Swillpower: driving and heating on kitchen waste

Peals, stumps, coffee grinds and other leftovers, tons of fruit and vegetable waste are produced by restaurants, hotels, hospitals, offices and nursing each year. All this waste is collected, transported, stored and finally processed. This is a costly, laborious and smelly operation.

This kitchen waste contains an enormous amount of energy and important nutrients. What if these waste materials could be used in such a way that expensive transportation and storages are no longer necessary? This is possible if we create a more efficient and shorter recycling loop by using the waste on the spot to generate electricity for charging your electric car or Ebike; or producing green gas to heat buildings.

In 2016 we started the research program Swillpower, a cooperation project within the scope of the Interreg project Power-to-Flex, to investigate the possibilities of the reuse of kitchen waste. Bioclear earth, Energy Company, Adverio and the University of applied sciences Emden-Leer are developing a new and innovative digesting system for on-site production of green energy from kitchen waste.


Objectives for the development of this innovative technique are:

  • Reuse of kitchen waste flows as a source of high quality energy (heat, electricity, green gas or compressed green gas) and the extraction of valuable minerals, which can be safely used as fertilizers;
  • Complete processing of kitchen waste flow, which makes transportation of digested waste material redundant;
  • Assisting companies and institutions in making their business operations more sustainable by closing the recycling loop of their kitchen waste at a local level.

After an intensive research phase and also thanks to co-financing from Gasterra, Gasunie and the municipality Groningen, we will start building a full-scale pilot installation in August of this year. The goal is to build a robust and low cost micro digester, which is suitable for serial production. The pilot installation will be demonstrated at the Energy Transition Centre (EnTranCe) in Groningen.

Are you interested in this project and would you like more information, please contact Jeroen Tideman.




Jeroen Tideman
Senior consultant bio-energy