GEKKO Systems has taken further steps towards a greener future by unveiling a prototype biodigester that will help industry turn waste into renewable energy. The project is being developed by Gekko, which is based in Ballarat, Victoria, supported by funding from the Victorian Government.

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Victorian Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan (second from right) with Gekko Systems Biogas Technology Group general manager Tony Stone (left), Gekko’s managing director Elizabeth Lewis-Gray and Gekko’s Innovation, Collaboration and Research group manager Richard Goldberg.

An Australian first, the custom engineered shipping container converts bio waste into gas, electricity and odour-free fertiliser. For industries like dairy farming, this will mean a waste disposal system that reduces their carbon footprint, saving money on electricity and providing a nutrient-rich fertiliser.

The innovation marks a first for Gekko Systems, applying their engineering capability, currently used in the mining services industry, to local industry challenges and viable renewable energy generation.

“We are excited to apply the skills of our talented team here in regional Victoria to a problem that the whole of Australia is facing – electricity,” said Gekko Systems’ technical director Sandy Gray.

“The fact that our prototype also deals with waste disposal, which is another challenge Australia is grappling with, is a strong indicator that clever solutions can be created locally. Certainly we’re hopeful we can improve this technology down the track to deal with other forms of waste such as council rubbish collection,” added Sandy Gray.

Gekko Systems has been awarded funding from the Victorian State Government via the Sector Growth Program, which supports projects that align with the Future Industries Sector Strategies -creating new jobs and driving growth, productivity and increasing the competitiveness of Victorian businesses.

The technology design and development of the biodigester is the result of collaboration between Gekko Systems and a piggery in Ballarat, which has operated a biodigester for a number of years to optimise treatment efficiency. The first Gekko unit will be installed at a Bungaree dairy farm in rural Victoria in mid-2017.

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