An Introduction to Food Waste Biodigesters on Ships

LFC digester

Published Sep 4, 2023 1:51 PM by Power Knot Ocean

Food waste biodigesters are a groundbreaking step forward in sustainability, enabling ships to tackle food waste in an eco-friendly and efficient manner. These machines act as stainless steel stomachs that eliminate most food waste within 24 hours. They use a series of processes in which micro­organisms break down organic material in the presence of oxygen. The output is grey water that can be sent to the ship’s grey water or black water system.

While this technology has been in use for land applications for over a decade, it has gained remarkable traction in the marine sector, especially since Carnival initiated the adoption of Power Knot on its fleets in 2019.

The LFC biodigesters offer a suite of features that make them the pinnacle of food waste management technology:

  • Plastic Prevention: Keep plastic that may be mingled with food waste out of the waste stream thanks to the design of the LFC biodigester
  • Regulatory compliance: Meets stringent MARPOL and DOJ environmental regulations.
  • Continuous Digestion: Load food waste at any time for uninterrupted processing.
  • Broad usage: Can digest much more than pulpers can handle, for example, banana, egg shells and fish skins
  • Easy installation: Uses minimal power and can interface easily to existing drain and vacuum systems
  • Zero Waste: All food waste is fully converted into grey water
  • Odor-Free Operation: Aerobic digestion technology ensures a completely odorless process.
  • Data Analytics: Connects to the LFC Cloud for remote monitoring and data analysis.
  • Cost Efficiency: Minimize or eliminate taking food waste ashore

LFC biodigesters are spearheading the replacement of outdated pulper systems. By strategically placing food waste biodigesters in galleys and garbage rooms, ships can bid farewell to massive pulper tanks, and incinerators allowing them to reclaim valuable deck space. Moreover, biodigesters demonstrate a remarkable capability to process a wider range of waste materials that pulpers cannot, including fish bones, onion skins, shrimp shells, and more. Perhaps most noteworthy is the fact that these biodigesters effectively negate the necessity for waste transportation, thereby drastically reducing costs and streamlining operations.

In the maritime industry, harnessing the power of data analytics is paramount, and this is where connecting to the LFC Cloud opens a world of invaluable benefits. Marine operators can effortlessly monitor crucial biodigester statistics, service schedules, and diagnostics using a smartphone, tablet, or PC device. Real time data analytics about the volume of food waste empowers operators to optimize operations and swiftly address any issues that arise. This data-driven approach revolutionizes marine waste management, propelling ships towards a more efficient and sustainable future.

As the maritime industry evolves, Power Knot's LFC biodigesters stand at the forefront of innovation, ensuring a more sustainable and efficient future. BSM, Carnival UK, Seaborn, and Holland America Line have embraced this cutting-edge technology. Learn more about the LFC biodigester here.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.