When it comes to biomass boiler heating, your first thought probably isn’t a nice slice of Wensleydale – but apparently, this is exactly what is going on over in both Yorkshire and Cumbria at the moment, with cheese being touted as the future for green energy production.
In North Yorkshire, the Wensleydale Creamery produces delicious cheese but also produces waste at the same time, waste that is being used to create biogas, with the company saying that the whey they provide to a local biogas plant can generate 10,000 MWh of thermal power, the World Economic Forum reports.
That’s enough to heat 800 homes annually! And similar work is now taking place in Cumbria as well, with cheesemaker First Milk boasting its own plant to turn whey into biogas.
Further afield, it’s the same story. In Argentina, a country that produces an awful lot of cheese, researchers have just developed a process to make bioethanol from cheese. At the moment, nine million tonnes of whey is generated each year in Argentina’s cheese industry and two-thirds of this is simply thrown away.
And in france, there’s a cheese-powered plant that can generate enough electricity to power 1,500 homes in Albertville in the Alps. Our very own Prince Charles appears to be in on the cheese act as well, having adapted his Aston Martin to run on biofuel which apparently can be generated from leftover wine and cheese.
As far back as 2013, the Committee on Climate Change issued a report to Parliament suggesting that local authorities increase provision of food waste collection services so as to prioritise the use of anaerobic digestion and unlock the potential for producing energy through food waste.
Any unavoidable food waste, when treated with anaerobic digestion, can be a great source of natural gas, which can help end our reliance on fossil fuels.
What is biogas?
Biogas is a type of fuel produced by the decomposition of organic waste in an anaerobic environment (one absent of oxygen). A blend of gases is released as a result, mainly made up of methane and carbon dioxide. Organic matter like animal manure, wastewater and sewage can also produce biogas by anaerobic digestion.
Generation of biogas recovers waste materials that would go straight to landfill otherwise, helping to save money and energy by handling waste onsite. It also doesn’t need any fossil fuel extraction in order to generate energy.
If you’d like to find out more about biomass heating, get in touch with us here at Greenfields Penrith. Did you know you could reduce your heating bills if you consider this as an option> Such boilers are fired by wood chip and wood pellets, which are significantly cheaper than fossil fuels, including gas.
Such boilers are fired by wood chip and wood pellets, which are significantly cheaper than fossil fuels, including gas.