Michigan State Turned 1250 Gallons Of Compromised Mayo Into Power - Geek.com

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you more than a thousand gallons of mayonnaise that’s not fit for cafeteria use, make electricity? That’s what you’d do if you’re Michigan State University Culinary Services Sustainability Officer Cole Gude, anyway.

After recently taking delivery of 500 Costco-sized 2.5-gallon tubs of mayonnaise, the University started getting complaints from students to whom it had been served. Investigations confirmed that the mayo had gone south due to being frozen and thawed somewhere along the line.

Normally, MSU donates any inventory it can’t use to local food banks. Questionable mayo, however, did not seem like an appropriate foodstuff to give away. Rather than let all that soybean oil, modified egg, vinegar, and corn syrup go to waste (at a weight of around 7.8 pounds per gallon, that’s nearly 10,000 pounds’ worth), Gude decided that the University should toss it into one of its anaerobic digesters.

As The State News reported, mayo is an ideal food source for the microorganisms in the digester, because they “[thrive] on foods high in sugars and fats.” While the mayo hadn’t actually gone green, the power it later helped create most certainly was.

MSU has been generating power with anaerobic digesters for several years now. In 2014 the University was honored with the Biogas Project of the Year Award by (fittingly enough) the American Biogas Council. Their first installation generated 1.7 million kWh of electricity in its first year of operation and diverted thousands of pounds of organic waste from local landfills.

Michigan State Turned 1250 Gallons Of Compromised Mayo Into Power – Geek.com


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