We often talk about the benefits of digestate but did you know there are also a number of benefits of AD plants which is where the digestate is produced?
What is an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant and how does it work?
An anaerobic digestion plant is essentially a concrete cow. Feedstock is required for the plant to operate. The AD plant is fed with organic material which is then broken down by micro-organisms and bacteria in the digestor. During this process, biogas is produced, which includes methane and Carbon Dioxide, the methane is then separated and used in the production of renewable power. Digestate, a nutrient rich bio-fertiliser, is also produced. This is transported off site and applied to agricultural land as a renewable fertiliser.
Anaerobic digestion plants – benefits:
- Renewable energy – AD plants produce a renewable biogas which is used to make electricity and can also be put into the gas network. The gas is created in an environmentally friendly manner using waste.
- Biofertiliser – a by-product of the AD process is digestate which is a nutrient rich biofertiliser that is applied to land to improve crop yield and quality. The food growing cycle then starts again. Anaerobic digestion is a great closed loop solution. The use of biofertiliser means that farmers don’t have to rely on expensive artificial fertilisers.
- Food waste recycling – AD offers a great solution to the recycling of food waste. Instead of sending it to landfill it can be used as a valuable resource to create renewable power and biofertiliser. When sent to landfill food waste emits greenhouse gases as it decomposes which are harmful for the environment. By processing food waste at an AD plant instead the decomposition gas can be captured and used.