The owner of BioBowser, Ron Lakin, says restaurants and food producers are the ideal candidates for his systems. “They have a fair bit of organic waste, and they have a kitchen, so they need a lot of hot water.” Small farms have also used the systems to heat water for making feed and cleaning equipment, then used the compost on the garden, he says.
Unlike a composting system, which can’t take protein, biogas digesters will eat just about everything organic, even waste fats and oils. “That’s where food waste is better than garden waste or vegetable waste, because it’s got some more protein and it’s got some more carbohydrates in the waste, such as bread, and fat,” Lakin says.
An input of four to five kilograms of organic waste will generate around one cubic metre of biogas, which he says will keep a single gas burner going for 60-90 minutes.
Not all experts call biogas a renewable energy source, but Lakin believes it should be considered alongside solar and wind because of the net benefit it provides by stopping the release of methane into the atmosphere.
Composting may take care of organic waste, but the methane from that process isn’t captured. “We want to be able to capture that methane and use it as renewable energy,” Lakin says.
Overregulation and a lack of government support are barriers to more widespread uptake of biogas digesters in Australia, he says. “The Queensland government charge a digester over a certain size $4,000 a year as a safety inspection fee.”
Source: The Guardian