Germany’s Fraunhofer Umsicht is working on a project with four partners to optimise waste management in the food industry.
Through the BioSuck project, funded by the German federal ministry of education and research, it is developing a system and guidelines on when and where the installation of vacuum pipes for waste collection would be advisable.
The project is targeted at the huge amount of food waste that occurs in the sector, such as fruit and potato peelings or blood from the meat industry, which is either disposed of as waste or jointly with wastewater.
Use of vacuum technology could help move targeted waste streams so they are directed to bioenergy or recycling. This would mean less wastewater is generated, which reduces disposal costs.
According to Fraunhofer, residual waste could then be utilised in incineration, be converted to biogas or bioethanol or valorised into a lignite coal-like product.
Vacuum systems help to prevent odour, and can be closed off from vermin.
Fraunhofer is designing a test pilot system to simulate the practical application on a small scale.