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How to Harvest Biogas from Food Waste

By March 19, 2024Biogas
How to Harvest Biogas from Food Waste

Creating biogas from food waste can be accomplished through the process of anaerobic digestion. This methods helps to recycle the organic material introduced into the vessel that emits biogas. Furthermore, the biogas generated during the processing of food waste is an excellent resource for living a sustainable lifestyle. This is done by separating the energy it contains (the biogas) from any other solid run-off (the “digestate”).

This anaerobic digestion process has no major environmental impact, although it can occur naturally in certain environments, landfills, and even factories that treat livestock waste. This can only be achieved by considering changes that will have a greater and more far-reaching effect.

One such possibility is producing biogas from food waste using anaerobic digestion. This method is well-controlled and optimized. It can significantly reduce waste, personal contribution to landfills, and energy expenditures!

How is biogas created from food waste?

Specially built reactors help produce biogas from food waste. Once the reactor is loaded with the waste, the bacteria within begin to decompose and break down in stages. This sets in motion a series of chemical processes that ultimately generate biogas and both liquid and solid digestate outflow.

Creating biogas from food waste is known as “co-digestion.” You can speed it up by storing different types of organic waste in the reactor. Among the many eco-friendly things that you can do with harvested biogas are:

  • It’s going via a natural gas pipeline to become biomethane.
  • Green technology includes turbines, engines, and other similar devices.
  • Cooking

What food produces the most biogas?

Food Waste 

Factors like ambient temperature and the kind of waste you feed determine how fast your food decomposes and turns into biogas.

Since the animal’s stomach has not yet digested food waste, it typically has a higher potential for generating energy. Grease (FOGs), fats, food waste, and oils are very useful for food scraps, but you should use them sparingly. However, biogas production is generally higher, with feedstock rich in sugar, fat, calories, and starch.

  • Low biogas yield: spinach, poultry, fish
  • High biogas yield: peas, corn, bread

There is a lot of interest in the acceptability and efficiency of adding yard trimmings to biodigesters, food waste, and animal manure. Their cellular structure makes them resistant to biodigesters and necessitates further pretreatment procedures for digestion.

Why divert food waste?

Refrain from throwing out perfectly good food; doing so would be wasteful for numerous reasons. Agricultural inputs, particularly those associated with industrialized farming, can significantly impact the environment in terms of labor, fertilizer, water, and land. We can salvage some of these inputs that would have ended up in landfills if we didn’t recycle and repurpose this food instead of throwing it away. Food waste will never be recovered when it ends up in a landfill.

Landfills use the same mechanism as anaerobic digesters to manufacture methane from organic waste. Methane is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. However, only a fraction is used for energy; the other half goes into the atmosphere.

Anaerobic digestion is an excellent alternative to landfills for food waste since it produces two useful byproducts. Either onsite usage or sale to the grid are viable options for remediating energy costs from biogas. Whether it’s for onsite usage in landscaping or supplied to farms, biofertilizer has many potential applications. The idea of food waste is shifting from a waste product to a moneymaker.

How much biogas is produced from food waste?

One of the many uses for food waste is as feedstock. Biogas production from the waste is proportional to its moisture composition and content. A higher quantity of biogas may be produced from dry food waste than wet ones. Additionally, proteins and fats make a greater amount of biogas than carbs do.

Would a digester be able to handle meat, oils, and bones?

In contrast to home composting, anaerobic digesters thrive on organic matter, including bones, oils, and meat. The potential for methane production is far greater in oils and meats than in carbs and veggies. When ground correctly, bones can add calcium, a micronutrient essential to plants, to the waste while also balancing the digester’s pH.

How to Harvest Biogas from Food WasteIn order to facilitate digestion, is it necessary to pretreat food waste?

Although complete food waste can be digested anaerobically, physical preparation is necessary to decrease the material’s particle size. This speeds up the process by giving the microorganisms easier access to the food. An in-sink food disposal system currently present at many grocery shops, dining halls, and restaurants would be a suitable pretreatment option.

How long is the process?

The anaerobic digester’s design and operating parameters and the food waste’s composition determine the digesting time.

Who uses the biogas that food waste produces?

Biogas is viable for anyone seeking to source and adopt a green energy lifestyle.

  • Businesses that use energy that isn’t renewable.
  • Clean energy homesteaders and activists desire a more sustainable and renewable energy-focused lifestyle.
  • Federal and state governments are looking for alternatives to their current use of costly and inefficient energy.

Why is producing biogas from food waste a good idea?

Biogas production from food waste will affect your

  • Goals in agriculture. Fertilize your organic crop gardens with the digestate made from biogas from food waste. Another source of income you may not have thought of before is selling the all-natural fertilizer you make at a farmer’s market.
  • Converting any methane (a dangerous greenhouse gas) produced from landfills into biogas can significantly reduce your impact on the environment and your liability for emissions into the atmosphere.
  • Energy bills you receive. Your energy bill will decrease if you use biogas to power your home or cook. One cooktop may produce enough renewable energy to power a two-hour cooking session with as little as six liters of organic food scraps.
  •  Using less energy from non-renewable sources will affect the environment. In addition to reducing your impact on landfills, you will create energy from a renewable source.

You can easily accomplish the advantages above. All you need is the right reactor, and with just a few simple clicks, you may be producing biogas from food waste!


A potential solution to two big environmental problems—the generation of renewable energy and the reduction of organic waste that goes to landfills—is the biogas that can be produced from food waste. One way to help ensure a sustainable future is to convert this waste into biogas, which can lessen our load on fossil fuels. Not only could this process give communities energy, but it could also open up new possibilities for recycling and waste management. Biogas production from food waste is an innovative and encouraging development in the quest for a more sustainable global community.

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