The EarthPower facility located in Sydney uses anaerobic digestion technology to convert solid and liquid food waste, into a combustible gas similar to natural gas.
The digester gas is then recovered and used as a renewable fuel source in cogeneration engines to produce green electricity. This electricity is then sold to the grid for distribution to domestic, commercial and industrial clients.
A by-product of the anaerobic digestion process is a nutrient rich sludge, which is dried and granulated for sale as a fertilizer into the agriculture and horticultural markets. Waste heat from the cogeneration engines is used in the fertilizer drying process and to heat the digesters.
When compared to other food waste disposal processes, such as landfill and composting, the EarthPower facility achieves the highest environmental sustainable use of food waste and most favourable environmental outcomes by way of production of green energy, while also producing organic fertilizer for local agriculture businesses, reducing the need of synthetic fertilizers.
At full capacity, EarthPower can power over 3,600 homes.
Generating Green Energy
Diverting waste to resource recovery
Producing nutrient-rich fertilizer
Saving on Waste Disposal Costs
All trucks entering the facility declare their waste source & present on the weighbridge to record weights. Once emptied the truck is weighed out of the facility giving a Net Weight.
All trucks tip into either Pit 1 or Pit 2. Pit 1 being the solid waste recieval area and Pit 2 being all liquids & Sludge wastes. Liquids are screened to ensure no contamination .
Solid Pit1 waste is conveyed into the Hydropulper using screws. Here water is added to the solid food waste and agitated at a very high speed. This action strips and tears apart any packaging from the food waste, transforming the solid food waste to a liquid “pulp”. All packaging is extracted and emptied through a chute to a holding bin and then dewatered and sent to Woodlawn - Veolia’s Bioreactor. Once pulped the food waste is transferred to a holding tank - ready to “feed” the bugs in the digester.
Home of the “Bugs”, the bugs are fed pulped solid and liquid food wastes. The bugs continually feed on the food waste. This process is called digestion, as the bugs feed they produce methane (biogas). The Biogas rises to the top of the tank and is transferred to the cogeneration engines.
Biogas is fed into the engine to create Green Electricity. The Electricity is transferred in real time onto the local energy grid. The engines also produce another resource hot exhaust heat. The exhaust heat from the engines is transferred to a drying plant to assist in making our fertilizer.
Digested food waste is withdrawn from the digesters and de watered into a sludge. This is then fed to the drying plant.
De watered sludge is transferred into a large barrel , where exhaust heat is added from the cogeneration engine and our “home grown” biogas is utilised in heating / drying of the sludge. EarthPower produces approx. 1500 tonnes annually of fertilizer.
Water separated from the digested food wastes is treated in the water treatment plant prior to discharge to the trade waste sewer.
Companies who comply with GreenPower standards are eligible to promote themselves as ‘suppliers of GreenPower’. To meet the GreenPower standards, energy generation must be sourced from the sun, the wind, water and/or waste. Since EarthPower energy generation is sourced from organic waste streams, we are proud to say we are an accredited GreenPower supplier.