AIMING TO TURN WASTE INTO ENERGY
INTENSIVE pig and poultry producers are hoping that a pilot plant anaerobic digester set up at Leeming will confirm that farm wastes can be an economic source of energy production.
Setting out to provide the answer is a joint venture company Agtec which involves Hydro Agri (UK) and Livestock Waste Management Systems.
The company was formed to develop anaerobic digestion of both farm and food processing wastes with the aim of building full-scale plants for energy production.
Under the fourth round of the governments Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation, Agtec has been awarded contracts for the supply of renewable energy from four full-scale plants to be located in North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Shropshire.
The Leeming pilot plant offers the company the opportunity to testfeed materials and operating regimes.
It is also intended to provide the design and management data needed to plan full-scale plants.
Such plants could be capable of processing between 20,000 and 80,000t of farm waste a year, according to Agtec. A 2mW plant would process 80,000t while a 0.5mW unit would need 20,000t.
The manure and slurry leaving the digester will be in stable form and have a greatly reduced odour level. And, with a wide range of nutrients and trace elements, it could be used as fertiliser.n