In an effort to address environmental sustainability, the Israel Ministry of Defense and the Israel Defense Forces launched an initiative on Monday to convert organic waste on military bases into renewable energy.
The initiative, in collaboration with HomeBiogas, an Israeli startup based in Beit Yanai, aims to convert kitchen waste into “biogas.”
Biogas is a renewable energy source produced through the breakdown of organic matter, such as agricultural waste, animal manure, food scraps, and sewage, in an oxygen-free environment. This process involves the activity of microorganisms that decompose the organic materials and produce a mixture of gases, primarily methane and carbon dioxide, along with trace amounts of other gases such as hydrogen sulfide.
The methane content gives biogas its energy potential, making it a valuable resource for generating energy that can used for cooking, heating or transportation. Biogas can also be applied to fertilizer and waste management.
A ceremony held on Monday at the Glilot base in central Israel marked the installation of the army’s first system.
The technology is capable of recycling up to 500 kg of organic waste daily. The biogas produced will be used to heat water for the base.
The HomeBiogas system will be used in a one-year-trial. If the assessments are positive, more systems will be purchased for additional bases.
According to the Defense Ministry, the IDF spends approximately $22 million yearly on the disposal of waste, with the majority ending up in landfills.
Dror Bin, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority, said, “HomeBiogas’ system represents a promising solution that can significantly contribute to combating the climate crisis, addressing a pressing need in the extensive mass catering industry.”
Said HomeBiogas CEO and co-founder Oshik Efrati, “We see this important collaboration as a significant milestone in our company’s journey towards expanding its business activity. This project represents another crucial step in fulfilling HomeBiogas’ vision of offering innovative and cost-effective solutions for generating renewable energy while simultaneously reducing environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transportation and disposal of organic waste.”