Biomass Survey for Renewable Energy Generation

Sacramento is considering the use of anaerobic digestion to generate renewable energy and compost from biomass. About 18 percent of the city’s commercial garbage is food waste.

By diverting this waste from local landfills, air and water pollution can be reduced as well as minimizing operating costs of storage and disposal. Researchers from the University of California, Davis are working with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to survey area commercial food processors and institutions, including restaurants, bakeries, hospitals and hotels to determine the availability of food waste for use in generating renewable energy. The Leftovers to Lights Project is looking for interested businesses in the City of Sacramento that would like to participate in the quick survey. Anaerobic digesters are closed containers that use microorganisms to break down organic matter in the absence of air. In the process, biogas, consisting of methane and carbon dioxide is produced. Like natural gas, methane can be used to generate electricity, replacing fossil fuels. Wastewater treatment plants have been using this proven technology for over a century. Other local projects being considered to produce both renewable energy and nutrient rich organic compost from food waste include a green waste/food waste to electricity project using anaerobic digestion technology, a dairy manure and food waste digester, and a converted wastewater treatment plant dedicated to food waste.
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