30 Mar '12, 2pm

Paging Little Miss Muffet: Energy from Cheese Waste

Paging Little Miss Muffet: Energy from Cheese Waste

The most common waste-to-energy method is to employ methane-excreting bacteria in anaerobic digesters to turn farm waste like cow manure and rotting vegetables into biogas to heat their property and even sell electricity back to the grid. For dairy farmers making cheese, however, the process can get tricky . Getting rid of the huge quantities of cheese whey — the byproduct of the cheese-making process — is difficult because the whey matrix is rich in fat and tends to rapidly acidify. That make it unstable in reactors. Some farmers spread the whey on their fields as fertilizer, but depending upon the size of the farm, they quickly run out of field space to distribute the stuff. “It’s a real problem,” said Elena Comino, an applied ecologist at the engineering department of Politecnico di Torino in Italy. Now Comino and her colleagues have proposed an easy solution in a recen...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2012...

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