My research focuses on assessing the feasibility of implementing a decentralized Food Waste (FW)-to-Energy system for two case study partners. It serves first to quantify and qualify the energy recovery potential of FW samples by two different microbially-mediated conversion technologies at the bench-scale level. These include FW to methane (anaerobic digestion ([AD]) by biodigesters and FW to electricity directly (electrogenesis) by microbial fuel cells (MFCs).
The laboratory evaluations also test several conversion optimization strategies. Life-Cycle/Cost-Benefit analyses are being conducted to quantify and evaluate the costs, environmental impacts, energy recoveries, and overall feasibilities of implementing full-scale FW-to-Energy systems, comparing the impact of the technology and centralized/decentralized infrastructure settings.