Biogen turned to Tiger DePack for its food waste depackaging
* article taken from the Bioenergy Insight magazine of January 2019
Richard Nuttall is head of Procurement at Biogen.
He joined the company in 2013 and was initially involved in its construction development projects. Richard now manages all procurement activity for the business and is responsible for reviewing and agreeing Biogen’s contractual arrangements.
With a portfolio of thirteen anaerobic digestion plants and six composting sites spread across the UK, Biogen is a major player in the United Kingdom’s biogas sector, as well as food waste and organics waste recycling.
According to the company, its portfolio of facilities recycle around a million tonnes of organic waste each year, in turn generating 25MW of green electricity for the national grid.
Here, Bioenergy Insight speaks with Biogen’s procurement manager, Richard Nuttall, about the company’s decision to use Tiger DePack machines to depack food waste at three of its AD plants.
Please introduce Biogen to our readers
Biogen is a leading UK organic waste recycling company with a national network of anaerobic digestion and composting facilities. We work with supermarkets, food manufacturing businesses, waste management companies and local authorities to recycle their food, garden and other organic wastes. We recycle over half a million tonnes of organic waste a year, producing both renewable energy and high quality fertilisers and composts that are recycled back to agriculture.
What Tiger DePack machines is Biogen currently using, and where do they fit into the process of your facilities?
Biogen own and operate Tiger machines at three of our existing food processing facilities; Millerhill, Halstead and Basingstoke.
The Tigers operate at the front end of our food waste anaerobic digestion plants. They are designed to process the raw material at the front end to separate the organic and non-organic material. The non-organic material which is mainly packaging material goes for either disposal or re-use as an alternative fuel and the organic material (biomass) is pumped forward into a holding tank and then further on to pasteurisation and digestion in the sealed tanks to generate a methane gas for use in green energy production.
The Tiger machines are critical to the process and necessary to remove the packaging material that would otherwise block the plant, prevent gas extraction and contaminate the digestate at the end of the process.
What kinds of feedstocks are the Tiger DePack machines processing?
Primarily this is packaged food waste from a variety of sources including industrial and commercial streams, such as restaurants, food producers and supermarkets but also household streams where food waste is collected by the kerbside.
Why did Biogen decide to use Tiger DePack’s technology?
The Tiger machine is well recognised in the industry as a leading solution for depackaging food waste at the front end of the AD process. There are many successful reference sites in the UK and the equipment is well supported by the UK dealer, Blue Group, with nationwide servicing and spare part supply available same day and next day from a UK stock holding.
As this is a critical machine in the uptime of a plant it is important that we have local support to help keep these machines running.
What improvements in efficiency have Tiger DePack’s machines provided?
The Tiger machine has excellent throughput capabilities, often displacing the need for two or three alternative machines as well as having a very compact footprint with an integrated 5.5m3 stainless steel feed hopper. It does away with the need for a front-end shredder and transfer conveyors.
Also, the power requirements for the machine are low which reduces the running costs and saves operating costs on the depackaging plant.
How have these improvements benefitted Biogen?
These benefits allow Biogen to be more competitive in the market place and to continue to be the number one food waste processor for green energy production in the UK.
Biogen has been the pioneer of this industry and continues to strive for growth, improvements and efficiencies to remain in that position.
Tiger Depack is a brand of Italian company Cesaro Mac Import. It encompasses a broad portfolio of trademarked technologies developed for the depackaging of packed products and the separation of materials for the recovery and production depackaging sectors.
According to the company, vertical separation is at the heart of the Tiger DePack system’s technology. This allows the processing of heterogeneous material intended fordisposal and the improvement in the handling of already processed material. Through its compact design, the Tiger DePack range aims to be an all-in-one solution in that all its components are enclosed within its shell.