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ANAEROBIC DIGESTION

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During decomposition, organic wastes (food, manure, non-woody green waste etc.) emit CO2 and methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas 20-30 times more potent than CO2. Anaerobic digestion simultaneously captures these gases for use as a clean fuel and produces fertiliser and soil conditioner.

Anaerobic digestion takes place in gas tight vessels, where naturally occurring anaerobic microorganisms flourish in the absence of oxygen. They enable the breakdown process that produces biogas and digestate or the remaining digested material, which is siphoned off for use as a fertiliser and soil conditioner.

Greenhouses and polytunnels work well with AD by providing cost-effective insulation and a use for many of AD’s outputs including CO2, heat, fertilser and soil conditioner. However, micro AD could be effectively located across a range of sites e.g. community gardens and allotments, transport depots, street markets, social housing flats, hospitality businesses, universities, prisons, hospitals etc.

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Benefits

Managing food waste locally helps reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with “waste miles”, and generates onsite, clean renewable energy.

Nutrient-rich digestate can be used to support local food growing, increasing community access to healthy organic produce. It can also be used for urban greening programmes to beautify urban areas and contribute to better air quality.

Community-scale anaerobic digestion demonstrates a closed-loop system that offers excellent educational opportunities, helping people better understand the benefits of recycling.

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Find out about the history of AD

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BIOGAS

biogas

Biogas is released during anaerobic digestion and captured for use as a clean fuel. When produced from food waste, it is approximately 60%... Read More >

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DIGESTATE

digestate

Like composting, AD preserves all the nutrients of the organic waste it processes, with an impressive 80% of the total nitrogen in food waste-based... Read More >

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METHANE

methane

Anaerobic digestion captures methane in the process of decomposing organic waste. This is important as methane is a far more powerful... Read More >

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AIR QUALITY

air quality

By generating a clean fuel, anaerobic digestion helps to reduce air pollution and our reliance on less sustainable sources of energy... Read More >

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HISTORY OF AD

history of ad

During the 10th century BC, anecdotal evidence suggests that biogas was used to heat bathwater in Assyria. In 1859, the first AD plant was... Read More >

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GREENHOUSE OPTION

greenhouse option

The AD/greenhouse combination can be a beautiful organic resource, providing fresh, local produce and serving as an educational community cent... Read More >

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