Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Browne, J., Murphy, J.D.
Applied Energy
Assessment of the resource associated with biomethane from food waste
Optional Fields

This paper assesses the resource of biomethane produced from food waste at a state level in the EU. The resource is dependent on the quantity of food waste available for anaerobic digestion and the specific methane yield from food waste. The specific method of undertaking biomethane potential (BMP) tests was shown to be crucial. BMP tests were carried out at different scales (5 L and 0.5 L) with different sources of inoculum, for both wet and dried substrate samples. The upper bound BMP results for source segregated canteen food waste gave specific methane yields of between 467 and 529 L CH4 per kg volatile solids added. The higher results were associated with acclimatised inoculum and wet samples of food waste. The potential renewable resource of biomethane from food waste is shown to be equivalent to 2.8% of energy in transport in Ireland; this is significant as it surpasses the resource associated with electrifying 10% of the private car fleet in Ireland, which is currently the preferred option for renewable energy in transport in the country. However for this resource to be realised within the EU, source segregation of food waste must be effected. According to the Animal By-Products Regulations, digestate from source segregated food waste may be applied to agricultural land post anaerobic digestion. Digestate from food waste derived from a mixed waste source may not be applied to agricultural land. Thus biomethane from food waste is predicated on source segregation of food waste.

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