UC Davis Cafeteria Scraps Used To Generate Electricity
We've often driven by landfills where methane is being "harvested" by an elaborate system of gas wells, PVC collector pipes, transfer mains, particle filters, compressors, steel delivery pipes, storage tanks, and eventually generators. The rear-view mirror thinking that follows is 'why not put all that organic waste in a proper bio-gas digester in the first place instead of a hole in the ground that's bound to leak?' Anaerobic digesters, after all, are a common technology: found in most cities with secondary wastewater treatment, on increasing numbers of poo-powered farms, here, and other poo powered sites there, and elsewhere. In fact the human digestive system is a sort of anaerobic digester. Hence the thought, we suppose, that dawned on University of California at Davis to take those food scraps from the campus cafeterias and put them in an anaerobic digester instead to sending them to a landfill. Reportedly it works just fine as long as the dangerous green gellatin desert with mystery topping is carefully segretated from the collection stream, thus enabling the "bugs" to produce enough gas to power the equivalent of 80 average California homes for a day. Possible safety requirement: a process hazard analysis may be needed to avoid making excess bean burrito specials, leading to a major biogas incident. Via C/Net News.