A facility developed by Berkshire based on-site anaerobic digestion specialist, Clearfleau, at a sweet factory operated by global food product giant, Nestlé in Fawdon, UK has completed its first year of operation generating 200 kW for use on site.
According to Clearfleau, one year after commissioning the plant is converting 200,000 litres per day of feedstock, which includes wash waters from the site and 1200 tonnes of biowaste including residual bi-products and ingredients per annum, into renewable energy.
The biogas produced is fuelling a combined heat and power (CHP) generator, which produces 200 kW of electricity that is used in the confectionery production process. This is about 8% of the factory’s power requirements, cutting the annual electricity bill by about £100,000 per annum.
Clearfleau added that the site has also registered for the Feed in Tariff, and will receive annual payments of about £250,000 per annum.
Previously, production residues from Fawdon, the former Rowntree factory and home to gums, pastilles and Rolos, were discharged to sewer or fed to pigs in the locality.
Following the installation of the AD plant, all bio-degradable production residues are now converted into renewable energy on the factory site.
Clearfleau used its mobile trial unit at the Fawdon site before construction to showcase the digestion technology to the management and workforce, and to help optimise the process design.
“On-site treatment of production residues will help us reduce the wider environmental impact of our business and meet our sustainability goals,” commented Nestlé's Head of Sustainability, Inder Poonaji.
According to Clearfleau, the Key reasons why its design was chosen include its high-rate liquid based digestion system, which uses a robust solids-processing system, together with its compact design to fit on the edge of the factory car park.
In addition to saving on fossil fuel purchase plus the other savings and revenue benefits, the company said that project has reduced the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the site.
The payback period on Nestlé's investment in the AD plant is predicted to be frou to five years.
Clearfleau's chief executive, Craig Chapman, commented: “The advantages of anaerobic digestion are becoming more apparent and we are currently building AD plants on dairy, distillery, food and biofuel manufacturing sites."
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