News last update:6 Aug 2012

Bio energy: a new market for by products

Due to the increased quality and safety rules in the animal feed industry, there is less room to use incidental by products from the human food industry. According to a recent study by Rikilt (part of Wageningen UR), these by products can also be used to generate energy.

Animal feed companies have to comply with quality systems, based on HACCP. The use of incidental by products within this system is often difficult because the diversity of the sectors that offer the by products and the variety of the production processes is too big.

A sustainable option to use the by products is to use them in generating energy. Different techniques are available that can convert bio mass in energy. Which technology should be used for certain by products cannot be given because the flow of by products is not continuous and differ in composition each time. It is possible to say something about which technique is best for a certain group of by products.

By products from the grain, potato, sugar and dairy industry are the most suitable for fermentation processes. Meat and bone meal and fats are suitable for thermal conversion processes and for the production of methane. In the near future, these fats will also be used in the production of bio fuels.

Continuous, high supply
The Dutch government and others see the potential of this trend of converting incidental by products from the food industry into energy. However, to do so, it needs a continuous and high quality supply of these products. This is not yet very clear. Clear product specifications for bio mass are also lacking, which makes the source, quality and use of these products not always clear. A continuous supply is not easy to accomplish. Adding the incidental by products to the large bulk volumes of bio mass (such as wood waste, peanut shells) could be a solution.

To have a clear view of the available supply and demand of incidental by products, cooperation between all the companies involved is very important. The ideal picture is that a convenant will be made between these companies which will leas to a cheap alternative to use the by products for bio energy.

Related links:
AllAbout Bio Energy

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