Saturday, July 02, 2016

UK Anaerobic Digestion Industry is Still Bubbling the Gas!

Despite numerous profits of doom six months ago, the UK anaerobic digestion industry seems to be surviving and the "webosphere", as I think the BBC's Andrew Neil quaintly calls it, is still bubbling with the news. There have been announcements within the last month (June 2016) of not only existing UK biogas plants being commissioned, but also of new projects starting.

Source :

Although the UK industry may soon be damaged by the investment uncertainties which surround the UK's EU "Brexit", the withdrawal of UK government subsidy funding in a variety of forms over the last year or so, may be something that the industry can work through. 

If it can do this without losing the growing biogas skills-base so gradually developed over the last 10 years, it will be a major achievement. That would then, provide a much needed basis for exporting UK biogas skills worldwide to make the UK a more global exporter instead of relying on UK and European markets.

The push toward separate food waste collection is one area of growth in which there should be more development, and local authority waste managers were being encouraged by biogas plant company Biogen last month at waste industry events, to look at the lower food waste disposal gate fees available now that a number of food waste plants have been brought on-stream especially throughout the midlands.

With more food waste plants available, previously "eye-wateringly high" food waste disposal charges have been dropping certainly in the midlands and the number of facilities available will now mean that the transport distance costs will become much more reasonable for new local authority food waste collection schemes in England.

The following are a few of the articles which have appeared, which show new developments in the UK anaerobic digestion scene:

£8m farm biogas plant powering 2,500 homes approved

Planners have approved a scheme to build an £8m biogas plant on a farm in Northamptonshire, turning waste into energy. Raw Biogas successfully applied for planning permission to build the anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at Wormslade Farm in Kelmarsh, near Market Harborough.
The project aims to process 46,000t of manure and crops each year to power 2,500 homes. See also: ‘Proposed cuts to AD support threaten future of farm biogas’ Clipston Parish Council – and three other parish councils – […]

Ten Questions to Answer before building an AD Plant in the UK

Despite anticipated tariff degradations (DECC), there are still strong commercial opportunities for UK farmers and land owners within the UK compact (sub 250kW) Anaerobic Digestion (AD) sector.
Compact AD has advanced significantly in the past few years – both from a biotech and industrialisation perspective – and there are now efficient and reliable modular technologies (such as NGB) and plants that are well suited to the UK landscape and farming sector.
But with increasing planning hurdles and lower government incentives, managing your AD plant project for operational and commercial success needs close attention.

Halton Borough Council has launched a food waste recycling pilot scheme in partnership with food waste recycler, ReFood

Taking place across 1,200 homes in Hale in Widnes and Heath in Runcorn, the new service will be operating for the next six months.
The Council currently spends more than £3m per year dealing with general waste and, notwithstanding the environmental benefits of recycling food, is introducing this new scheme with an aim of making a saving.
It says the cost of processing separately collected food waste is significantly cheaper than the cost of dealing with general waste collected through black bins, making recycling a highly effective alternative.
Spending less money on dealing with general waste will help to minimise the impact of budget reductions and allow the Council to maintain frontline services for the local community that may otherwise be at risk of being ceased or reduced in level, it says.
ReFood: With ReFood operating a state-of-the-art food waste recycling facility in Widnes, the company is the perfect partner for Halton Borough Council. The trial will see residents recycle plate scrapings, peelings and unused food – including that still in its packaging.
ReFood then collects the waste and recycles it via anaerobic digestion – capturing the biogas produced during food waste’s natural degradation process. The gas is upgraded and fed directly to the national gas grid where it is used by consumers to heat their homes. The process also produces a nutrient-rich fertiliser, ReGrow, which is being used by local farmers to grow new crops, creating a completely sustainable food chain.

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