Food waste is a major constituent in municipal solid wastes and its accumulation or disposal of in landfills is problematic, causing environmental issues. Herein, a techno-economic study is carried out on the potential of biogas production from different types of food waste generated locally. The biogas production tests were at two-time sets; 24-h and 21-day intervals and results showed a good correlation between those two-time sets. Thus, we propose to use the 24-h time set to evaluate feedstock fermentation capacity that is intended for longer periods. Our approach could potentially be applied within industry as the 24-h test can give a good indication of the potential substrate gas production as a quick test that saves time, with minimal effort required. Furthermore, polynomial models were used to predict the production of total gas and methane during the fermentation periods, which showed good matching between the theoretical and practical values with a coefficient of determination R2 = 0.99. At day 21, the accumulative gas production value from mixed food waste samples was 1550 mL per 1 g of dry matter. An economic evaluation was conducted and showed that the case study breaks-even at $0.2944 per cubic metre. Any prices above this rate yield a positive net present value (NPV); at $0.39/m3 a discounted payback period of six years and a positive NPV of $3108 were calculated. If waste management fee savings are to be incorporated, the total savings would be higher, increasing annual cash flows and enhancing financial results. This economic evaluation serves as a preliminary guide to assess the economic feasibility based on the fluctuating value of methane when producing biogas from food waste via anaerobic digestion, thus could help biogas project developers investigate similar scale scenarios.
ASJC Scopus subject areas