Bedminster – Digesting Waste

All organisms have the amazing ability to process all kinds of substances that enter their bodies-separating food into smaller components to be absorbed in the blood stream as energy, while the useless particles are eventually excreted. Our bodies try and make the most out of everything that passes through, turning any possible nutrient into a useful component. Food and minerals entering the body are transformed into proteins, energy or the ever popular; fat. Bedminster Industries named an integral part of their patented carbon-reducing technology the ‘digester’ that separates garbage into non-renewable waste and carbon-rich compost, thus mirroring the effect of any digestive system.

According to their homepage, Bedminster Bio-Conversion (1970 to 1999) and Bedminster AB (1999 to 2003) developed the Bedminster Technology as a waste to compost solution for municipalities in the USA, Australia and Japan.

Garbage arrives at a facility and is transferred to the Bedminster Digester. The Digester dutifully separates this waste into non-biodegradable and biodegradable portions. Just like any digestive process, the Bedminster Digester first breaks down the biodegredable materials with the help of natural enzymes and mechanical motions. It takes about two days for the final biomass (or compost) material to form. The output materials then run over a sifter (or trommel) where the smaller compost materials easily pass through the grid while the unchanged materials,such as bottles, plastic bags, and other non-biodegradable items, are too large to do the same. The materials that fall through the trommel are called “unders”.

Bedminster explains that “the now homogenized organic rich “Unders” are formed into windrows in the fully enclosed Maturation Hall. Here the material spends 21 days being aerated and systematically turned. Monitoring ensures that the material is turned at least 3 times at no less than 2 days intervals attaining a minimum temperature of 60°C (140°F) between turnings to ensure that the final compost is fully sanitized.” A final screening stage occurs where a vibrating screen removes any inorganic particles like pebbles and glass and a magnet separates out the metals for further recycling.

The digester is extremely efficient, separating 95% of the biomass found in the delivered waste. By diverting this waste from landfills, Bedminster reduces greenhouse gas emissions and obviously ensures that precious energy isn’t wasted. Energy generated by the facility is also sold and offsets the CO2 generated at a power-plant: The biogas formed in the digester when the biomass is heated is stored in tanks and fed to turbines and engines that power electrical generators.

Companies like Bedminster are increasingly successful in a world where fuel is a valuable resource and environmentally friendly alternatives appeal to investors.

One Response to “Bedminster – Digesting Waste”
  1. Cal Tininenko says:

    Just a note: Daniela, you have the Bedminster process mostly right…all except for the energy bit.

    The Bedminster process DOES NOT generate energy. However, that said, the drying that takes place autogenously in the compost process (both within the digester and in the maturation hall) could convert wet waste into a dry “fuel” that could be used in cement kilns, blended with coal to fire an incinerator, etc., etc.

    Another alternative would be to “digest” the raw waste anaerobically, thereby generating methane, prior to processing the organics in the Bedminster digester. In that option, one could generate methane to be used as fuel in boilers, microturbines, or internal combustion engines…or could clean up (remove the CO2, water and sulfur compounds) the methane for delivery to a pipeline. The solids residuals from the Methane Digester would then be sent to a Bedminster Digester and compost maturation hall for drying of the material and used as fuel or sold as compost to farmers, gardeners, and horticulturists for great benefit to the soils biota.

    It just goes to show that rarely does one have a “waste” but just a “resource” out of place!


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