Urban Cow, Food Waste to Power

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This product is a community sized unit that converts food waste to energy and compost. Each American produces 231lbs of food waste a year. Rather than this being a problem it can be a valuable commodity.

Food waste is a noxious material if dumped on landfill. The key to the system is the biomimicry of the digester, effectively an artificial cow:
Food waste is chewed in a grinder so that it is easily digested.
It then undergoes acidification in a Stomach while being moved smoothly on by an Archimedes screw.
The material enters a peristaltic semi-permeable gut where methane is produced. The gut is a tube running through a series of peristaltic pumps, the methane passes through the gut wall and is captured in an outer vessel from where it is piped to a scrubber.
The methane is cleaned with Sulphur eating bacteria before being stored or burned in a gas engine.
The effluent is divided into water that is reused, the remaining solids are aerobically composted to be rendered harmless, odorless and useful for gardeners and agriculture.

The system is low maintenance, self-powered and can be run intermittently whereby the methane is stored so that the generator can be run when needed to. This could be to fill gaps when other renewables are off line due to lack of sunlight or no wind.


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  • Name:
    Matthew Searle
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    To try and improve the world we live on.
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