Anaergia Inc. announced it officially commissioned its Easy Energia Ambiente facility in Pontinia, Italy, at a ceremony on April 27.
The state-of-the-art facility has the capacity to anaerobically digest 36,450 tons of landfill-diverted food scraps and other organic waste each year, and to convert this waste into 3,215,000 cubic meters of renewable natural gas (RNG) that will be injected into the region’s gas pipelines. The new plant will also treat the digestate that remains after the anaerobic digestion process to create 4,500 tons per year of high-quality natural fertilizer, plus enough water to cover all of this facility’s requirements. Anaergia was the technology provider for the project, and it will own and operate the facility.
“Commissioning this facility marks the first milestone in achieving remarkable growth in Italy this year,” said Andrew Benedek, chairman and CEO of Anaergia. “The six new facilities we plan to commission in 2022, and a seventh in 2023, will all add RNG to the Italian gas grid, providing more and more biomethane to replace fossil fuels. This will assist the European Union (EU) in achieving greater energy independence.”
The Easy Energia Ambiente facility will receive the food waste it processes from waste collection companies operating in the region surrounding Rome. The food waste will be converted into biogas with the company’s high throughput and high efficiency Omnivore technology, and it will then be upgraded to pipeline quality RNG using other proprietary technologies of Anaergia.
“This new facility exemplifies a new and better way of dealing with waste – we are moving away from the old approach of take, use and throw away and instead adopting principles of a circular economy,” said Alessandro Massone, Anaergia’s vice-president of sales in Italy. “A circular economy means recovering new resources from waste – like renewable energy–from discarded organic material. We are proud to provide this advanced technology solution.”
Food waste is the third-leading source of greenhouse gas emissions globally, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Landfilled food waste creates methane emissions, which have a far greater short-term effect in warming the planet than carbon dioxide. Reducing methane emissions curbs the adverse impacts of climate change more significantly in the near term compared to reducing carbon dioxide reductions.