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Chip maker turns waste into energy

Chip maker, McCain Foods, will be adding an anaerobic digester to its site in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire to turn its food-processing waste into biogas for use onsite.

The anaerobic digester will be up and running this May and will take waste water rich in potato starch, produced in the making of its French Fries, and mix it with bacteria in a covered lagoon the size of two football pitches.

McCain Foods corporate affairs advisor Bill Bartlett told MRW: The anaerobic digester will take 77,000 tonnes of waste starch over a 27 day period which is then fermented to produce methane [biogas]. This methane is then captured under a cover and will power our site.

The biogas will power a cogeneration system which will produce heat and meet 10% of the Whittlesey plants electricity requirement. The process will work alongside energy from its wind turbines that will provide 60% of the companys energy.

McCain Foods has built an anaerobic digester as part of its sustainability drive and to cut down on its energy costs.

Bartlett added: In a world of increasing energy costs this initiative will save on energy costs and reduce our environmental footprint. From a business and environmental perspective it is a win win situation.

Image: Lagoon at Whittlesey plant

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