De-packaging Food Waste For Energy & Low Environmental Impact
Food Waste De-packaging Systems separate organic and non-organic materials, such as plastics and paper that are used for packaging. They are perfect for turning food processing waste, waste from grocery stores and restaurants, and any other food that can be recycled into a profitable product with added value. Most of the energy from food is used to make bio gas, which is a renewable fuel made mostly of methane. Plastic and metal can be recycled or sold as a Refuse Derived Fuel to be burned (RDF or SRF).
What Does Food Waste Equipment Do?
Food waste de-packaging equipment is used to feed in bulk, sort, de-package, and clean food waste slurry, as well as eject the remaining packaging without shredding it, so that only a small amount of organic waste is lost. Food waste trucks can back up and dump directly into the below-ground mixing feed hoppers, which can hold up to 50 cubic yards of waste from supermarkets, commercial kitchens, restaurants, and any other source-separated organics.
The best food waste de-packaging systems have newer models that separate packaging with the least amount of force possible so that it doesn’t break. Early de-packagers used force similar to that of hammer mills, which are used to break up trash, but because the packaging was broken up, small particles were able to get through the sieve/screen. This means that tiny pieces of plastic are getting into food chains all over the world, putting tiny living things at risk and even killing larger animals like birds and sea turtles.
Older de-packaging equipment that makes so many tiny pieces of plastic needs to be thrown out and replaced as soon as possible with newer equipment.
How Well it Removes Organic Content Contamination
Operators of food waste composting and anaerobic digestion facilities hate it when the reject stream (the output) is contaminated with organic material (like food and water) and left with it. This shows how frustrated processors are with having to clean up the incoming organics stream to keep equipment running and keep the quality of the product high, which is needed to get a sales price. There are a lot of different materials, shapes, weights, and densities used to package food, which makes it hard for the equipment to keep out contaminants.
To separate materials, you have to find the right feature (e.g., color is the easiest feature to use to identify and separate materials; magnetic attraction is the feature/code for separating ferrous metals from ground-up pallets in the best way).
De-packaging Machines Must Run Nonstop
De-packaging machines are important to the organic recycling process because they remove the packaging materials that would otherwise clog up the recycling plant. When processing an organic pulp to use as a substrate for anaerobic digestion, they must keep inert materials from building up in the digester tank, which can cause downtime, stop gas extraction, and contaminate the digest at the end.
No longer is trommel screening a good way to separate food waste. A trommel machine uses the size of the particles as the code and the size of the screen mesh as the switch. This lets smaller particles through while keeping larger ones out. Selecting only the small particles that have been screened out is not enough to make clean organic pulp with a market value that can be used to feed a digester.
Another example is separating colored glass from clear glass. This can be done by using the transparency of the glass to trigger a switch that separates the two. However, milling and shredding make the pieces too small for this to work.
Ideal de-packaging equipment will allow you to load the hopper with a wheel loader or fork truck, and then recover the expired food organics for their next use, which could be animal nutrition, composting, or renewable natural gas. The feed entering the de-packaging equipment will operate reliably without the need for human supervision. As a result, an organic pulp of high purity appropriate for digestion will be created.
Purity is the proportion of the intended recovered material in the overall recovered waste stream (i.e., per cent actual food in the recovered materials pile). The recovery and purity rate of food waste de-packagers ranges from 90 to 97 percent, depending on how much food remains stuck to the packaging after separation.
Drycake’s vertical vortex separation technology is utilized in the new Twister De-packager and Separator of the third generation. There is one facility in the United States and seven facilities globally that create a de-packaged food waste substrate appropriate for AD plants (2022).
As more food waste producers embrace better environmental policies and no longer dispose of their food waste alongside their other wastes in landfills, the amount of this equipment in use is increasing significantly.
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