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BEN & JERRY'S Is Bio-Powered (hurray!) Converting Ice-cream Waste Into Energy

From Renewable Energy Magazine The bio-digester developed by Paques will convert ice-cream waste to new greener energy Confessional time...

From Renewable Energy Magazine

The bio-digester developed by Paques will convert ice-cream waste to new greener energy


Confessional time: I have a secret love affair with Ben & Jerry's ice-cream and knowing it's environmentally pro-active and fair-trade make me loves it more (although as a cheap Pakistani, I'm suspicious of their prices).

The Unilever Group, which owns Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, has recently commissioned the construction of a bio-digester (BIOPAQ®AFR) at the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Hellendoorn - the Netherlands.

This is a welcome addition to their existing 'cleaner, greener freezer' technology and ethical chicken farms.

The bio-digester developed by Paques will use production waste to cover 40% of the ice cream factory’s green energy requirements.

Paques explains,
"natural micro-organisms (in this case more than 24 billiard (24•1015) little bugs!) ‘eat‘ waste products and convert them into biogas. In this system, wastewater is purified by converting waste products from ice cream production such as milk, cream, proteins, syrups and pieces of fruit into biogas."

What's really unique is that the micro-organisms the bio-digester uses are able to tackle both easily degradable materials and more problematic ones, such as fats and oils, in one compact reactor, whereas a conventional system requires multiple steps. {Earthtechling}

The construction of the bio-digester started in Autumn 2010 and it is expected that it will become operational mid-2011. Unilever is one of the fist companies worldwide with such a bio-digester.

Cool eco-stuff. Now then... where's my ice-cream spoon?

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