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Let's Get Real About Green House Gases

MyGug Cutting Methane Emissions

Did you know that methane gas is much more damaging to the environment than carbon? Food waste emits methane gas when sent to landfill. Read more about this problem below. MyGug turns this problem into a solution. The primary goal in the design of MyGug is to cut methane emissions associated with food waste. Studies completed by the European Union show that the majority of food waste that is generated in the 28 Member States is generated by households. It is estimated that each EU citizen produces approximately 92kg of food waste (food and inedible parts associated with food waste) per year. This equates 88 Million tonnes of food waste with 46.5 Million Tonnes being derived from households in the EU28 per year [1] . Effective management and treatment of biodegradable waste is a topic of increasing concern for governments across the globe. The organic fraction of residual waste which is dominated by food waste is problematic as it is putrescible; it contaminates recyclable material in combined waste collection systems and releases methane to the atmosphere when deposited in landfill sites.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Food Waste

When food waste is placed in an uncapped landfill the worst possible climate change consequences are realised as methane emissions are produced when that food waste biodegrades. The % Volatile solids (VS) in food waste varies but can be estimated to be 25%. Each kg of VS will produce 508 ± 21.5 [2] Litres CH4 resulting in a total estimated methane production from 1 Tonne of food waste of 127m3. Each m3 of methane weights 0.716kg resulting in 90.9kg CH4. Methane has a global warming potential over a 100 year time horizon of 25 times that of carbon dioxide resulting in a total equivalent CO2 emissions of 2.27 Tonnes. [3] MyGug Mini version will treat up to 1 tonne of food waste/year. Instead of this 127m3 of Methane going to the atmosphere the methane is used for cooking or heating resulting in displacing 9No. Butane gas bottles (11.34kg) and the associated CO2 emissions of 309kg. (CO2 from biogas burning is carbon neutral). MyGug will use approx 1kW.Hr per day (@250C outside temp) @ 296g CO­2/kW.Hr = 108kg CO­2 per year (associated with power consumption using average carbon emission values for 1kw.hr in Europe).

Therefore there is a possible total CO­2 Reduction of 309kg – 108kg = 201kg/year

This does not take into account CO2 reductions associated with the following:

  • Reduced CO2 emissions with reduced waste truck movements
  • Reduced CO2 emissions from reduced processing of wastes (i.e. Processing & segregation of wastes)
  • Reduced CO­2 emissions from reduced truck movements for delivering gas cylinders
  • Reduced CO­2 emissions associated with the processing of natural gas
  • Reduced CO2 emissions from industrial composting facilities
  • Reduced CO2 emissions as no transport requirement for compost
  • Nutrients are recycled rather than being disposed of in a landfill. There are also known to be N2O reductions due to anaerobic digestion of wastes and slurries. Nitrous Oxide (N2O) has a green house gas potential 310 times that of CO2.
  • Green House Gases are reduced as a result of all of the above!
[1] Fusions; Estimates on European Food waste levels 2012 figures [2] Evaluation of the biomethane potential from multiple waste streams for proposed community scale anaerobic digester; James D Browne, Eoin Allen, Jerry D Murphy Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Ireland
The Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West
is supported by co-funding from the Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020

Oifig Fiontair Aitiuil Corcalg Thuaidh & Thiar

Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West