Each year, 1.3 billion tons of food ends up lost or wasted — 46 percent of the world’s garbage. While the global food waste situation is what you’d call a “doozy,” consumers and companies like HomeBiogas are determined to turn food waste into clean, usable energy. Read on to find out how.
What Is HomeBiogas?
HomeBiogas is one of several successful projects to come about from Kickstarter. The Israeli company, which began its crowdfunding efforts in 2015, focuses on turning everyday food waste into energy for your home. How do they do it? With compact, household-sized biogas digesters that support anaerobic digestion, a process with zero oxygen and hungry bacteria that are ready to dive into last week’s moldy bread. Since the company’s launch in 2015, consumers have responded enthusiastically to their efforts. In fact, they blew past their crowdfunding goal for both biogas products. The second version, HomeBiogas 2.0, exceeded its initial goal by more than 400 percent. In dollars and cents, that translates to more than $490,000.
How Does HomeBiogas Work?
OK, so consumers love it, but how does HomeBiogas work? Like the 27 million biogas plants in China, but on a smaller, less commercial scale. The process is alike, however, because every biogas system operates on the same premise — anaerobic digestion.
Here’s a breakdown — pun intended — of the HomeBiogas process:
1. A user pours food waste into a funnel, where it enters the oxygen-free tank.
2. Water and bacteria begin digestion. Bacteria can come from a starter kit or from nitrogen-rich substances like chicken manure and shellfish shells.
3. Fermentation produces methane, carbon dioxide, and other gases.
4. Gas enters a storage tank for use via a pipe to your kitchen.
5. Liquid fertilizer becomes accessible via a spout for use in landscaping.
In addition to bacteria, sunlight also contributes to biogas. Why? Bacteria love and thrive in heat, which means a well-placed HomeBiogas in a climate with temperatures around 68 degrees Fahrenheit digests food waste at a more efficient rate, which translates to more clean energy for you.
What Does HomeBiogas 2.0 Do Better?
With the basics of anaerobic digestion established, as well as the processes behind the original HomeBiogas, it’s time to explore how HomeBiogas 2.0 offers an edge over its predecessor:
Upgraded efficiency: The new model promises a 50 percent boost to its processes.
Increased capacity: HomeBiogas 2.0 doubles its storage with space to hold up to 185 gallons.
Improved construction: The latest biogas digestor offers a lighter weight, plus more durable build.
Enhanced installation: HomeBiogas 2.0 requires only an hour of your time to install.
And if you’re worried about HomeBiogas filling your home with the nose-assaulting smell of decomposing food, forget about it. The team equipped its products with an airtight seal and filter, while using water to submerge food waste in the tank eliminates odor.
How Can You Use This Clean Energy?
Back in the 2000s, The Black Eyed Peas asked, “What you gon’ do with all that junk?” While they weren’t referencing food waste, there are plenty of ways to use the clean energy from your converted organic junk.
Applications for the clean energy and liquid fertilizer produced by a HomeBiogas include:
Powering your stove or grill:
Cook up to three hours each day. Just place your HomeBiogas less than 65 feet from your kitchen or patio and connect the two with an included pipe. The biogas can connect to a countertop stove or double-burner setup.
Fertilizing your gardens:
Nurture your gardens with the liquid fertilizer produced by anaerobic digestion. HomeBiogas 2.0 features a user-friendly pouring sleeve, which makes it easy to dispense fertilizer into a water pail.
Helping your neighbor:
Support families in underserved communities. When you purchase a HomeBiogas 2.0, the company directs some of those funds to install their products in countries like Jordan and Uganda to combat indoor air pollution from cooking fuels.
Like solar, wind and geothermal, biogas is a renewable energy source — and one that’s financially viable for consumers. As long as you have access to organic materials, like plants, you can count on the energy from biogas. As an additional benefit, biogas powers itself with pre-existing waste.
What Does HomeBiogas Mean for the Future?
Our planet wastes an enormous amount of food, yet the efforts of HomeBiogas and consumers around the globe demonstrate there is a motivation to do better and to reduce the waste that’s dominating the world’s landfills.
What does that mean for the future? Hopefully that more people will adopt a lifestyle that thrives on clean, green energy.
Images via HomeBiogas