Gills Onions Advanced Energy Recovery System
You can't beat an energy-saving waste project that pays for itself.
And just six years after going live, Gills Onions'; $9.5 million advanced energy recovery system is on the verge of making that a reality.
As the largest fresh-cut onion processor in the U.S., Gills Onions was driven by the need to find a better way to dispose of waste from their processing plant. So they turned to us to be their engineering partner in creating a revolutionary, sustainable facility capable of reusing waste and producing power.
Together, we developed a facility like no other. Each day the plant's 200,000 pounds of onion peels are ground, dewatered and pressed to produce 30,000 gallons of onion juice and 20 tons of onion cake. The juice is digested in a high-rate upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor to produce biogas that powers two 300 kilowatt fuel cells. The cake is hauled to farms for use as cattle feed.
The result? Nothing short of groundbreaking. Gills Onions' award-winning facility generates 60 percent of their own energy, creates 75 percent less waste and has a smaller carbon footprint.
- 2010 - Grand Conceptor Award, American Council of Engineering Companies
- 2010 - Golden State Award, American Council of Engineering Companies, California Chapter