The food we throw in the trash could transform the way our kitchens are powered
Sometimes, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and we cook too much food, which often goes to waste.
The scale of our planet’s problem with food waste is considerable. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, around 1.3 billion tons of food produced for human consumption is either lost or wasted every year.
In Israel, one business wants to turn the scraps of food we would otherwise throw in the trash into energy. Homebiogas has developed a system which uses bacteria to break down organic matter and convert it into cooking gas and fertilizer.
HomeBiogas is one of many businesses aiming to utilize the potential of waste from the food industry. Other firms include U.K. based bio-bean, which recycles used coffee grounds and converts them into biofuels and biochemicals.
As users of the HomeBiogas system, which resembles a black and green tent like structure, prepare food, they collect the scraps in a bin. These scraps – which could be anything from fruit and vegetables to meat, dairy and fish – are then deposited into the system through an inlet.
Bacteria within the system digest the scraps of food and turn them into biogas, which is then stored in a “gas bag” which can hold up to 700 liters of biogas.
The system is connected to a user’s kitchen, so that when a stove is turned on, the biogas can be used as cooking fuel. Another byproduct of the process is a liquid fertilizer which can be used in the garden.
“For energy, for electricity, for hot water, for anything that we need, all of it can come from… organic material,” Yair Teller, co-founder of HomeBiogas, told CNBC’s Sustainable Energy.
“This way, we also can treat the organic waste that today is pouring into our rivers, into our wells, into our seas, contaminating all our environment,” he added.