Potential for Production of Energy and Valuable Products from Food Loss and Waste in Slovenia
Drofenik, Jan
Urbancl, Danijela
Pahor, Bojan
Goricanec, Darko
Kravanja, Zdravko
Pintaric, Zorka Novak

How to Cite

Drofenik J., Urbancl D., Pahor B., Goricanec D., Kravanja Z., Pintaric Z.N., 2022, Potential for Production of Energy and Valuable Products from Food Loss and Waste in Slovenia, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 94, 1063-1068.


Food loss and waste lead to overuse of agricultural land and water and cause large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Over the past five years, Slovenia has produced an average food loss and waste of 65 kg/cap/y. Although these cannot be completely eliminated, they can be reduced through appropriate measures, while the rest must be properly treated. In Slovenia, almost half of the food loss and waste is currently processed anaerobically in biogas plants, while the second most common technology is aerobic composting. The latter generates carbon dioxide and will need to be replaced in the future to meet the EU's goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. In this study, the amounts of food loss and waste and their distribution into fractions suitable for different treatment methods were determined. Two treatment technologies were considered to evaluate the potential for producing energy and products from lost and wasted food, namely anaerobic treatment for biogas production and torrefaction for solid biofuel production. Primary production of crop products and cow's milk and slaughterhouse losses were also considered. The results show the proportions of waste by individual food types at all stages of the food chain. Food waste is divided into edible and inedible parts, and conversion factors for biogas or biochar are estimated. On this basis, the energy potential of food waste is estimated to be 431 TJ in the case of biogas production and 417 TJ in the case of biochar. This corresponds to about 1 % of the energy demand of Slovenian households.