Date: 8 June 2009
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War on waste: anaerobic digestion demonstration projects get the go-ahead from Defra
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has today announced the five successful projects to receive government grants to create energy from organic waste, such as food.
The grants are being awarded under the £10 million Defra Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme, and form part of wider plans to tackle food waste and packaging this week.
Anaerobic digestion breaks down organic matter, such as animal manure and food waste to produce biogas, a renewable energy source for heat, power and transport and keeps organic waste out of landfill, which cuts greenhouse gas emissions.
The five projects have been chosen as they will demonstrate cutting-edge technology and will be able to show the benefits of anaerobic digestion to a range of industries.
Mr Benn said:
“We need to rethink the way we deal with waste – we must see it as a resource, not a problem. In the UK we produce 100 million tonnes of food and other organic waste every year that we could be using to create enough heat and energy to run over two million homes – that’s five Birminghams.
“This new technology will provide a source of renewable energy while reducing methane emissions from agriculture and landfill by diverting organic waste, especially food waste, from landfill.
“These first five projects will show other British businesses the benefits and possibilities of anaerobic digestion and help us become world leaders in this exciting new technology.”
The successful applicants for funding from the Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme are:
- Biocycle South Shropshire;
- Blackmore Vale Dairies;
- GWE Biogas Ltd;
- Staples Vegetables; and
- United Utilities and National Grid.
Liz Goodwin, Waste and Resources Action Programme Chief Executive Officer, said:
"These projects are truly ground-breaking and will be used to show how cutting edge technology can work in practice. Between them, they demonstrate how anaerobic digestion can help the UK efficiently meet the challenges of reducing carbon emissions, increasing renewable energy generation and improving sustainable food production. We will use what we learn from these projects to help develop the industry across the UK."
The five projects, to be built between now and the end of March 2011 are being funded by the £10 million Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme, administered by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
The Defra-managed Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme forms part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s National Environmental Transformation Fund.
Further Details on each project and its progress can be found at www.wrap.org.uk/etf.
Notes to Editors
- On 17 February Environment Minister Jane Kennedy launched ‘Anaerobic Digestion – Shared Goals’ which set shared national ambitions for anaerobic digestion, both nationally and within individual sectors. The document and the list of organisations which have endorsed it so far are available at: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/ad/government.htm
- The Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme has been specifically developed to deliver five key aims which are:
- Maximising the cost effective production of biogas;
- Maximising the environmental benefits from the use of anaerobic digestion and its products;
- Maximising the potential of anaerobic digestion to reduce the carbon footprint of the food supply chain;
- Maximising the opportunity for the injection of biomethane into the gas grid; and
- Maximising the potential of anaerobic digestion to reduce the carbon footprint of water treatment infrastructure.
- The Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration programme, delivered by WRAP, aims to promote anaerobic digestion whilst addressing some of the issues and concerns held by those with interests in the recycling and renewable energy sectors. A specific element of the programme is to look at ‘state of the art’ technologies or processes and to demonstrate commercially viable but innovative projects which could be replicated throughout the UK.
- The Demonstration Programme is a capital funding programme designed to help with the high costs of actually building the facilities.
- The Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF) as a whole aims to increase the awareness and production of energy from renewable sources, divert waste from landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the UK.
- In the Budget 2009 the Chancellor announced an additional £10 million to support the development of anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting projects. This will be delivered through the WRAP Organics capital grant programme and is separate from the demonstration project grants announced today.
Biographical details of successful projects
Biocycle South Shropshire
Biocycle South Shropshire is the operating company for the Ludlow Greenfinch AD facility previously supported under the Defra New Technologies Demonstrator Programme. They are proposing to install an innovative piece of new technology designed to maximise gas yields by breaking down cell structures prior to digestion. Suggested initial figures could be as much as 15% increase in gas yields. The site has the benefit of existing visitor facilities and is also run by an experienced operator.
Blackmore Vale Dairy
BV Dairy is a medium sized company that currently processes around 35 million litres of milk into high quality products for the retail market. BV Dairy have been working with their technology partner to develop an innovative process that is specifically designed to deal with the high strength effluents of the dairy processes and to provide them with renewable electricity and heat for use back in the dairy business. A small proportion of the electricity generated will be exported to the grid giving BV Dairy an important income stream. The digestate produced by the plant will be further processed into high quality products by a neighbouring composting facility and the waste water will be discharged to sewer at a much lower cost due to the reduced pollution loadings.
Green Wold Energy
Green Wold Energy is a new company set up by two farmers and property developers in East Yorkshire. They are proposing a new 50,000 tonne food waste processing AD facility near Driffield.
Staples Group farm 10,000 acres of brassica crops for the major retailers in Lincolnshire and on the Isle of Wight. The group are proposing to install a thermophilic AD facility on their vegetable processing site in Wrangle, Lincolnshire to process the out of specification material and trimmings generated by their retail contracts. The electricity will be used on site with a small amount being purchased by a major retailer providing a valuable income stream for the group. Heat will be used to chill the preparation and pack houses and possibly also for a district heating system. The digestate will become a key part of the nutrient budgeting undertaken by the group to ensure effective soil management, reduced dependency on inorganic fertilisers and improved yields.
United Utilities and National Grid
United Utilities (UU) are proposing to divert 250m3/h of the biogas produced at the existing Davyhulme waste water treatment works (WwTW) into a biogas upgrading facility. Of the resulting biomethane, 76m3 will be used to fuel up to 23 converted sludge tankers via a dispensing system. The remaining 87m3 will be conditioned and injected to the grid by National Grid Gas plc (NGG). Davyhulme WwTW also processes source separated organic material through its eight digesters and the additional biogas yields from this practice will be included as part of the project.
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Page published: 8 June 2009