A Western Australian company, AnaeCo Ltd, has developed a technology which it says is capable of reducing organic household waste destined for landfills by 90%.
AnaeCo's "DiCOM™" technology combines two processes to break down common organic household waste – one which uses bacteria requiring oxygen, and one which uses bacteria that can‟t function if oxygen is present. Both processes take place in a single vessel.
The technology produces compost with methane as a by-product. The methane is used to power the process.
Initial testing showed that the compost produced provided better growth for plants than regular compost and even appeared to make plants less susceptible to dieback.
The process went through scientific laboratory testing on an 8m3 pilot plant at Murdoch University and was then tested at a 20,000 tonnes p.a. demonstration facility at Shenton Park.
Dr Ralf Cord-Ruwisch of Murdoch’s School of Veterinary and Life Sciences said “Disposing of rubbish through landfills is both expensive and environmentally unsustainable. Organic waste leaches into ground water, greenhouse gases get released and there are odour issues. Incineration takes a lot of energy and affects air quality. DiCOM™, on the other hand, uses natural bacteria, is energy positive, and has a waste product that improves soil.”
The technology has attracted international interest with delegations from China and Iraq having already visited the plant, which is scheduled to begin full operation in the first half of 2013.