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Turning organic waste materials into renewable energy

Posted on 12/10/2017

Industry, farmers, government and the environment can all benefit from the use of anaerobic digestion to produce bioenergy.

Many of us compost our garden waste – turning grass clippings, plant prunings and vegetable peelings into a useful substrate that returns nutrients to our garden soil. On a small scale, we are reducing waste and contributing to a sustainable bioeconomy.

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a technology that takes this process large-scale – taking various feedstocks – for example food waste, slurry and manure, as well as crops and crop residues – and breaking these feedstocks down using a variety of micro-organisms, operating in the absence of oxygen. The AD process produces biogas, a methane-rich gas that can be used as a fuel (biofuel), and digestate, a source of nutrients that can be used as a fertiliser.  The quality and yield of biogas and digestate will vary according to the choice of feedstock.

Bio gas installation on a farm processing cow dung

BioVale supports those with an interest in the AD sector in the Yorkshire and Humber area through its Anaerobic Digestion Special Interest Group (AD SIG).

The AD SIG is hosting a half-day workshop on Wednesday, 1st November in York, to discuss the issues around feedstock: how to get your feedstock right and what to do when you get it wrong. There will be a series of talks, followed by a question and answer session with the panel of speakers, networking and an ‘ask the expert’ session.

You can find out more about the Focus on Feedstock workshop here.

If you would like to discuss opportunities for innovation in AD, or other industrial bioscience products or processes, please contact a member of KTN’s Biotechnology team.