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What Restaurant Waste Can Be Used for Energy Generation

food-to-fuelUsing food for fuel is not a new concept, but the idea is not just for cars anymore. Restaurant waste can also be used to generate energy, and water treatment plants are refining their processes to also take advantage of this technology.

Where Does it Start?

Water treatment plants often use a process called anaerobic digestion to break down organic material in wastewater. As the name suggests, the process uses oxygen to jump-start natural bacterial breakdown. This breakdown also produces methane which can then be collected and used to produce heat, electricity, and a biofuel appropriately called biomethane.

Fats, Oils, and Grease

Fats, oils, and grease, commonly shortened to FOG, are a common by-product of restaurants. FOG, when added to anaerobic digestion, becomes part of a process called co-digestion. By adding FOG, more methane is produced for fuel and energy. The increased breakdown from this process also helps reduce the solid waste that has to be taken to landfills.

Food Waste

Along with FOG, a more obvious type of food waste is food itself. Scraps that are either discarded during preparation or not eaten make up a huge amount of waste. Luckily, anaerobic digestion also produces methane when breaking down organic matter.

How to Get Involved

As more and more water treatment plants adopt this system, restaurants and other food facilities will jump on board too. As FOG and food waste systems advance, the opportunity to create energy from waste will increase and improve. As a restaurant owner, you’ll want to be informed and involved in these beneficial programs. To learn more about energy production from waste, Contact Us.