Helistrat Produce 19 million KwH through Anaerobic Digestion Process

Leading sustainability consultancy and management partner, Helistrat, continue to embed the circular economy in the way it handles resources. Last year over 40,000 tonnes of food waste was converted into 19 million KwH of electricity, enough to power 5,500 average sized homes for a whole year.

When food waste is produced it is analysed to see where it comes from and how it can be reduced and prevented. Rather than spending time emptying bins our aim is to stop them being filled.

Last year the unavoidable food waste produced was categorized to see whether the community could benefit from it (such as zoos and charities). Food that was classed as unsuitable was sent to an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) for treatment that uses microbes, which occurs naturally in the breakdown of organic material, to produce a biogas and a nutrient rich byproduct.  The biogas is used to produce sustainable energy whilst the nutrient rich fertiliser can be applied to land as a substitute petrochemical based products to grow more crops.

This principle harmonises well with the concept of a ‘Circular Economy’ and sustainable development.

Over 21,000 tonnes (half) of the food waste we handled went through the PAS 110 process, material processed this way is not deemed as waste as it can be transformed into a product or substance. Helistrat use AD facilities that meet the PAS 110 specification and this moves the material up the Waste Hierarchy, changing its classification from Recovery to Recycling. Food waste processed through the PAS 110 process produced nearly 13 million KwH for the national grid.

Calculation of Energy Produced

The proportion of food waste submitted to the Anaerobic Digestion process is 85% of the bin weight.  The calculation of energy is based on an output factor declared by the ADs multiplied by the tonnage. The current figure is 640. In other words for every tonne of food waste the AD will expect to generate 640 kw/h.

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