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Veolia Can Now Produce Green Energy from Ice Cream!

19 Aug 14:00 by Steve Walia

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Whether or not you agree that chocolate ice cream is intrinsically more delicious than its plain vanilla counterpart, there is no denying that it is a better source of clean energy production compared to other flavours.

This is just one surprising insight from waste management experts Veolia, who have partnered up with R&R Ice Cream, a manufacturer of the delicious iced stuff, to convert ice-cream waste into usable renewable energy.

Using an anaerobic digestion facility, the remaining sludge that is left over after cleaning of the production line - protein, fat and sugar - is then converted into biomethane. This usable gas is fed back into the National Grid and used to heat homes.

During the AD conversion process, chocolate ice-cream waste produces 10pc more energy than its vanilla rival and a whopping 20pc more than strawberry flavour. Chuck in a rogue chocolate flake, and energy-efficiency gains are lifted by 20pc.

The new facility is helping to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill. As well as minimising this need, the process also leaves behind a fertiliser rich in nutrients that can then be used for local farming processes.

The factory is based in North Yorkshire and works along similar models as a Unilever project in the Netherlands which uses waste Ben & Jerry's ice cream to make green energy for the factory.

The gas to energy plant, which is one of the biggest of its kind in the region, will support the UK's goals of achieving a 20pc rate of renewable clean energy by 2020.

Last month, Veolia confirmed that it had helped an energy from waste facility in Michigan to boost its power output capacity of 800KW and had subsequently signed a maintenance and support contract, demonstrating the firm's strengthening green industry position.