Food waste from Clementi to be collected for electricity project

Food waste from Clementi to be collected for electricity project
Leftover food at People's Park Hawker Centre on 18 March 2014. A record 796,000 tonnes of food were tossed out last year, a 13.2 per cent from the 703,200 tonnes of food waste generated in 2012.
PHOTO: ST

SINGAPORE - Your leftovers, food waste, and used water may one day be powering your home with electricity.

The Public Utilities Board (PUB) announced today in a joint statement with Anaergia Pte Ltd the commencement of Singapore's first project to convert the organic compost into biogas using the Anaerobic bacteria, which can then be used to generate electricity.

Used water sludge from the Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) will be mixed with food waste collected from the Clementi district and treated in a co-digestion demonstration facility.

This new combined treatment of used water sludge and food waste has the potential to produce more biogas due to the higher calorific value in food waste, PUB said.

The co-digestion plant can treat up to 40 tons of the water sludge and food waste concoction without requiring oxygen to produce biogas using a patented process by Anorexia.

Food waste from premises in Clementi, such as educational institutions, hospitals, and camps, will be collected by the National Environment Agency (NEA) for co-digestion at the demonstration plant. The demonstration plant is currently under construction and will be completed by September 2015.

"[The demonstration plant] will provide the opportunity for the water reclamation plants to generate more electricity for process usage," Harry Seah, Chief Technology Officer, PUB, said.

"This could potentially allow the used water treatment plant to achieve energy self-sufficiency, which is using only as much energy as the treatment process itself generates."

If successful, the process could potentially be implemented at the future Tuas Water Reclamation Plant and NEA's Integrated Waste Management Facility.

The memorandum of understanding between Anaergia and PUB signed during the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) in 2014, to explore potential research and technological collaboration, particularly in the domain of waste-to-energy.

Along with this investment, Anaergia will establish and operate its Asia Pacific Headquarters in Singapore, to serve as its base for engineering services and project management in supporting their operations in the Asia Pacific.

This project was supported with a co-funding grant from the Technology Pioneer (TechPioneer) Scheme, administered by the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) on behalf of the Environment and Water Industry Programme Office (EWI).

This scheme encourages water companies to tap on Singapore to testbed cutting edge technology and commercialise it in an actual operating environment. A total of 150 projects involving the testbedding of water solutions have been facilitated at PUB's installations, and more than 20 test-bedding projects are currently on-going at PUB's facilities.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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