Demonstrating the Potential for On-Site Electricity Generation from Food Waste Using Containerized Anaerobic Digestion Units

Site Rendering of Small Scale Anaerobic Digestion Facility
Site Rendering of Small Scale Anaerobic Digestion Facility
Project Lead

The goal of this project is to assess the potential of small-scale AD units as a technology alternative to larger, centralized AD facilities for converting food waste to renewable electricity (as well as heat and fertilizer) from a techno-economic and environmental perspective. The objectives of this Agreement are to install a novel, community-scale AD solution in a peri-urban setting that successfully produces electricity, heat, and fertilizer from food waste collected from local enterprises (within 50 miles). The system performance of the AD technology will be monitored, evaluated and enhanced throughout the duration of the project. Through evaluation, we will estimate the potential economic, environmental, and health benefits associated with the scale out of decentralized AD solutions relative to more centralized infrastructure. Finally, we will broadly raise awareness on the problem of food waste and the potential for small-scale AD systems as a viable option to produce positive benefits from this low-value waste stream.

UC Davis Project Team

  • Ned Spang
  • Chris Simmons
  • Sara Pace

Start and (expected) End Dates

December 2017 - October 2021

Project Partners

Principal Funder

California Energy Commission, $3.16M