Inetec, a South Wales based company have developed a process which looks set to fulfil the needs of food producers by providing them with a sustainable system suitable for both food waste and non recyclable packaging waste.
This process, which has recently been recognised as a novel technology, is a mechanical process which breaks the waste down and produces an inert biomass fuel, called Food Derived Fuel or FDF for short, as a by product of the process.
It works by using a process called 'abrasive drying'.
The mixed waste is transferred into a vessel where it is macerated by a series of paddles.
As it is being churned it is gently heated from underneath.
The mixture of physical abrasion and heat initially exposes surface moisture and then after around 4 hours of processing cellular level moisture.
This is evaporated off as a vapour and is then condensed back into liquid for treatment or disposal to a foul sewer.
The resulting FDF has a high calorific, or energy value, of around 6-8KW hours per kilogram.
To put this into perspective wood is around 40% lower.
This stable biomass fuel can then be used for energy recovery.
In small scale applications it is often used as part of the processing installation on client sites.
It is typically used to generate steam or hot water by replacing the existing boiler requirements of the factory, thus displacing external energy requirements.
Because the high calorific value of the fuel it can result in huge cost savings to the company.