Anaerobic Digestion


Our second sustainable technology project initiated in 2002 responded to the growing food waste mountain in the UK generated by the food processing and food retail industries. Our intuition at project inception was simply that the volume of UK organic waste was significant. In stark contrast to this intuition we took time to read the 18 acts of legislation bearing down on the related environmental pollution. The UK legislation includes the urgent reduction of organic materials going to landfill with rapidly increasing landfill taxes. Our design brief was to take the historic process of anaerobic digestion and to accelerate the process to meet or exceed the emerging legislation. Whilst the historic pattern of consumption, waste management and landfill is fiercely pragmatic, the contradiction is that organic waste can generate significant levels of renewable electricity. Our project seeks to maximise renewable electricity production in a small scale pilot plant of 25,000 tonne capacity. The inventive step is in the system design but the economic and environmental benefits are significant. A 25,000 tonne pilot plant will generate 4,660,320kwh of renewable electricity per annum, and a City the size of Leicester with a population of 300,000 can sustain four such micro plants at its periphery.