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What is Anaerobic Digestion?

Firstly, in case you’re not familiar with the term and process let us explain anaerobic digestion - it is the sustainable process of recycling large amounts of food waste and animal waste, which is backed by local, national and government regulated bodies.


The 2007 Waste Strategy for England from the Government encourages people to take reasonable action on waste to reduce the creation and poor disposal of it across the UK and a growing environmental conscience is now driving businesses and homeowners to consider how they deal with their household and business food waste.

In a report produced by Wrap in 2019 it estimated that around 10 Million tonnes of food waste is generated in the UK every year.

How do you generate renewable energy from the anaerobic digestion process?

Anaerobic digestion is a complex biological process involving the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of air in large, sealed and insulated vessels with controlled heating and mixing.

Food waste enters a sealed building where it is processed into a liquid porridge, and then pumped into the anaerobic digestion plant. It is here that bacteria feed on the food waste and produce biogas. Biogas is captured and used as a fuel in CHP engines or sent through a gas filter and sent directly to the gas grid.

The digestate or biofertiliser produced undergoes pasteurisation to ensure that any pathogens are destroyed and is stored in large lagoons ready to be applied twice a year on farmland. The use of this high nutrient biofertiliser replaces the use of fossil-fuel derived fertilisers and ensures a complete loop of carbon and energy capture.

What are the benefits of Anaerobic Digestion?

In addition to allowing business to consider their environmental impact as a direct result of how they deal with their food or animal waste, they can also reduce their carbon emissions and drive a more sustainable waste disposal process. AD also has the following benefits.

  • Eco friendly - a low impact, environmentally friendly process of creating a renewable form of energy from waste.
  • Low cost and low energy – using a CHP (combined heat and power process) the AD process can be used to directly generate electricity and heated water for premises.
  • Produces an organic fertilizer - the process produces a high nutrient biofertiliser that replaces the use of fossil-fuel derived fertilisers on the land.
  • Renewable process - a much sought after, low cost and low impact process utilising the food and animal waste from the economy.
  • Direct financial returns – generate power and transfer gas and electricity back to the grid.

Can we help?

BioteCH4 are one of the leading producers of anaerobic digestion from food waste in the UK. Across our 6 sites we handle the collection, transportation and production of food waste, oils and fats recycling. The work we do here and with our customers, helps divert waste from landfill and overall helps the UK achieve its energy targets and cut emissions

BioteCH4 can provide a cost-effective solution for local authorities and the commercial sector, we understand and deliver on all your food waste requirements.

Our team’s in depth understanding of the industry means we not only have the knowledge and expertise to deal with all food waste requirements, we have 6 AD site locations across the country including a highly versatile waste transfer station, giving us the capacity to handle large volumes of food waste from a variety of sectors.

If you’d like to talk to a member of our team about your food waste or anything we’ve mentioned in this blog then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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