Teesside, UK – The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has opened its Anaerobic Digestion Development Centre (ADDC) - a facility where companies can test and develop novel feedstock and technology combinations.
CPI said it aims to provide the UK with a base to advance and develop new commercially viable processes and intellectual property in the area of anaerobic digestion (AD) technology.
The Coalition Government has cited AD as being a vital tool in achieving its goal of becoming the greenest government ever.
Reducing carbon emission, providing energy security and generating green jobs, the Government’s aim is to be ambitious with its implementation of AD technology. CPI’s ADDC embodies this bold approach.
With national technology centres in printable electronics and industrial biotechnology already established and with a proven track record, CPI has received investment from the Department of Energy and Climate Control’s (DECC) Low Carbon Investment Fund (LCIF).
There are around 37 AD plants currently in the UK using food and farm waste, and another 60 planned or under construction. AD is an increasingly important technology as the UK pushes for a low carbon future.
The UK produces around 100 million tonnes of food, farm and other organic waste each year, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This could be used to generate up to 7 per cent of the renewable energy required in the UK by 2020.
The ADDC can process a wide range of organic waste in single or mixed streams and has a range of adaptable pre-treatment, digestion and post-treatment technologies aimed at facilitating new and improved anaerobic digestion processes. Designed to be rapidly reconfigurable, it provides a ’plug and play’ solution for organisations wishing to improve and develop AD technology.
According to the CPI, the ADDC facility will, typically, conduct work and production runs with the aim of:
* Reducing the size and cost of AD installations
* Increasing the yield of methane from all types of feedstocks
* Further developing pre- and post-treatment technologies to improve yields
* Enhancing the properties of the digestate to develop high quality natural fertilisers
* Improving effluent water quality
* Developing purification and monitoring processes to allow the injection of biogas into the gas grid
Methane gas is one of the primary products of AD. It is created inside sealed tanks when micro-organisms digest biomass, and can be used to generate heat and electricity that can be either utilised on-site, by nearby businesses, housing developments etc, or put into the national grid. The biogas can also be used as a transport biofuel.
As part of the zero-waste solution, this helps reduce the consumption of and reliance upon dwindling fossil fuels and, therefore, reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The ADDC provides a vital toolbox for those seeking sustainable low carbon alternatives to traditional energy production, while driving the UK’s AD advances and attracting wealth and opportunities for economic growth.
CPI director of sustainable processing and advanced manufacturing, Dr Chris Dowle, says: “The ADDC will offer the facilities and expertise to provide advice, guidance, trials and new technologies, which will accelerate the development and application of installations turning waste into energy, and other valuable products, naturally.”