AD process optimisation top tips for farmers

It is easy to see why anaerobic digestion (AD) has become so popular with farmers across a range of sectors, from livestock and dairy production to vegetable growers.

Currently over 400 AD plants are generating more than 500 MW of energy – yet the potential for UK AD is as much as 80 TWh of methane (equivalent to 30% of the UK’s household gas demand) according to ADBA*. AD utilises manures, crops and waste streams, providing an additional form of revenue, as well as increasing crop diversity and, in many cases, a valuable form of waste treatment. It can provide heat and electricity for on farm operations such as crop drying, export power for sale and also produces a valuable end product in the form of digestate biofertiliser.

With recent changes to support schemes for renewable energy in the UK, it is important to make sure that every available watt of power is utilised in some way. The best time to assess overall plant efficiency is early in the planning process so equipment can be appropriately specified. However the overall efficiency of almost any existing on-farm AD plant can be improved in some way if the common considerations are addressed.

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