Innovative British technology at the heart of the circular economy
15th October 2018 – Clearfleau is supporting Green GB Week with the following case study for the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Clearfleau is a British Green engineering company working at the heart of the circular economy. Based in Bracknell, Berkshire, it helps food and drink processing companies capture the latent energy from potentially polluting liquid residues which would otherwise need to be disposed of.
For example a vegetable processing plant in Bedfordshire is using Clearfleau’s unique on-site Anaerobic Digestion technology to make our food supply greener and cleaner.
It’s about using all resources more efficiently. The leftovers from processing vegetables like potatoes, onions and garlic are made into a ‘soup’ which feeds Clearfleau’s plant on the factory site, to be converted into power and heat which can be reused in the factory.
Digesting the residues generates three useful resources:
Biogas which is fed to a gas-powered generator to supply the site with electricity and heat. It could also be upgraded to biomethane and fed into the gas grid, or used as a green fuel for HGVs – to transport raw materials to the factory or finished products to retailers.
Bio-fertiliser that can be used to help grow the food crops that supply the factory.
Clean water either for discharge to a nearby river or re-use in production processes.
Clearfleau’s on-site bioenergy system successfully extracts 95% of the available energy from food processing residues. It provides a source of decentralised renewable energy which can power the factory directly. The factory site saves on fossil-fuel based energy, reducing its carbon emissions. It saves energy costs too. Recycling nutrients and water also saves money which would otherwise need to be spent disposing of the residues. And so the manufacturer benefits from an attractive return on its investment.
Clearfleau works with a diverse range of companies who all want to use their natural resources more efficiently in their production processes. Not only UK food processing businesses, but also British creameries, breweries and distilleries, are all using its technology to become greener and more efficient.
Clients include major multinationals such as Nestle and Diageo and British companies such as First Milk. But the technology can be applied at all scales – Clearfleau has developed a smaller modular design which is cost-effective for SMEs and is working with companies like Cook and Three Stills.
With a growing number of plants throughout the UK, Clearfleau is also starting to export its successful British-developed technology. Targets in Europe include distilleries in Ireland and dairy companies in Germany and Estonia, as well as further afield in Trinidad and Australia.
As industry starts to embrace the circular economy, Clearfleau is a great example of a British company using British technology to help make British factories greener and more resource efficient.