Archive for March, 2013

An end to farmyard smells? Free energy from manure? If these strap lines seem too good to be true then you’re in good company. Planning Authorities in the region have all had the same initial reaction to the process of Anaerobic Digestion when faced with applications for small processing plants.  Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is the process of fermenting animal manure and any vegetative matter or food wastes inside a sealed vessel to produce methane.  The methane is collected and used to power a generator that produces both electricity and heat.  The electricity is usually pumped back into the grid and if you can use the heat, you might be able to claim renewable heat incentives.

We have obtained permission for two farm based schemes so far, and have two more in the pipeline.  As a concept, it is one of the greenest forms if renewable energy generation and hits a number of government agendas.  Although it is a relatively new technology in the UK, our European cousins have been doing it for years and the technology is well proven and established. It doesn’t take up much space and the buildings and tanks needed are virtually the same as those used on a farm – silage clamps, slurry stores and general purpose buildings. Our first two schemes have both nestled at the feet of the North York Moors National Park so they can be accommodated in sensitive landscapes, if designed properly.

There have been a number of schemes for large scale commercial AD plants that have foundered when it came to securing waste streams and this has led to a number of specialist such as JFS & Associates in Stokesley offering to deliver farm based AD that simply uses waste and crops produced on the farm. Although small scale, such schemes can produce useful returns for the farmer over the life of the plant, delivering heat, power, money and odourless fertiliser produced on site!

Planning Authorities can find schemes novel and often need gently educating as to what it’s all about. As a result of our experiences, we have a solid background in the plant and are well placed to convert a sceptical audience into supporters, whether they are local residents, planning officers or a planning committee. If you are a farmer or in the food waste business, then please give us a call and either Prism or our contacts in the industry will be able to help you take a look at whether AD can help you out.