Reliable feedstock is crucial for successful AD enterprises

There is considerable potential to increase the amount of energy, fuel and chemicals made from waste-based feedstocks, according to a government report.

The report, Building a high-value bioeconomy, highlights significant waste feedstock availability in the UK, including at least 100m tonnes of carbon-containing waste generated each year, and at least 14m tonnes of bio-based residues from crops and forestry sources.

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However, it acknowledges the reliability and consistency of feedstocks is a key challenge for technologies using waste, such as anaerobic digestion.

“There needs to be collection and supply mechanisms in place that ensure the right quality materials are delivered to processing facilities. However, these can be expensive to introduce and run, so potential end users would need to contribute to collection costs for them to be viable for local authorities,” said the report. 

A survey by WRAP found varying levels of feedstock rejection by AD sites, with 21% of commercial site operators reporting reject levels of 6-10%, and 25% reporting rejects more than 10%. Rejection was less relevant for sites taking on-site generated inputs.