December 23, 2013

FirstEnergy Stadium Helps Turn Food Waste into Energy

If you’ve ever attended an NFL game, you may wonder what happens to all those hotdogs and other concession stand food that doesn’t sell. Well, the operators of the FirstEnergy Stadium, where the Cleveland Browns play, have found an innovative way to give new life to food that would otherwise find its way into the garbage can.

As GreenBiz.com notes, FirstEnergy Stadium installed a Grind2Energy system developed by InSinkErator that grinds up food waste and adds water to create a slurry. The waste is then stored in tanks before being transported to Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center where it is then converted to a biogas to make electricity or used as fertilizer.

“The Browns estimate that over the course of the season, uneaten food generates 35 tons of waste. Quasar will add dairy cow manure and potentially other sources of organic waste to the slurry and put it all into the digester. Over the course of weeks, the waste breaks down and produces biogas, which can be siphoned off and burned in a generator for electricity and heat. In a landfill, that food waste quickly would decompose into methane, a potent greenhouse gas. FirstEnergy Stadium estimates that its system will reduce the equivalent of 28,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, and generate enough electricity to power a home for a year and half.??

Read more about InSinkErator’s Grind2Energy system here.

So the next time you’re leaving a stadium and see hotdogs and nachos laying around the concession stand, remember that they very well could be used to power your home one night.

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