Why food waste biodigesters fail

December 27, 2023

3 minutes, 3 seconds read

Why food waste biodigesters fail

Food waste biodigesters have emerged as revolutionary machines in waste management, providing an efficient and environmentally friendly solution for disposing of food waste. These machines operate through aerobic digestion, where microorganisms break down food waste, leaving behind no solid residue. Biodigesters can be used in any commercial business that produces small to large amounts of food waste; This can be anywhere from compan campus kitchens to university dining halls.

Despite their potential, food waste biodigesters often encounter failures that hinder their effectiveness. In this blog, we explore the common reasons behind these failures and shed light on potential solutions to ensure the successful implementation of biodigesters.

Poor Design and Manufacturing

One of the primary reasons food waste biodigesters fail lies in their design and manufacturing. Some biodigesters are crafted without due consideration for the user and the environment they operate in. Biodigesters not made entirely of stainless steel are prone to rust and food buildup, leading to mold formation. Additionally, inadequate welding of the drum and arm paddles can result in leakages, potentially causing electrical damage and rendering the equipment useless.

Converse, food waste digesters like the LFC biodigester are designed with durability in mind. Constructed entirely from stainless steel and featuring welded drum and arm paddles, these biodigesters are resistant to corrosion and leaks, ensuring a longer lifespan and reliable performance.

Lack of Training

Another significant factor contributing to biodigester failures is the lack of proper training for staff and operators. Mishandling the machine can lead to damages that are easily avoidable with the right knowledge.

It is crucial for personnel to understand the types of foods suitable for digestion, ensuring they fall within a specific temperature range that supports microbial activity. Furthermore, avoiding the inclusion of non-digestible items such as knives and cutlery is essential to prevent damage to the biodigester’s components.

Ensuring comprehensive training programs for staff and operators, along with thorough documentation, can greatly reduce the risk of damage and improve the overall efficiency of food waste biodigesters.

Lack of Safeguards

While biodigesters typically require minimal maintenance, they do have specific initial settings that must be adhered to for optimal performance. The provision of water at the right temperature and pressure is necessary to support the microbial activity responsible for waste digestion. Failure to meet these requirements can result in the death of microbes and, consequently, a decline in biodigester efficiency.

Use of Caustic Organic Medium

Traditional media that house the microbes are made of PLA and can potentially add microplastics to the water as they degrade. Many biodigester manufacturers have switched to organic material such as nut shells. However, these materials aren’t meant to be used for such purposes and can actually damage the interior of the machines. 

Power Knot is the only food digester manufacturer that manufactures Powerchips Green, a unique fully organic material medium designed to speed up digestion while maintaining the integrity of the food waste digester.

Lack of Monitoring

Innovative data analytics programs like the LFC Cloud for the LFC biodigester offer continuous monitoring of critical settings. It is therefore greatly beneficial if the biodigester is connected to the internet. Then, with automatic email notifications, any deviations from the specified parameters are promptly addressed, ensuring the biodigester operates within optimal conditions.

Food waste biodigesters have the potential to revolutionize waste management practices, but their success hinges on careful design, proper training, and the implementation of safeguards. By addressing these common pitfalls, businesses can unlock the full benefits of biodigesters, contributing to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to food waste disposal.

Contact Power Knot today to learn why the LFC biodigester is the industry leader of food waste biodigesters today.