JULY 2009

Anaerobic digestion demonstrations gain approval

British environment secretary Hilary Benn announced the five successful projects to receive government grants to create energy from organic waste, such as food.

The grants are being awarded under the Defra Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme, and form part of wider plans to tackle food waste and packaging.

Anaerobic digestion breaks down organic matter, such as animal manure and food waste to produce biogas, a renewable energy source for heat, power and transport and keeps organic waste out of landfill, which cuts greenhouse gas emissions.

The five projects have been chosen as they will demonstrate cutting-edge technology and will be able to show the benefits of anaerobic digestion to a range of industries.

Benn said, “We need to rethink the way we deal with waste – we must see it as a resource, not a problem. In the UK we produce 100 million tons of food and other organic waste every year that we could be using to create enough heat and energy to run over two million homes – that’s five Birminghams.

“These first five projects will show other British businesses the benefits and possibilities of anaerobic digestion and help us become world leaders in this exciting new technology.”

The successful applicants for funding from the Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme are:

  • Biocycle South Shropshire;
  • Blackmore Vale Dairies;
  • GWE Biogas Ltd;
  • Staples Vegetables; and
  • United Utilities and National Grid.

The five projects, to be built between now and the end of March 2011, are being funded by the Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme, administered by the Waste and Resources Action Programme.