New website to allow farmers sell agri waste to biogas energy producers
A new website will allow farmers and food producers sell their waste produce to biogas energy producers across Europe.
A team of scientists, led by researchers from UCD, have developed new technologies and products to help reduce the carbon emissions produced on farms – plus offer a new alternative source of income for farmers.
Agrocycle will this week launch a new website – the first of its kind in the world – where farmers and food producers can sell their food-waste and agricultural waste to biogas energy producers and other users across Europe.
Dr Tom Curran, Assistant Professor in Biosystems and Food Engineering at UCD is leading the Agrocycle project. He says there is a huge potential in the Republic of Ireland for more farmers and food producers to use bio-digester machines – and convert their agricultural waste or food waste into heat and electricity.
“This new website will not only provide a source of income and information for farmers and businesses. More importantly, it will facilitate smart and sustainable ways to reduce, reuse and recycle agri-food waste,” said Dr Tom Curran, AgroCycle Project Co-Ordinator and Assistant Professor in Biosystems and Food Engineering at UCD.
“Of the 1.3 billion tonnes of waste generated in Europe each year, 700 million tonnes come from agri-food waste. This level of waste is no longer sustainable. That’s why AgroCycle has developed many new products and technologies to give agri-food waste a new purpose. These products are essential for helping create a ‘circular economy’,” he added.
Agrocycle has also invented a range of innovative products to help reduce plastic – such as edible straws (made from rice bran or rice husk), cups and flower pots made from potato pulp and ‘Rice-Cream’ – an alternative to ice-cream!.
Who needs agricultural waste or food-waste?
There are many organisations who need agri-waste and food-waste, such as organisations with biodigester machines, to convert waste into biogas energy, livestock feed producers, and start-up companies developing new products which add value to such residues.
In recent years, bio-digestion or anaerobic digestion (AD) is becoming a popular diversification for farmers and food producers, as the extra income often subsidises other parts of the business.
A bio-digester is a machine that converts agricultural waste into energy, helping reduce carbon emissions from agricultural waste. Farmers for example, take manure from the farm and put it into the machine’s tank. Microorganisms digest it and produce biogas which is used to generate electricity or heat.
There are approximately 150 bio-digester devices in Ireland at present, both North and South of the border. These machines need agricultural waste to generate biogas.