IChemE - McNab - Lacey Prize
Philip Healy Chair All Ireland Member Group (IChemE)
The Macnab-Lacey Prize is awarded to the undergraduate student design project team whose design project submission best shows how chemical engineering practice can contribute to a more sustainable world. The objectives of the competition are to:
- Encourage students to think of sustainable development as a key element of their design projects
- Influence chemical engineering departments to position sustainable development at the heart of the curriculum
- Demonstrate that IChemE takes sustainable development seriously
- Provide a showcase for student talent, and reward achievement.
2021-22 UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK (joint winners with University of Manchester)
The Design brief of the team:
An average household in the EU is responsible for 117kgs of food waste per year, which translates between €400 and €1,000 per household per year thrown into the bin, while having a very negative impact on the environment. Food waste sent to landfill does not harmlessly break down, but instead releases methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. An environmental friendly solution for minimizing solid food waste is its conversion to biogas. The European Union has formed a team of experts, in order to prepare a study for the production of a large-scale plant for the conversion of solid food waste tobiogas, as part of the EU’s renewable energy plan. You are part of this team and you are expected to design and evaluate the collection and processing of food waste and its conversion to biogas, processing 25,000 tons of waste/year.
Summary of Report
As part of the European Union’s (EU) renewable energy plan, this report outlines the key aspects involved in the design of a large-scale plant to convert solid food waste to biomethane. The overall average yield of this plant is 0.096 m3 of biomethane for every kg of food waste processed. The primary use of the biomethane will be injection into the existing natural gas grid as a renewable alternative to natural gas. Italy was chosen as the optimal location for this facility due to the availability of food waste feedstock, existing food waste collection systems, necessary skilled workforce and extensive existing natural gas network.
Award:- The winning entry received individual certificates and a cash prize of £360.