(495f) Decentralized Anaerobic Digestion Waste-to-Energy System for Food Waste Treatment and Fertilizer Production at East Coast Lagoon Food Village (ECLFV) | AIChE

(495f) Decentralized Anaerobic Digestion Waste-to-Energy System for Food Waste Treatment and Fertilizer Production at East Coast Lagoon Food Village (ECLFV)


Sharma, P., National University of Singapore
Tong, Y. W., National University of Singapore
Singapore generated more than 660 million kg of food waste and the recycling rate has never exceeded 20% (National Environment Agency, 2020). As part of the valuable solution to manage food waste via environmental-friendly pathways, the development of sustainable solutions to treat food waste is desirable. One of which is the development of an on-site self-sustaining anaerobic digester systems that recycles food waste. Anaerobic digestion (AD) has been recognized as cost-efficient and environmentally friendly biotechnologies solution for renewable energy production, in the form of heat and power, organic waste management, and recovery of valuable nutrient rich digestate. Hence, this study is a pilot trial to test the feasibility of using on-site AD system to treat food waste generated at East Coast Lagoon Food Village (ECLFV), which is one of the famous hawker centre in Singapore. The electricity generated by the system is supplied back to support the ECLFV electricity needs, while the digestate is used as biofertilizer for cultivating plants at East Coast Park.

A multi-disciplinary approach is studied to realize the full potential of the environmental and economic benefits. In this study, three major tasks are undertaken simultaneously, with the aim to address the issue of food waste. Firstly, sorting and treating food waste using a customized on-site AD waste-to-energy system for food waste management and conversion of digestate to fertilizers. The performance of psychrophilic (27-29oC) versus mesophilic (35-37oC) AD are compared in a waste-to-energy system in terms of energy performance, treatment capacity, sludge reduction rate, and microbiological parameters. The electricity consumption and generation efficiencies were evaluated through the analysis of the whole system. Subsequently, the use of digestate for the cultivation of plants is further investigated in comparison with chemical fertilizers. Next, educating and influencing behavioural change on the separation of food waste by the public. As such, the social and psychological studies could encourage the public to participate in food waste recycling. Lastly, conducting life cycle assessment and cost benefit analysis to determine the environmental impacts and economic viability, as well as the sustainability of the technology.

The successful implementation of this on-site AD system results in ECLFV being a model for the rest of Singapore to learn from and emulate, with the target to achieve the vision of a Zero Waste Nation.


National Environment Agency. (2020). Love your food, waste less, save more. National Environment Agency, Singapore, Retrieved from


on March 9, 2022.