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Orchard House Foods gets new CHP plant, minimises waste

Orchard House Foods, a UK-producer of fresh fruit products, has installed a new build-own-operate power production plant.

The plant generates biomethane from waste food products including rejected fruit, peelings and wash water. It is currently handling around 1.5 tonnes of COD/day from the liquid waste stream and a further 4 tonnes of COD from the mashed fruit peelings.

The processing of this food waste produces biogas which powers combined heat and power (CHP) generators. These generators produce around 200kW of electricity, which is used to fuel Orchard House Foods' onsite operations. The heat recovered from the CHP engines is used to keep the anaerobic digesters at a constant 38°C.

When the plant commences full operations, it will be able to handle almost 7 tonnes of COD each day and minimise the company's waste by 80%.

The plant was designed by BioWayste, a supplier of waste to energy systems, who also manages the plant. This has saved Orchard House Foods the major financial cost associated with building and operating its own treatment plant.

As Tim Verrinder, managing director of Orchard House Foods, explains: 'The very compact BioWayste design has been a big selling point for us because unlike today's typically large AD systems, we've been able to put the plant adjacent to our factories. And apart from some organisation of the macerating process during installation, the BioWayste plant has required virtually no changes to our operational procedures.'