If you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll know all about the delightfully flatulent symptoms that follow in the wake of nibbling on hunks of cheese and bowlfuls of ice cream. Now imagine your bowels are a power plant and you can turn those farts into renewable energy.
That’s basically exactly what’s happening – in my mind at least – with a bioenergy plant in Yorkshire that will be adding Wensleydale Creamery’s waste whey from its cheese to the ice-cream residue it already uses to turn it into renewable biogas. The cheesy gas will reportedly provide enough energy to heat 4,000 homes.
“The whole process of converting local milk to premium cheese and then deriving environmental and economic benefit from the natural by-products is an essential part of our business plan as a proud rural business,” said David Hartley, the managing director of the Wensleydale Creamery.
“Once we have converted the cheese by-product supplied by Wensleydale into sustainable green gas, we can feed what’s left at the end of the process on to neighbouring farmland to improve local topsoil quality,” said Mike Dunn, co-founder of Iona Capital, investors in the Leeming bioenergy plant.
“This shows the real impact of the circular economy and the part intelligent investment can play in reducing our carbon emissions.” Plus, it’s all possible thanks to cheeese, Gromit! What a world we live in.
The process of anaerobic digestion usually uses fermenting poop, so a plant that swaps out turds for cheese and ice-cream is some Wonka-level shit.