With nearly 40 years’ experience in the fermentation of yeast for the animal health industry, Alltech is now extending this know-how to the U.K. anaerobic digestion (AD) sector following the development of Digest P3, an enzyme complex that improves the efficiency of biogas production.
Niall Brennan, biogas project manager at Alltech, says the move is a logical progression for the company, complementing its existing innovative technologies.
“Alltech’s core area of expertise is fermentation, and the biological processes inside an AD plant work similarly to that of a ruminant,” he explains.
“With a substantial number of U.K. farmers diversifying into the AD sector, it was a natural fit for us to develop a solution for mixed feedstock plants.”
Mr Brennan explains that Digest P3 not only improves the efficiency of biogas production, it also allows for greater flexibility in feedstock formulation and therefore increased profitability.
“Working in synergy with the biogas-generating microflora inside the plant, Digest P3 helps utilise feedstock components that were previously inaccessible through digestion,” he says. “The resulting increase in readily available energy and protein for the digester microflora improves efficiency in biogas formation. Not only does this allow for a reduction in the input of feedstocks while maintaining energy output, it allows for greater flexibility in the type of feedstocks used.”
Following a successful Digest P3 laboratory-based trial conducted by Harper Adams University, Alltech has carried out further trial work in 12 commercial AD plants across Europe, and the results showed a significant benefit in Digest P3 inclusion.
“Following the use of Digest P3, the results showed significant additional feed breakdown,” explains Mr Brennan. “This resulted in increased biogas production, reduced feed costs and increased electrical output, leading to an uplift in operating profit of around £25,000 per year.”
Strathendrick Biogas in Scotland is one of the first forage-fed AD plants in the U.K. to commercially use Digest P3 and director Robert Kennedy has been impressed with the results.
“There was a significant improvement in feedstock-to-biogas conversion efficiency following the inclusion of Digest P3 when using higher volumes of grass silage,” says Mr Kennedy. “Grass silage is a more cost-effective feedstock, so there are definitely significant benefits to using Digest P3 to increase gas yields.”
Digest P3 is now available in the U.K. For more information, visit https://go.alltech.com/digest-p3 or contact Bob Kendal, U.K. AD manager at Alltech, on 07885 280691.