Food Waste Digester Details
Anaerobic Digester Facts
Anaerobic digesters are enclosed tanks designed to convert organic waste into biogas. Digesters prevent atmospheric oxygen from entering in order to create an anoxic (without oxygen) environment. Microorganisms that thrive in this environment break down organic waste and convert it into energy rich biogas. The biogas, which is comprised of methane (60%) and carbon dioxide (40%), is a form of renewable energy that can be used to produce heat, electricity, and vehicle fuel. The left over organic material can be composted and used as a fertilizer to return lost nutrients to local soils.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction
Not only will the Food Waste Digester facility divert more waste from the landfill, and generate renewable energy, it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. First, greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced when food waste is diverted from landfills as decomposing food waste creates methane gas. Methane emitted from landfills is one of the largest sources of man-made methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide(CO2). By diverting the food waste to an anaerobic digester, HWMA will capture that methane gas and turn it into energy!
Second, green house gas emissions will be reduced by decreasing long distance hauling trips out of the County; approximately 91 lbs of CO2 per ton of waste will not be emitted.
Finally, emissions can be reduced when the renewable energy generated by the facility is used to offset fossil fuel energy use. The electricity produced from the biogas will be sent to PG&E, and will effectively replace the need to burn fossil fuels to produce the same electricity.