Anaerobic Digestion

Townsend Chartered Surveyors can offer you advice on all areas of anaerobic digestion including:

  • Feasibility studies for anaerobic digesters
  • Suitability of your land or estate for anaerobic digestion
  • Planning permission for anaerobic digesters
  • Valuation of anaerobic digestion facilities
  • Project management
  • Advising on the use of anaerobic digestate as fertilizer
  • Smart Export Grant / Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)
  • Combined heat & power (CHP)

The raw materials for anaerobic digestion are readily available through agricultural and domestic processes; almost any volatile organic material can be anaerobically digested (in the absence of oxygen), including food waste, farm slurry, slaughter-house waste and landfill gas. There are three stages to the process:

  • micro-organisms break down the organic waste matter, which is then fermented into fatty acids, soluble acids, carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas.
  • micro-organisms then break down the remaining fatty acids to release further carbon dioxide and hydrogen.
  • finally micro-organisms convert the remaining acids, carbon dioxide and hydrogen, into biogas which can be used to generate electricity and/or heat.

The environmentally friendly process produces two useful products – biogas (similar to natural gas) and nutrient-rich digestate/fertiliser. This process is ideally suited to farms in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones as the requirement to have storage available for manure produced between October and March/April can be combined with renewable energy production. Anaerobic digesters will usually be able to store six months of digestate, reducing costs by producing a return from the storage of manure.

The Renewable Heat Incentive can offer quarterly payments for energy generated over a 20-year period, and the Smart Export Grant allows any excess to be sold back onto the National Grid. Heat from the anaerobic digestion process may also attract additional income especially where there is a local use for the heat produced or it can be used to warm the digestion process on-site, thus reducing the size of the digestion tank and the capital costs required.

Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your individual needs.