Balancing Digester Diets

Biomass Mag logoBiomass Magazine,Balancing Digester Diets” by Kate Fletcher

 

About twice the size of JC-Biomethane is Harvest Power’s 50,000-ton food waste community digester near Orlando, Florida. Some waste from Disney World is brought to the facility, including the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels at Grande Lakes Orlando.

After contaminant removal in Harvest Power Florida’s low solids AD process, “the mix tank is used to mix some of the fat, oils and grease, food waste and the other types of materials and blend them together so you don’t send slugs of one heavy material over another into the digesters,” says Brandon Moffatt, senior vice president of energy for Harvest Power. “It’s trying to have the right mix and always trying to keep that in balance, so we’re continuing to optimize our recipe and make sure we have balanced feeding to make sure the system is stable.”

Biogas Opportunities Roadmap

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Is biogas a household concept?  It’s getting there.  Within the next decade Harvest Power predicts folks will say, “We get our energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biogas.”  August 2014 marks a milestone for fellow biogas-lovers: the Obama Administration issued a Biogas Opportunities Roadmap (PDF) to expand the production of biogas from anaerobic digesters.  A joint publication from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Energy, it maps out how more than 11,000 additional biogas systems could be added to the existing 2,000 current sites producing biogas.  Some coverage highlights:

We found a better way in Massachusetts: build anaerobic digesters. Digesters are enclosed operations that use microorganisms to break down organic waste into 1) a biogas that can be used for heat, electricity, or even fuel for vehicles, and 2) a solid that can be used for fertilizer.

What’s your favorite coverage?  What gets you excited both the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap?

Creating Renewable Energy From Food Waste

Anaerobic digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW) provides an engineered and highly controlled process of capturing methane.

The American Biogas Council defines anaerobic digestion as a series of biological processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The result is the production of biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide. Biogas can be combusted to generate electricity and heat or can be processed into renewable natural gas and transportation fuels.

Biogas can be converted into clean, low-cost energy:

✓ Electricity✓ Pipeline-grade Natural Gas
✓ Processed Engineered Fuel✓ Compressed Natural Gas
According to the EPA, if 50 percent of the food waste generated each year in the U.S. was anaerobically digested, enough electricity would be generated to power 2.5 million homes for a year.

Reducing consumption of fossil fuels is a major driver for Harvest Power. For the Central Florida community, it means increasing energy independence by sourcing fuels locally, as well as creating green jobs, reducing local pollution, and ultimately having a more vibrant local economy.

Choose Orlando TODAY to start contributing to a better Orlando tomorrow!

Could food waste power our cities

zdnetZDNet, “Could food waste power our cities?”  by Julie Mehta

 

In two giant airtight vats at Harvest Power’s Energy Garden in central Florida, quadrillions of microorganisms are feasting on orange peels, wilted lettuce, burnt bread crusts, and other food discarded by humans. In less than a month, these ravenous creatures consume waste that would have taken years to decompose in a landfill.

Better yet, they release immense amounts of gas — biogas, to be exact. This heady mix of roughly 60 pecent methane and 40 percent carbon dioxide is fed into generators to produce electricity to help power area businesses.

Harvest Power on CNN Money

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CNN Money had a chance to check out Harvest Power’s Energy Garden in Orlando. Here are highlights from their video with Harvest Power’s CEO Kathleen Ligocki, Founder Paul Sellew and the JW Marriott Executive Chef Chris Jones.

Paul SellewFounder of Harvest Power: “We’re in the middle of our Energy Garden here in Orlando.  We’re processing all of the organics that are generated here along with a number of other businesses in the area.  We take the organics that consist of food waste, biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant, and we basically co-digest these materials together and then the microbes break it down. We produce biogas which is turned into electricity which we sell it back to the overall park.”

“Disney is a very innovative company with very high standards. We agreed that the next level technology is anaerobic digestion, because not only are we going to make a very high quality product but we’re going to make energy as well.”

Kathleen LigockiCEO of Harvest Power: “There was a landfill here before.  With the amount of food waste that this city generates, landfills have odor issues, so this is a problem they were trying to solve.”

We’re a $150 million dollar company.  We operate across the United States and Canada. The idea is to get rid of waste.  Not put the waste into landfills, not incinerate it which hurts our environment, but really close the organic loop and make productive products and bioenergy out of it.”

“For a 100 cubic meters of biogas you can produce about 300 kilowatts of electricity, and that will light the normal home for 10 days.”

Chris JonesExecutive chef of JW Marriott Grand Lakes: “All of the food goes into 55-gallon containers in our kitchens which don’t need any kind of garbage bags. So we’re actually seeing a huge savings by not having to buy garbage bags.”

Kathleen Ligocki: “We are just beginning the process.  Over 90% of the food waste here in the US goes to landfills or is burned, which is really not the way we want to treat it.”

Paul Sellew: “The idea is to convert this organic waste, principally food waste, into energy — renewable energy — using our anaerobic digestion technology and producing high quality products — fertilizer and compost-based soil products at the back end.  We feel the United States and North America are ready for this approach.”

Learn more: See Harvest Power’s handout page with material flow diagrams, brochures, and diagrams.

Hauling Organics for Successful

A hauling truck is a hauling truck, unless that hauling truck transports food waste. Transporting food waste presents a set of unique challenges and opportunities.

Harvest Power’s desire to deliver a seamless organics disposal solution requires a qualified waste transportation partner. When approached, Republic Services welcomed the opportunity.

Republic Services had already been involved with food waste diversion programs in other markets. They understood the requirements and had experience transporting organic waste. Specially built aluminum containers that are equipped to handle this type of material will be used for collection—instead of traditional waste hauling trucks.

In addition, developing sustainable waste solutions had already become incorporated into the company’s corporate mission. Republic Services could now add a state-of-the-art disposal solution to their portfolio of services.

Chris Peters, Regional Vice President for Harvest Power says the relationship with Republic Services has been a win-win situation. Harvest offers a seamless organics management solution at a cost that is competitive with disposal options. Harvest also works with all existing qualified haulers.

“Republic has been great to work with as our preferred hauler. Their ability to deliver is a lynchpin for many of our clients wanting to start an organics disposal program,” he said. “Clients find them very easy to work with.”

If your company is interested in exploring food waste diversion options, Contact Chris Peters directly at (407) 569-2754.

IDEAS Group Visits Harvest Power’s Energy Garden in Florida

At Harvest Power, we like to share our model of turning organic waste into clean energy and healthy soil.  In late May 2014 we hosted a group from the IDEAS — Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions — group at our Energy Garden in Central Florida that uses anaerobic digestion to turn organic waste into clean energy and natural fertilizers.  Check out their video.