PepsiCo Proves Oats Aren’t Just a Breakfast Fuel Anymore

PepsiCo Brazil Biomass Program

Pepsico, May 26, 2015. Image credit: Edmund Shaw

Instead of using fossil fuels, like natural gas, to fuel its steam-producing boiler that is used to process oats for Quaker products, the company has turned to a renewable biomass – oat hulls.

Oat hulls, the outer shells of oat grains, are a by-product of oat processing and are plentiful at the Quaker Porto Alegre plant.  Each month the plant produces on average about 520 tons of the oat-processing waste product.

Before a specially designed biomass boiler was installed in 2011, the Porto Alegre plantused natural gas and diesel to produce steam for the processing of oats, and the oat hull waste was milled (ground), packaged and sold as livestock feed. Today, the facility uses 1,440 tons of oat hull waste per year to fuel the facility’s biomass boiler. (The remainder is sold as livestock feed.)

The conversion to biomass for steam production has produced thousands of dollars in annual savings, and reduced the plant’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

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