Two of the biggest environmental concerns faced by those in the food industry; minimisation of food waste and energy efficiency. Del Monte seems to have found the perfect solution by using its wastewater to produce biogas for powering electricity generators. Not only does this find a way to sustainably manage waste production but it also means the plant can produce enough renewable energy on site to power its operations.
With subsidies for smaller scale renewables projects reducing, I expect/hope that we will see more of these innovative projects appearing over the new few years.
The process has led to anaerobic effluent achieving ca. 40 mg/l COD (93% removal) and final effluent achieving 70 mg/l COD, or a further 83% removal, which is remarkable given the large operation of DMPI. “In terms of the positive environmental impact and the virtually free electricity gains going straight to the bottom line, this is an exemplary project for food, beverage and agribusiness processors worldwide.”