Two South Yorkshire firms are joining forces to turn waste food into a biogas that can be pumped directly into the domestic and industrial gas mains.
Doncaster-based Prosper De Mulder has been revealed as the first customer for an industrial scale Totara upgrader, made by Chesterfield BioGas, based at Meadowhall in Sheffield.
Prosper De Mulder is the UK’s biggest processor and recycler of waste food from “farm gate to dinner plate.”
The company processes some animal products to make dripping, lard, oils and other food ingredients and makes key ingredients for pet foods.
It has also found a use for food waste that is being disposed of by business ranging from large supermarkets to small cafes because it hasn’t been used, has become unsaleable or has been left over.
In the past, that sort of waste would have ended up in landfill sites, but Prosper De Mulder’s ReFood subsidiary has been pioneering the use of anerobic digesters that turn the waste into a fertiliser, rich in nitrates, phosphates and potassium and generate biogas.
At first, the company fed the biogas directly into generators that produced electricity for the National Grid.
Now, however, it has asked Chesterfield BioGas to install an industrial scale upgrader at its ReFood plant in Widnes that will remove harmful contaminants, turning the biogas into biomethane that can be fed straight into the gas mains.
Chesterfield BioGas managing director Stephen McCulloch says the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive makes it more commercially attractive to inject the gas into the grid rather than burn it to produce electricity.
The deal with Prosper De Mulder is one of two Chesterfield BioGas recently told investors it had struck, although it could not name either customer at the time.
Mr McCulloch says orders had been held back until new regulations covering the quality of biomethane had been finalised.
Now those regulations have been finalised, Chesterfield BioGas has built up a significant pipeline of enquiries for a diverse range of projects, some at advanced stages of negotiation.