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Ice Cream Waste To Be Turned Into Biogas!

When it comes to green energy, you might not immediately think of ice cream as being a tool in your arsenal in the fight against climate change but apparently you need to start. A new innovative partnership between Iona Capital, R&R Ice Cream and resource management company Veolia will see ice cream waste – which consists of protein, sugar and fat – turned into the biogas biomethane, which will then be sent to the National Grid to heat homes around the UK.

Something else you might not have thought of before is the fact that different types of ice cream can actually provide different amounts of energy. For example, the researchers involved in this particular project discovered that chocolate ice cream provides ten per cent more energy than vanilla and 20 per cent more than strawberry. And if you add a chocolate flake in there, the energy efficiency would be boosted by a good 20 per cent.

“This summer will see the UK’s energy mix take on a new flavour and a delicious one at that. And now you can enjoy your ice cream even more because, rest assured, none of production by-product is going to waste, as we are busy creating renewable energy with it. This project is a prime example of using creative thinking to turn waste into green energy. It’s innovation like this that is needed to ensure the UK meets the government’s 2020 targets, and something we’re hoping to build on,” senior executive vice-president of Veolia UK & Ireland Estelle Brachlianoff said.

It’s innovation like this that the UK needs to focus on at this time if it is to even attempt to reach its energy-efficiency targets by the year 2020 – which currently does not look likely. However, inroads are certainly being made in this regard, with the latest anaerobic digestion report from trade body The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association revealing that nearly a third more biogas energy is being produced in the country than at this time last year.

Currently, the UK has an installed biogas production capacity of 617MW, which is enough to provide power to 800,000 homes. However, the organisation did warn that industry growth has slowed somewhat and, what’s worse, it’s predicted to slow even further over the next four years because of investment uncertainty and policy decisions.


Charlotte Morton, chief executive of the Association, noted that because of existing feedstocks and technology, the anaerobic digestion industry could actually be four times bigger than it currently is. Government decisions to cut back on electricity support and hesitation over waste and heat policies means that the country could lose up to 250MW of potential capacity in the next couple of years.

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