UK: Ice cream waste for bioenergy

The production’s by-product will be transported a nearby AD facility, upgraded to biomethane and then injected into the National Grid.

The world’s third largest ice cream manufacturer, R&R Ice Cream, is part of a partnership to launch an innovative project that will help power local homes thanks to the leftovers from the brand’s factory in North Yorkshire.

The R&R factory is the UK’s largest producer of own label ice cream, as well as top brands including Nestlé and Cadbury’s ice cream products. The production’s by-product consisting of sugar, fat and protein will be processed and upgraded to biomethane in a nearby anaerobic digestion (AD) facility before it will go to the National Grid to heat UK homes.

The interesting fact is that different flavours contain different level of energy, due to the different amounts of calories per flavour. The most favourite chocolate ice cream provides 10% more energy than vanilla, and 20% more energy than strawberry. Adding chocolate flakes could further boost the energy efficiency by 20%.

A representative from the operating company remarked to Resource: “This project is a prime example of using creative thinking to turn waste into green energy”.

Before it found another, green purpose, the ice cream by-product was discarded and sent to landfill. Now it will not only provide energy to homes but its leftover at the end of the AD process will be used as fertiliser on the farms with the aim of improving crop production.

Source: Renewable Energy Focus

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