A Philadelphia Refiner Plans to Turn Food Scraps into Natural Gas

Original source: Business Insider

A $120 million plan in Philadelphia is underway to create a machine that will turn food scraps into natural gas. 

The machine, an anaerobic digester, breaks down organic matter to produce biogas, which mainly includes carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. Biogas can be used to produce heat, fuel, gas, and electricity. 

RNG Energy Solutions and Philadelphia Energy Solutions are partnering to develop the project at a refinery complex in the city. PES will supply the land and steam energy for the plan. 

The technology is not new, but it has in the past typically been used for breaking down sewage sludge at treatment facilities. In the last few years, however, more companies have started to add food waste to the facilities. In the US, food is the second-largest municipal solid waste that goes to landfills, according to the EPA. This food still produces methane, but it can't be captured and turned into a renewable source of energy.

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