Study shows biogas from food industry waste can be profitable

February 23, 2019 |

In Sweden, researchers from Linköping University conducted a study that concluded that huge gains can be made by using waste from the food industry for biogas production, no matter whether the biogas is used in vehicles or to produce electricity and heat.

“Much of the waste is used as animal fodder, and some goes to compost or combustion”, says Emma Lindkvist, doctoral student in the Division of Energy Systems, who also works at the Swedish Biogas Research Center, BRC, at Linköping University.

They selected five regions in which to investigate the Swedish food industry and “We then analysed three scenarios: to continue as before, to produce biogas upgraded to vehicle fuel, and to produce biogas for electricity and heat production. And we looked at economic, environmental and energy profitability”, says Emma Lindkvist.

They also analysed a scenario in which the system contains significant amounts of wind power, and another in which the electricity and heat produced from biogas replaces that produced from coal.

“In all three perspectives, biogas is the better alternative. In four of the five cases, biogas that has been upgraded to vehicle fuel gives the highest economic gains. In the fifth case, biogas was profitable, but continuing to use the previous system was significantly more profitable. This is because the biogas potential in the waste is lower here than in the other cases.”

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