Anaerobic Digestion – “Green Power” is Cool

Chilled and freezer chambers use power intensively to keep valuable products in peak condition.

Cannington Cold Stores (CCS), a long term partner of Gerber, were keen to investigate more efficient and environment means to store raw materials. While we were also eager to minimise waste and effluent.

Working together, we created a thoroughly sustainable environmental partnership that also makes sound commercial sense and serves as the benchmark for similar schemes.

Ours is a sustainable solution for disposing of waste fruit juice, generating power (methane biogas) through anaerobic digestion and ultimately reducing the cost of chilled and frozen storage of raw materials. The benefits of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) are significant and include:

  • A rural power station fuelled by waste products
  • “Free” power for cold store refrigeration
  • Significant electricity export to create a constant revenue stream
  • Organic fertiliser outputs for local agricultural used to boost yields
  • £150,000 annual waste disposal costs eliminated
  • 90,000 litres of waste eradicated each day
  • Around 152,000 journey miles to landfill avoided
  • Recycling of all possible materials

Our partnership in this project is a pioneering application for AD in its use of fruit juice and is an excellent example of a fully circular, sustainable supply chain for products, fuel and utilities. It has been a truly sustainable win-win-win solution for CCS, Refresco and the environment:

  • A waste product previously sent to landfill is now used as fuel for green power.
  • The process generates valuable fertiliser as a by-product.
  • Other outputs (from burning the biogas) are water and CO2, but no more CO2 than was absorbed by the growth of the feedstocks originally.
  • The electricity will contribute to bridging the “energy gap” expected in the UK by 2014.
  • Contributes to the UK’s commitments to renewable energy as a growing percentage of the electricity generation mix.

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