Organic waste to be used for biogas

Organic waste could be turned into a source of clean energy, based on research conducted by University of Southern Queensland principal scientist, Bernadette McCabe.

McCabe is finding out whether materials which would otherwise be disposed of, at a cost, could instead be a profitable source of energy.

“Thanks to biogas technology, Australia’s relationship with organic waste – human and animal excreta, plant scraps and food-processing waste – is changing, turning waste into a commercial source of renewable energy,” said McCabe.

Biogas will be harvested from the organic waste as it is broken down by bacteria. The gas could then generate electricity and heat.

Australia already has a large source for this material, the agricultural sector.

“Australia’s animal industries produce significant quantities of wastes from on-farm production, intensive feed and processing sectors.

“We have been working on ways to capture a market opportunity in excess of $100 million per annum by turning these wastes into valuable product,” said McCabe.

The project has been supported by the Queensland University of Technology, University of Queensland, and Murdoch University, as well as Meat & Livestock Australia and the Australian Department of Agriculture.

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