas and not paying for waste collection, plus the potential sale of the fertilizer, it's possible to recoup your return on investment in less than a year.

BioDigesters make sense in terms of business benefits and environmental benefits. They give a new life to waste that might otherwise be landfilled or incinerated, they help your business to save money and contribute to net zero and decarbonization strategies.

The intelligent reporting systems mean you can demonstrate these positive impacts easily and can include the details in your own sustainability reports and promote the green credentials of your business to your customers.

Circ BioDigesters are available in a range of sizes. Models 200 and 50 accept up to 200kg and 50kg of food waste per day respectively and are available to order with a 4 month lead time. Smaller machines suitable for small scale restaurants, food retail and individual homes will be available in the next 12-18 months and can already be pre-ordered.

One of the most wasted foods on the planet is bread, with a domestic size BioDigester, a half loaf of bread would provide enough energy to heat an average household for an hour!

Compact, safe, smart, efficient and cost saving. If your business consumes energy and creates food waste, biogas is the answer you're looking for.

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