The popular crisp brand Walkers has recently adopted a new technique that it claims will reduce the CO2 emissions from its manufacturing process by 70%. The new technology will use CO2 captured from beer fermentation in a brewery, which is mixed with potato waste and turned into fertiliser without generating any CO2 in the process.
This new technology was developed with a grant from the UK government by CCm – a fourteen employee start up company. The new equipment will now be installed at the CCm factory in Leicester to prepare for its 2022 crop. It also falls under the category of CCU (carbon, capture and usage) and is a sister technology to CCS (carbon, capture and storage), which the Prime Minister is said to be keen on as it can be used on a large scale.
This new system from CCm however goes further than the anaerobic digester that the firm also has installed, which feeds potato waste to bacteria to produce methane. Instead, it takes away any potato ‘cake’ that is left after digestion and stirs the brewery CO2 into it to make it an enriched fertiliser.
This is a promising step forward regarding agriculture and CO2 emissions as the production of CO2 from conventional fertilisers has been a contributing factor in keeping emissions from agriculture static whilst most other emissions across society have been falling.
Peter Hammond from CCm told BBC News that: ‘There has been an increase in public awareness that we should get something done about the climate – and lots of baby steps have come together to make something significant.’
Climate change will forever be a dominant issue in the 21st century however in the modern day the issue is always addressed globally. Whilst this is correct, it is important to highlight the significant changes and steps taking place to help combat the issue at home and, this new technology, by combing a classic pub mix of beer and crisps seems a step in the right direction!