When Resourceful Earth Limited announced it [clearly understood the anaerobic digestion biology and benefits and ] would be building a facility to convert 35,000 tons of the local food waste to power each year—enough to provide 80 percent of the energy to the nearby town of Keynsham, U.K—the company became the latest to employ anaerobic digestion to reduce waste, generate energy and cut down on carbon emissions. 

It is localism taken to its conclusion, not just what a community buys, but what it gets rid of, too.

 “That’s our ideal plan, to make … a system where we’re actually a closed loop,” says Jo Downes, brand manager for Resourceful Earth. “It’s all self contained. Food waste is produced by a community, it’s converted to electricity, and it goes back to that community again. It’s self-sustaining.

Anaerobic digestion, as a way of converting biomass to energy, has been practiced for hundreds of years, but the effort in Keynsham is one indicator of the technology’s maturation. 

As focus around the world has turned to renewable energy, anaerobic digestion has started to become an economically viable energy source that capitalizes on humans at our most wasteful, and most creative. 

Local municipalities, including wastewater facilities, as well as private companies and even the Department of Energy are fine-tuning the tech to make it more efficient and practical and enhance the anaerobic digestion biology and benefits:.

“Anaerobic digestion is fascinating because it’s a relatively easy, natural way of turning a broad variety of complex waste into a simple fuel gas,” 

Of the anaerobic digestion biology and benefits, says David Babson, a technology manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office:

“Closing waste loops and recovering energy from waste presents a profound opportunity to simultaneously improve waste management and address climate change". Read more: vai Smithsonianmag