Pioneering centre is launched
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has launched its Anaerobic Digestion Development Centre (ADDC).
The ADDC is an open access facility where companies can test and develop novel feedstock and technology combinations, with the aim of providing the UK with a base to advance and develop new processes and intellectual property in Anaerobic Digestion (AD) technology.
Coalition Government ministers have cited AD as vital in its aim to reduce carbon emission, providing energy security and generating green jobs.
CPI, which is based at The Wilton Centre, has received investment from the Department of Energy and Climate Control's (DECC) Low Carbon Investment Fund (LCIF). There are 37 AD plants in the UK using food and farm waste, and another 60 planned or under construction.
The UK produces 100 million tonnes of food, farm and other organic waste each year, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This could be used to generate up to seven 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.
The ADDC facility will 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.
CPI Director of Sustainable Processing and Advanced Manufacturing, Dr Chris Dowle, said: "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."