A lot of waste products have been turned into biogas, but to my knowledge this is the first time onions have been used. Gills Onions, the nation's largest processor of fresh onions, will debut today an anaerobic digester system at its Oxnard, California location, whereby 100% of its onion waste and juice is transformed into electricity, heat and cattle feed:
Using 300,000 pounds of onion waste each day, the system produces enough electricity to power 460 average homes, storing it in two 300 kilowatt fuel cells. Its estimated that the system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30,000 tons per year; and will save Gills $700,000 annually in electricity costs.
Furthermore, by installing the system Gills Onions is eligible to receive $2.7 million from Southern California Gas Company as part of a state program to encourage on-site electrical generation for businesses.
All photos: Gills Onions
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