EcoSystem Corporation has introduced its MAGFUEL biofuel feedstock model that uses the larvae of Black Soldier Flies (Hermetia illucens), which consume and metabolize food scrap waste. The Black Soldier Fly is a voracious natural consumer of waste during maturation, without regard for the chemicals, toxins, bacteria and pathogens that could hamper algae and other bioreactor technologies.
EcoSystem will market MAGFUEL into the existing biodiesel industry as a blending agent for lower grade biodiesel feedstocks (e.g., choice white grease, tallow, and yellow grease) which have poor cold flow properties and high cetane values. The larvae dry weight consists of about 42% protein and 35% natural oils. The natural oil derived from the Black Soldier Fly larvae consists of: 1.6% capric acid; 53.2% lauric acid, 6.6% myristic acid, 8.4% palmitic acid, 1.7% stearic acid, 12.4% oleic acid, and 8.8% linoleic acid.
When at full capacity, EcoSystem’s Black Soldier Fly food scrap waste bioconversion technology could yield up to 190,000 gallons of crude (non-food) natural oils per acre of bioreactor surface area annually, according to the company. In comparison, soybean yields an average of 40 gallons of oil per acre annually. EcoSystem’s integrated bioreactor is estimated to be deployed at a cost of less than $100 per square foot with minimal use of utilities for other than periodic cleaning and heating.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the annual food scrap waste generated per capita in the US is 1,678 pounds, of which 11% are food scraps. 40% to 50% of nearly all food harvested never gets consumed according to the University of Arizona’s Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology. Nationwide, household food waste adds up to $43 billion per year. Residential households waste an average of 14% of their food purchases, and fifteen percent of that includes products still within their expiration date but never opened.
EcoSystem estimates that 25% of the volume of retail, restaurant, and industrial generated food waste could be converted into Black Soldier Fly larvae. Based upon US 2010 Census data, up to 100 million gallons per year of MAGFUEL natural oils could be produced and sold to US biodiesel producers using EcoSystem technology.
EcoSystem’s revenue model will be driven by tipping fees for accepting and processing food scrap waste, MAGFUEL, and other product sales.
EcoSystem’s Black Soldier Fly bioreactor technology can convert a diverse array of feedstocks, including poultry and swine manure, livestock processing wastes, and food scrap waste.