Case Study - Lincoln

Design of Anaerobic Digestion Plant

SMA, in partnership with Fox Owmby and Biogen Greenfinch, has designed and built an anaerobic digestion plant for Branston Ltd, one of the UK’s largest suppliers and distributors of potatoes.

The new plant will take all the available potato waste at the company’s premises near Lincoln and convert it into green electricity and fertiliser. It is estimated that the plant will produce 300kW of electricity continuously, which is enough to power several hundred homes.

Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is a biological process using naturally occurring micro-organisms to break down organic matter into a valuable fertiliser whilst producing biogas. A combined heat and power (CHP) engine is then used to convert the biogas into renewable heat and electricity.

The integrated AD process also produces a nutrient-rich liquid bio-fertiliser that is used as a valuable soil conditioner as it includes not only nitrogen, phosphate and magnesium but also a good organic blend of nutrients and matter. The bio-fertiliser avoids the need for purchasing fossil fuel based fertilisers, potentially making significant savings for farmers.

The AD plant includes final storage tanks for the fertiliser so that several months of production can be stocked and then fed onto the fields at the right time for the crops.

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