Biogas from ice cream powering national gas grid

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Partnership formed to create green energy from ice cream factory by-products

R&R Ice Cream and Iona Capital have gone into partnership with waste firm Veolio to transform production line waste into energy for the National Grid plant in North Yorkshire.

The energy recovery plant is being funded by Iona Capital, while R&R Ice Cream provides the waste produce, and Veolia takes care of the transformation process; changing ice cream waste into a biogas that then goes to power the national gas grid.

Leading UK ice cream producer, R&R, is based in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, where it produces ice cream and ice lollies for its own brand labels and other famous brands, including Cadbury, Rowntree’s, and Nestlé.

The waste to be recycled will come from the production lines at the R&R factory. Leftover produce and residue will be sent to the Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility, where the waste produce, made up of sugar, fat and protein, will be transformed into biomethane.

According to Veolia, chocolate ice cream is the most potent flavour, generating 10 per cent more green energy that vanilla and 20 per cent more than strawberry. To heat the average household for one year, 25 tonnes of chocolate ice cream waste would be needed, compared to 30 tonnes of strawberry.

The ice cream project is a positive step for meeting the government’s 2020 target of generating 20 per cent of the country’s energy using green methods.

Mike Dunn, director of Iona Capital, said: “Green infrastructure has the government’s backing and it is an area that we are seeing more and more investors taking an interest in.”

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