Japan has introduced a new technology to generate electricity by recycling waste food. JFE Engineering Corporation has established a new company called ‘J Bio Food Recycle’ with the cooperation of wholly-owned subsidiary, JFE Kankyo Corporation, also in a joint project with East Japan Railway Company and JR East Environment Access.
This project began as a food recycling business by converting to biogas beginning in August 2018.
Hajime Oshita, President of JFE Engineering Corporation said: “By using industrial and food wastes from public facilities such as station buildings and meat manufacturing plants, we have been able to provide integrated service including a collection of wastes, waste disposal, power generation and sale of electric energy. Such Projects are still hardly seen in Japan. This project is like harmonising three keywords –Environment, Energy and Recycling — and this project is based on the idea of trying to effectively utilise all resources.
In this project, 80 ton per day of food waste will be treated by microbial fermentation, and electric power will be generated by using methane gas created in this process as fuel. Food wastes from food factories and train station buildings will be crushed and separated into category including organic matter and other types of waste items like plastic container and wrapping paper. After that, the segregated organic matter will undergo moisture adjustment and will be sent to a fermentation tank where the organic matter will be fermented by microorganism digestion, and biogas will be generated.
Then, biogas generated by methane fermentation will be supplied straight to a gas holder. It is stored here in order to provide stable power generation. Electricity will be generated by gas energy sent from the gas holder and sold as renewable energy. In a briefing session, director of J Bio
Food Recycle ‘Satoru Udagawa’ spoke about the concept and future plan for this project.
This cooperative project will contribute to the improvement of food recycling rate and shaping of low carbon society by creating renewable energy.
Satoru Udagawa, Director of J Bio Food Recycle said: “I think the finished facilities will have a very compact scale. We spent a lot of time deciding which layout design should be used. As for the methane fermentation process, we are using JFE’s agitator which enables us to stir efficiently by using low dynamics. Thanks to JFE’s technology, it can manage approximately 4,000 m3 of large fermentation tank space.”