Editorial: New energy plant gives food a new purpose

UConn – The Daily Campus || October 16, 2017

Worldwide, food-shortage is an issue for many people and countries. Taken into account, it seems unsurprising that many are horrified about the amount that Americans throw out annually. Whether it is for health reasons or just because something is aesthetically unpleasing, nearly 40 percent of food in the United States will be discarded each year. With much of the disposed waste would go into landfills, Connecticut has decided to join a handful of other states in building a plant that will convert such food waste into usable energy.

Using a technology that has been utilized in European countries for years, Quantum Biopower located in Southington, Connecticut uses technology to replicate a cow’s stomach to breakdown food into methane. One of the leading men on the project is Brian Paganini, a graduate of the University of Connecticut.

Currently in a trial phase, the plant hopes to expand servicing throughout the state within the next few years. With a price point lower than traditional garbage disposal, Quantum hopes to attract family businesses as well as large companies.

Food waste is particularly an issue at large universities, such as UConn. Any food that has been served in dining halls and remains uneaten by the end of the day, in accordance to health regulations, must be discarded. This is often the reason why many students find only a limited food selection at the dining halls towards closing time. Any food put out, must either be eaten or discarded.

While it is still preferable to consciously try to reduce the waste created, Quantum’s energy plant offers an alternative to the landfill. Over the course of the year, it is predicted that Quantum will recycle enough energy to equal taking 1000 cars off the road. This energy can then be used to power houses and businesses at cheaper rates than other forms of fuel. Through recycling, Connecticut residence can save money and reduce waste. This technology is currently being utilized in California, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, according to UConn Today, with other states hopefully following close behind.