Cucumbers warm Vienna citizens

The capital of Austria is a leader where energy production from waste is concerned.
Burning of waste supplies basic heat for the heating system of Vienna. To obtain maximum energy from wet kitchen waste the heating company of Vienna (Fernwärme Wien) have built an installation which does not burn the waste but converts it into bio gas. This is reported by
At the moment not only waste is fed into the installation, but also lorryloads of fresh cucumbers are processed for fuel to feed the district's heating. As in the Netherlands the glasshouse horticulture in Vienna also have unsaleable harvests.
Sad, but in this way cucumbers at least supply energy.

The installation for kitchen waste was built recently in the Viennese environment park. Simmering immediately next to a waste burner and a sewerage purification plant. In the installation the collected kitchen waste is processed into a kind of soup, which is pumped into a fermentation hold where bacteria take care of the change from organic material to bio gas. A machine developed by the company Komptech in Austria reduces the material in size. The machine has no problem crushing the cucumbers.
Annually the installation produces more than one million cubic meter of gas, which is used to heat the water of the district. This heat is a good addition to the heat of waste burning, the residue heat of an oil refinery and a soap powder factory. The heating system of Vienna heats more than 500,000 citizens and a large number of companies.

Building of this system started in 1970 and it is still being enlarged. The intention is to supply heat to fifty percent of the 1.6 million citizens of Vienna. In this way a large part of the climate objectives will be realised by the city of Vienna. When increasing the production of heat the bio-mass will play an important role, although one does not automatically think of cucumbers, but of timber and real waste. It is hoped that cucumbers will be sold in the shops again soon. 


Publication date: 6/15/2011

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