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U.S. EPA grant funds EBMUD research on turning food waste into energy

Release Date: 04/28/2008
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/947-4248, chavez.wendy@epa.gov

** Media Advisory **

EBMUD results show 100 tons of food waste can power up to 1,400 homes

(San Francisco, Calif.-- 04/28/2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today posted on its Web site results from the East Bay Municipal Utility District investigation into anaerobic digestion of post-consumer food waste. Anaerobic digestion is a widely used process in the treatment of municipal wastewater to break down solid material in wastewater. In 2006, the EPA awarded a $50,000 grant to EBMUD to investigate the benefits and limitations of anaerobically-digesting food wastes from restaurants, grocery stores and other food handling facilities at bench-scale. EBMUD bench-scale digesters were fed only food wastes, but were operated under a variety of conditions -- varying digester loading rates, temperature and other parameters. During the full-scale pilot study, EBMUD processed 40 tons of post-consumer food waste per day in anaerobic digesters to produce methane for renewable electric power generation, and in turn reduced greenhouse gas emissions, produced a soil amendment, and recycled the largest single component of urban municipal solid waste: organic waste. For more information on the bench-scale study and to view the results, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region09/waste/organics/ad/index.html
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