Kitakyushu Starts Pilot Production of Ethanol from Food Waste
Wednesday, November 7, 2007 Posted: 12:14 PM JST
In Kitakyushu City in southern Japan, a pilot plant to produce ethanol from food waste was established as a part of the city's Eco-Town project. The city started the collection of food waste from some hospitals, elementary schools, retailers and households in the city on June 11, 2007.
The plant, built by Nippon Steel Engineering Co. after being commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), had been conducting trial operations since February 2007. The plant processes 10 tons of food waste into 400 liters of ethanol per day.
People who bring a bag of food waste displaying a barcode to the collection center without using official collection traders will receive eco-points as an incentive from the city. The points can be exchanged for eco-products. At the collection center, the city also provides information on proper sorting of food waste.
Sorting is essential for effective processing of food waste into ethanol. Ideal food materials for ethanol production are those that can be processed into sake, such as rice and wheat-based bread and "udon" noodles. Other food materials can be mixed with them, but not shells, bones and fish organs, or non-food materials.
After evaluating the content of ethanol and quality of E3 gasoline (ethanol-blended gasoline), the city will provide E3 gasoline for city and Nippon Steel Corp. vehicles starting in the autumn of 2007.
First published in November 2007 by Japan for Sustainability (JFS).
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