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Issue 19 novEMBER 2013

Building a world class AD industry Focus on digestate

FIT degression

ADBA National Conference 2013

ADBA R&D Forum Preview


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Guest Foreword Operational efficiency is key to future growth

Inside this issue > Guest Foreword:




ADBA News:




Technology focus – Digestate: Feature – Digester performance:

9-12 14-18

Government & Agency News:


ADBA National Conference 2013 Preview: 20-22 R&D Update:


ADBA R&D Forum Preview:


Members’ News and Views:




Working Groups:


Upcoming Events: Membership Matters:


By Adrian Judge, Managing Director, Waste & Bioenergy, UK Green Investment Bank


ack in June, the Green Investment Bank (GIB) published its Anaerobic Digestion Market Report, which considered the operational performance of AD facilities in the UK. The aim of the report was to help potential investors better understand the sector. The report’s key finding – that the average load factor across all AD facilities was just 57% – surprised a number in the industry. However, what was encouraging to see was that the ‘best in class’ operations were consistently averaging above 80%, with some even over 90%. Having visited several sites and spoken to a number of operators, there are several themes that run consistently through these top performers. Firstly, they have operational staff dedicated to the concept of continual improvement. Some of the sites now achieving the best performance did not start that way; rather they have shown steady improvement over several years as technology and management systems have been refined in the light of experience.


Secondly, the best operators have a business model which reflects the complexity of the sector. At the GIB we have seen a number of would-be developers who have characterised the sector as, “a great opportunity – you can earn both gate fees and ROCs!” If only it were that simple. Whilst investors love a growth story, growth is of little value without reliable operational performance.

AD&Biogas News Features Features for Issue 20 (February) include: • ADBA National Conference 2013 review • Small scale AD technology – a look at the latest advancements in this fast-growing sector • Technology focus: Tanks Copy deadline: 20 December 2013

To succeed, an AD facility needs to be able to access three critical elements: suitable feedstock all year round; sustainable markets for digestate; and secure, reliable power/gas offtake arrangements. This can take time to deliver, as well as requiring real perseverance and a range of different management skills. But achieving a high level of operational performance is critical if initial investors are to meet their target returns, solidify general investor confidence and provide the potential opportunity for projects to access debt markets and so allow developers to recycle initial capital. On the other hand, a few underperforming projects can rapidly spook the investment community. Therefore, the challenge for the AD industry, if it is to continue to rapidly develop, is for the focus to be as much on delivering operational improvement as it is on how the next project in the pipeline is to be developed. See feature ‘Building a world class AD industry’, p17

Features for Issue 21 (April) include: • UK AD & Biogas 2014 & Industry Awards preview • Extracting food waste - the challenges and developments in maximising the volume of food waste sent to AD • Technology focus: Gas upgrading

Hear Adrian at the ADBA National Conference 2013

Adrian Judge will be speaking about operational performance at the ADBA National Conference, 3 December 2013, London. See p20 for full details or go to

Copy deadline: 21 February 2014 Sponsorship and advertising: Jamil Ahad T +44 (0)203 176 4414 E Rachel Fenton T +44 (0)203 176 5418 E Editorial: Editor - Kate O’Reilly T +44 (0)7894 039609 E Cover image courtesy of Aqua Enviro

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


ADBA News ADBA takes action as small scale FIT degression is confirmed

The importance of operational efficiency By Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s Chief Executive


uilding a world class AD industry is a topic close to our hearts at ADBA – indeed, it was one of the main reasons that our ten founder members came together to form the Association back in 2009. This issue’s lead feature on p14 looks at how operational performance can be raised and maintained, through understanding feedstock, effective monitoring and technological enhancements. As Adrian Judge has laid out in his guest foreword on p3, good operational standards are critical to financial backers. As the AD market matures, plants that can demonstrate consistently high levels of operation will be attractive for refinancing, potentially unlocking valuable new sources of investment. For new projects, finding ways to show how a plant will meet high standards of design and operation are, of course, critical. It’s for these reasons that operational efficiency is such an area of focus in our new membership year. The cornerstone of this is our development of AD industry best practice; the Best Practice Scheme we are proposing aims to reduce both operational incidents and the burden of regulation, while bringing the additional benefit of providing comfort to banks and other financiers with the potential to fund AD projects. We are a dynamic sector, and improvements to operational performance will also come from the wealth of research and development being undertaken by operators, suppliers and research institutions across the UK and overseas. With so many aspects to the AD process – and such variety in scales and models of plants – this is a fascinating industry for research. Improvements in process efficiency and feedstock handling, the development of new products from digestate, and many other areas of R&D will make significant contributions to the viability of individual projects, and to the health of the industry as a whole.

Latest deployment figures under the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme have confirmed that there will be a 20% reduction in support from April 2014 for new projects up to 500 kW. Deployment in this category reached 9.55 MW (under 500 kw) and 20.21 MW (above 500 kW) by 30 September 2013, well over the 9 MW level needed to trigger the maximum 20% degression. We have been working closely with the REA, NFU, CLA, RASE, NNFCC and many interested members, to help build the strongest possible consensus on how to address degression. We have also held meetings with DECC officials and ministers to discuss the impact this reduction will have on small scale AD, and to consider possible mechanisms to address the problems it will inevitably cause. Since we initially presented the policy options in September, it has become apparent that the option of purely consolidating the two triggers would present an unacceptably higher risk of degression at the sub 500 kW scale. The option we are pursuing at the time of writing therefore involves consolidating the triggers, but also requesting that DECC does not count pre-accredited capacity towards the degression mechanism until it has been commissioned. We have also called for DECC to reinstate the old rule for project extensions, as it is apparent that deployment in the sub 500 kW band is being increased by larger projects accrediting and pre-accrediting the first 500 kW of the project, then almost immediately expanding their output. This would not affect degression in April 2014, but would reduce pressure on the sub 500 kW bands in future, and would be likely to produce a balance of deployment between the FIT bands which is closer to DECC’s original modelling. We are working with Ofgem to provide the earliest possible information on industry deployment and give better analysis on the likelihood of degression. However, to be sure of receiving this year’s FIT rates, potential operators must apply for preliminary accreditation by 31 December 2013.


Stay informed


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

We will continue to provide details on any developments arising from our discussions with DECC officials and ministers in our weekly email updates. Don’t forget that ADBA members can also find the latest data on FIT deployment within the members’ area at

ADBA News Work continues on PAS 110 and end of waste criteria Work to review the PAS 110 scheme for digestate continues, with the stability test remaining the major issue. Thanks to the efforts of the steering group members (including ADBA), the Environment Agency now recognises the potential in reassessing the evidence for the residual biogas potential (RBP) test, a significant step which could see the RBP limit set according to different comparators, such as pig slurry. This would better reflect food waste and be a more comfortable limit for operators to meet. At the time of writing, we are helping to gather the information needed to support this change. A further meeting of the British Standards Institution (BSI) steering group is expected in late 2013, at which point we will have clearer news on potential changes, all of which will be subject to wider industry consultation. At the same time, the draft final report on end of waste criteria for biodegradable waste is expected to be published shortly by the European Joint Research Centre (JRC). The European Commission will consider the report over the coming months, during which time it will be subject to a lengthy process of negotiation between member states, prior to finalising and adoption. We are

continuing to work with the UK government and other partners across Europe, including the European Biogas Association, to ensure that the views of the UK biowaste industry are effectively represented. See our technical feature on digestate, p9

ADBA responds to EA guidance consultation We have submitted a response to the Environment Agency’s (EA) consultation on draft guidance for AD. The guidance details how the regulator will interpret the requirements of permitting regulations; in particular, the requirement to use ‘Best Available Techniques’ (BAT). Our response focused on several specific areas where we felt the guidance could be improved upon. More generally, the EA must be absolutely clear how the guidance will apply, and how developers and operators can demonstrate that other approaches they may wish to take are reasonable. We will continue to work with the EA on these points.

EBA develops European AD strategy

Separately, revision has begun of the European-level waste treatment BAT Reference Document, which will eventually supersede the Technical Guidance. See for further info.

Since the European Biogas Association’s (EBA) last AGM in January 2013, our Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, has been an invited observer at EBA board meetings. As the representative body for the biogas industry in Europe, EBA has a potentially huge influence on EU legislation, such as the JRC’s end of waste proposals and sustainability criteria for bioenergy. Just as we do in the UK, it also has an important role to play in promoting AD and its benefits to European politicians. “The strategy that we developed for the AD industry in the UK has been very helpful in determining how the industry can deliver maximum value to society, which in turn will increase the support offered to the industry,” outlines Charlotte. “I have therefore been keen for EBA to develop a similar strategy for the AD industry in Europe, and this September the board met for a whole day to discuss the first draft. I am pleased that this strategy should be finalised before the end of the year, and also that the Association has started work on a business plan,” concludes Charlotte.

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News



Biomethane roundtable tackles barriers to grid injection Issues around calorific value (CV) measurement, ownership of the grid entry system and siloxane screening were top of the agenda at the most recent meeting of the biomethane roundtable subgroup. Initiated by ADBA and the Energy Networks Association, the roundtable meetings bring together DECC, Ofgem, the gas distribution networks, and other industry associations to tackle the technical and regulatory obstacles to injecting biomethane into the gas grid. The biomethane to grid market has already seen two major advances on regulatory issues this year: HSE’s oxygen class exemption, which allows biomethane with an oxygen content of up to 1% to be injected into the gas grid without the need for a bespoke exemption; and a class exemption from the requirement to hold a gas transporter licence for those injecting biomethane into the gas grid. One of the key debates at September’s meeting, however, was around CV measurement;

in particular, whether flow weighted average CV measurement systems should be a requirement at sites where propane enrichment takes place. On the issue of siloxane screening, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has indicated that each site will be considered based on its risk assessment; the subgroup is therefore leading work to provide an evidence base for a long term position on siloxane limits. Alongside following up on actions set by the Energy Market Issues for Biomethane (EMIB) group, which sent its recommendations on boosting the biomethane to grid sector to Ofgem in May 2012, the roundtable also addresses other regulatory and technical issues in the biomethane market. A letter from the group summarising the outstanding areas, notably the ownership of injection equipment, was sent to Ofgem in September 2013, and work to address this is expected to commence shortly. 6

AD & Biogas News | november 2013


News from the regions Funding available for community energy projects Funding is now available for community scale renewable energy generation projects in both Scotland and Wales. The Ynni’r Fro scheme in Wales offers grants of up to £30,000 to cover pre-planning costs, and grants of up to £300,000 and loans of up to £250,000 towards capital build costs. The Scottish Government’s CARES Start Up Grant has been designed to help community groups get started on the road to renewables. There is a maximum application per group of £10,000 towards expenses including start up costs, community consultations and early stage feasibility work.

Ban on food waste to landfill proposed for Northern Ireland In what should prove a major boost to the growth of the AD industry in Northern Ireland, proposals have been announced to ban food waste to landfill and roll out separate food waste collections to councils and businesses. Rural areas will not be exempt as in Scotland, although in ‘rare circumstances a district council may not arrange for a receptacle to be provided if the district council considers that the separate collection of food waste from the property would not be technically, environmentally or economically practicable’.

See Government & Agency News, p19, for details of the Rural Community Energy Fund in England

Deadline looms for changes to Scottish waste regulations A campaign has been launched to make Scottish businesses aware of forthcoming waste regulation changes. From 1 January 2014, all organisations in Scotland will have to recycle plastic, metal, glass, paper and card, while food businesses producing over 50 kg of food waste per week (except those in rural areas) must present it for separate collection. From 2016, all food businesses producing over 5 kg of food waste per week (barring rural areas) must comply. In addition, local authorities (except those in rural areas) will also be required to roll out separate food waste collections by the end of 2015, with a complete ban on sending biodegradable municipal waste to landfill taking effect by 2020. To find out if a business is located in a rural area, and for free advice and support go to:

Scottish Renewables opens Glasgow office Anas Sarwar, MP for Glasgow Central and Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, joined Niall Stuart, Scottish Renewables Chief Executive, and 70 renewable energy industry representatives to officially open the organisation’s new Glasgow office, which will accommodate 19 staff and three meeting rooms.

The regulatory measures proposed are as follows: • Separate collection of food waste By April 2016, district councils must provide households with receptacles for separate food waste collection, and businesses involved in food production/retail/preparation producing more than 50 kg of food waste per week must present their food waste for collection. By April 2017, hospitals, and businesses involved in food production/retail/preparation that produce 5-50 kg of food waste per week, must present their food waste for collection. • Ban on mixing separately collected food waste By April 2015, separately collected food waste must not be mixed with other wastes or materials. • Ban on landfilling separately collected food waste By April 2015, separately collected food waste must not be sent to landfill. • Ban on the non-domestic discharge of food waste into the public sewer network By April 2017, the use of macerators will not be permitted where the treated food waste is discharged into the public sewer network, either directly or indirectly. In principle, we are likely to welcome these proposals, subject to ensuring that this valuable feedstock will be treated through AD. Separate food waste collections should help local authorities reduce overall waste arisings, save costs and reduce the contamination of dry recyclable material (such as paper, plastic and glass) allowing better quality – and therefore higher value – products to be created.

Get involved To contribute to our response to the consultation, which closes 3 December 2013, contact E

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


AD for farming and food businesses


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Technology focus: Digestate

Innovations expand digestate marketplace


s the UK AD industry has grown, so too has the volume of digestate being produced. According to WRAP’s 2012 Organics Recycling Survey, UK AD plants produced 430,000 tonnes of whole digestate, 40,000 tonnes of fibre and 2.34m tonnes of liquor. Little wonder that storing, transporting, and developing new products from, and markets for, this by-product of the AD process have become matters of urgency. Rich in nutrients including nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulphur and other elements, the benefits of digestate for agriculture have been widely reported. Yet despite impressive evidence from organisations including WRAP on increases in crop yields and improvements in soil quality following the use of digestate compared to conventional fossil fertilisers (not to mention the cost efficiencies to be gained and the environmental benefits of returning such valuable nutrients to land), ADFerTech has concentrated digestate liquor and adsorbed it onto a powder to form a granular fertiliser

interest in digestate from the farming community has so far been muted. Fortunately, some exciting innovations are set to make digestate an easier product to manage, store and market, and could change the way digestate is viewed by both AD operators and potential end-users.

What’s driving innovation?

“Operators can’t afford to overlook the fact that most of what is fed into an AD plant will come out again, in the form of digestate,” warns Rosaline Hulse, ADBA’s R&D Manager. “With the costs involved in managing digestate having a potentially significant impact on a plant’s viability, this is an area in which there are savings to be made. Cost efficiency is therefore one of the main drivers behind the various new technologies entering the sector.” Another driver for change is the regulatory landscape. “The disposal of some liquid digestate to agricultural land in the Thames region has been has been common practice for many years, but the introduction of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZ), for groundwater protection, has challenged this," explains Pete Pearce, Wastewater Innovation Manager for Thames Water. “At Thames Water, recent regulatory changes have encouraged us to look towards new technologies, including advanced digestion processes, advanced dewatering processes, low temperature drying and advanced energy recovery.”

Digestate storage

Digestate storage is a major consideration for AD operators, even if their plant is not located in an NVZ, as best practice dictates that digestate should not be applied to land all year round. “Digestate is a valuable source of nutrients but spreading it at the wrong time of year, when the crop is unable to take full advantage of those nutrients, reduces its value and risks polluting the environment,” explains Will McManus, Project Manager (Agriculture) for Continued>>

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Technology focus: Digestate

A Nijhuis H2OK Ammonia Recovery system is currently being commissioned at Bernard Matthews’ Holton site

WRAP. “For example, if 30m3/ha of food-based digestate is incorporated into the soil in early September to establish winter wheat, according to MANNER-NPK only 9% of the total nitrogen might be used, worth around £60/ha to the farmer. Stored until the spring and then applied to the same crop, 63% of the nitrogen could be used, increasing the digestate’s value to around £133/ha. In this instance, the value of the digestate would have increased from £2.00/m3 to £4.43/m3. If AD operators have the capacity to store digestate so that it can be applied at times of optimum crop uptake, they are not only encouraging good agricultural practice, they could also derive a greater financial benefit.”

But does investment in digestate storage make good business sense? Technological advancements are developing at a rapid rate, with some innovations centering on the conversion of liquid digestate into a more solid, easily storable, form. A specific focus area of round two of WRAP’s Driving Innovation in AD (DIAD) programme was digestate, and one project supported into a feasibility study concerned the conversion of AD liquor into a granular fertiliser. Led by a team from Queens University Belfast, the project has the potential to not only reduce digestate storage costs, but also to reduce the costs associated with spreading and transportation. “We have developed an innovative approach whereby the valuable nutrients contained within the liquor are concentrated and adsorbed onto a powder. This is then processed to form a low cost, granular fertiliser,” explains Quinton Fivelman, Chief Executive of ADFerTech, a spin-out company of Queens University. “Our first product to market is currently undergoing prototype testing: a low-cost, bolt-on device for AD plants which processes the liquid digestate to a solid improver that is much easier to store and handle than traditional liquid fertiliser. It can be adapted for waste liquors from a range of AD feedstock for both existing and new AD technology suppliers, making it adaptable across the entire sector.”

Dewatering technology

Two other digestate focused projects were supported through the second round of the DIAD programme, including one from Harper Adams Energy which identified a low cost dewatering and nutrient recovery technology that converts digestate into three higher value products: potable water, solid fertiliser, and a concentrated nitrogen fertiliser solution. This technology not only reduces transport, storage and spreading costs, but also allows nitrogen and potassium to be separated and used only where needed, while the water fraction can be used in the digester, or in other processes such as irrigation.


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Technology focus: Digestate Creating new markets

Currently, the main outlets for digestate are spreading it to land or treating and discharging it to the watercourse, but high levels of ammonia in digestate can often have a negative impact on its treatability. The Nijhuis H2OK Ammonia Recovery system has therefore been designed to remove ammonia in digestate by ≥80%, allowing it to then be treated by conventional activated sludge treatment prior to discharge. The technology also brings other benefits, as Brian Scheffe, Director of H2OK, outlines: “Ammonia-stripped digestate can also be used to dilute high ammonia feedstock which can inhibit the AD process, such as chicken litter or blood.”

KWS is trialling Piadin, a liquid nitrogen stabiliser that is added to digestate, on all 49 of its maize varieties

However, until such technology is brought to market, AD operators are advised to evaluate the economic viability of dewatering digestate before beginning any procedures. Paul Lavender, Business Development Manager for Aqua Enviro, explains: “In order to accurately define the business case for dewatering, investigative laboratory analysis and trial data is required to define optimum technology options. The water industry has a wealth of experience in digestate dewatering but digestate from food waste AD plants behaves differently, with dewatering often being much more difficult and the resulting liquor harder to treat. We can perform laboratory tests to assess the dewaterability of sludge and evaluate the treatment and nutrient recovery options from the resulting liquors, helping to answer such questions as: what impact will recirculating the liquors have on my AD process? Can I meet consent to discharge liquors to sewer and, if not, what technology is required to meet those limits? Are alternatives such as sludge drying more cost effective? And, is it economically viable to recover nutrients from the liquors?”

Another innovation helping digestate to enhance AD feedstock is Piadin. Distributed in the UK by Gleadell Bioenergy, Piadin is a liquid formulation nitrogen stabiliser that can be added to both waste and farm-fed digestate before these materials are applied to land. “Piadin slows down the nitrification process, which means the digestate holds onto the available nitrogen until the soil temperature warms up,” explains Rob Buck, Fertiliser Trader for Gleadell. “This means nitrogen is released more in line with plant requirements and remains available throughout all the crop’s growth stages, encouraging higher yields.” As a result, growers can apply digestate as early as they wish (NVZs allowing), significantly widening the digestate application window. “Particularly interesting for energy crop growers is that we are seeing a yield increase upwards of 11% in maize, a crop that can struggle to take enough nitrogen,” notes Rob. “Plant breeder KWS is trialling Piadin on all 49 of its maize varieties this year.” Continued>>

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Technology focus: Digestate Furthermore, Piadin has been found to significantly reduce nitrous oxide emissions. “Tests by the University of Munich saw a consistent reduction of over 50%. This figure caught the attention of Defra, which is currently halfway through a stabiliser trial,” adds Rob. The need for all crops, not just energy crops, to be grown sustainably has never been more pressing, opening up a wide potential market. Rob concludes: "Treating crops with digestate containing Piadin could not only increase yields but will also help to significantly reduce the associated greenhouse gas emissions.”

In order to define the business case for dewatering digestate, investigative laboratory analysis is required, such as that provided by Aqua Enviro

Most of what is fed into an AD plant will come out again as digestate

Digestate for regeneration

The potential digestate offers to growers is clearly ripe for exploring, but there is also an emerging market in the regeneration sector. “Regeneration markets are numerous across the country, for example in the Thames Gateway area, and at former steel and coal works in the North,” comments Andrew Hartley, Managing Director of WRM, part of Digestate Solutions. “Although the value of this market is not likely to be financial in the short term, it does mitigate potential risks in the agriculture supply chain by providing a large scale, low cost outlet which is available over a longer spreading year and is able to accept, with appropriate permits, a wider range of materials and standards than agriculture.” In spring 2010, WRAP-funded trials began to evaluate the scientific and commercial viability of using digestate in applications including biomass production on brownfield land. It found that brownfield site soils, in particular those reclaimed from mining activities, tend to be in poor condition with low organic matter content and low availability of the major nutrients needed to grow crops. Anne Bhogal, lead scientist on the project, says: “It’s too early to come to a conclusion on the effects of the digestate application, however early results are looking positive.” The trials are due to conclude in early 2014, but yields were found to be higher in the first year on the digestate amended treatments than on the untreated plots. “Regeneration has huge potential to expand,” adds Andrew Hartley. “Many regeneration sites, including ex-landfill, are now also being used to grow biomass crops and these crops require an ongoing supply of digestate. Such biomass crops could be used to provide AD feedstocks such as grasses, maize or wheat, opening up the potential for a closed loop supply chain, without the pressures of the food versus fuel debate.”

The future

Other markets in which the benefits of digestate are being explored include the sports turf and horticultural sectors. But perhaps the most exciting opportunity is being developed by Sandra Esteves, Director of the Wales Centre of

Further Information • WRAP has published a report examining various digestate distribution models. See Government and Agency News p19 for more info or go to • For the latest news on potential changes to PAS 110 and end of waste criteria see ADBA News p5 • Digestate for use on brownfield sites and in horticulture will be a key theme at ADBA's R&D Forum, 12-13 Nov, Gisborough Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire. See p25 for details • Digestate is also a key topic at the ADBA National Conference, 3 December, London. See p20 for details


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion, part of the University of South Wales. “Our research has successfully demonstrated that it is possible to enhance the production of PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) by using digestates; PHAs are a sustainable alternative to non-degradable polymers, that can be used for medical and packaging applications. PHA-based products also have the benefit of being easily digested in AD plants; our investigations have identified that packaging produced from PHAs could be co-digested with other organic resources, such as food waste, resulting in closed loop recycling, contributing to the carbon:nitrogen balance within the digester, and reducing plant operational issues associated with contamination. Furthermore, the digestate would contain less non-biodegradable contaminants that currently reduce its value, limit market outlets and, in some cases, result in failure to meet end of waste criteria.” This kind of joined-up thinking will be crucial if the value in digestate is to be fully appreciated. Technological innovations, borne out of radical R&D, clearly have a vital role to play in ensuring the benefits of digestate for both planet and pocket can be realised.

Get involved Can storing digestate make business sense? Will farmers be prepared to pay for digestate if the agronomic and economic benefits add up? WRAP would like to hear your views. E

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Digester performance

Building a world class AD industry


espite the challenging economic climate, Britain’s AD industry is developing rapidly. By late 2013, a total of 201 MWe of capacity was installed or under construction, compared with just 45 MWe in 2010. Yet the sector’s youth and fragmentation – the top five operators account for just 28% of the market, with most UK plants having been in operation for less than three years – has led to a disparity in performance. In its recently published Anaerobic Digestion Market Report, the Green Investment Bank (GIB) found that, among a sample of UK plants claiming ROCs, although the ‘best in class’ operations were averaging above 80% load factor, the average was just 57%. Raising the standard of operational performance across the entire sector is therefore essential if the UK’s AD industry is to attract the finance it needs to reach its full potential.

Measuring operational efficiency Operational efficiency can be measured in a number of ways, including: • Load factor – the percentage of installed power capacity actually being generated; • Availability – the percentage of time the plant is generating electricity; • Conversion efficiency – the percentage of feedstock converted into biogas.

“While the GIB has measured the performance of the AD industry by its load factor, this is not always an accurate reflection of how efficiently a digester is working; for example, an operator may have installed more capacity than required in order to allow for future expansion,” explains Dorian Harrison, Technical Director for Monsal. “Some funders also consider availability to be a good indication of operational efficiency, but many experts within the UK AD industry prefer to measure a plant’s performance by its conversion efficiency; with the theoretical maximum around 90% (10% of all feedstock is converted into new microbes, not biogas), a plant achieving 70-80% would be doing very well. Extracting the maximum amount of biogas per tonne of feedstock is something that every AD operator should be looking to achieve.”

Understanding feedstock

Understanding how various feedstocks can impact upon the AD process is at the heart of operational efficiency. “There is a correlation between what you feed the digester and the way the bacteria then respire – what you put in, they breathe out, as biogas,” states Dr Les Gornall, Process Consultant for PROjEN. “Any alteration to the type or amount of feedstock must be managed carefully, as the bacteria do not respond well to sudden change. 14

AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Image: Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion

Feed the digester like an animal, rather than a machine; that is, on a regular basis, and with as constant a feedstock mix as you can achieve. Shock-loading it with a sudden input of different feedstock could cause the digester to foam.” “Knowing what to expect from your feedstock is vital to successful operation,” continues Jamie Gascoigne, Commissioning Engineer for Marches Biogas. “If your plant isn’t generating the amount of biogas you would expect for the

volume and type of feedstock it’s receiving, then something is wrong.” Established technology providers and plant developers will have a frame of reference for baseline performance taking into account findings from previous projects, but information on the typical biogas outputs for various feedstock types can also be found in The Practical Guide to AD ( For operators dealing with more than one type of input, however, it is important to understand

Digester performance how different feedstock mixes can impact upon gas production. According to John Burgess of KWS, UK operators of crop-fed facilities are fast moving away from the maize-only model originally adopted in Germany and recognise that by incorporating hybrid rye or energy beet, for example, they can enhance microbiological efficiency in the digester. “By so doing, they are achieving more gas per cropped area, reducing their growing risks and cutting the costs of energy production,” says John. KWS has recently developed a feedstock calculator to help operators assess the performance of a range of crops. The importance of thoroughly mixing the feedstock should not be overlooked, either. A substrate that has been blended well and mixed properly will always benefit digester performance, according to Hugh Vaughan, UK & Eire Director for Landia: “Increasingly, the industry is realising that pre-mixing with equipment that is designed for purpose will enhance the operation of a digester, providing that the digester is fed regularly and sensibly. With the right equipment and the right amount of mixing, the whole tank will be blended at a consistent temperature, boosting gas levels.” It also pays to ensure the quality of your feedstock, says Amaya Arias-Garcia, Engineering Manager for Tamar Energy: “Feedstock provenance is crucial, particularly for liquid waste, as if a tanker has not been properly washed between deliveries, your feedstock, and therefore your entire AD operation, could become contaminated. Before you empty a load into your digester, make sure it’s not toxic; this can only really be achieved by establishing long term feedstock contracts. Beware of last

minute ‘too good to be true’ offers of feedstock from new sources.”

Monitoring and recording

However, good feedstock management is just one step towards successful operation; many other variables must also be taken into consideration, explains Jamie Gascoigne: “Best practice should be followed at every stage of the process: from regular equipment maintenance to a balanced digester temperature; good system design to a Efficient mixing equipment, such as this chopper pump, part of a Landia GasMix System, will ensure the entire feedstock is blended at a consistent temperature, boosting gas levels high level of operator training and competence; and of course, through regular and rigorous elements. Without monitoring what is happening monitoring of the AD process.” Andy Parr, Director within the digester, an operator has no way to of System Mix, agrees: “Operators should first know if performance is improving or deteriorating. compare their plant against how it performed Basic monitoring allows control, and better control following commissioning. Markers for this would leads to better performance.” be temperature profile and volumes processed, providing a picture of how much capacity was “Take as many readings from as many variables being lost by solids deposition on the digester as possible and record and analyse the data, floor. Next, evaluate the suitability and efficiency either on-site or by using services such of preconditioning digester feed material; finally, as Marches Biogas’ Process Optimisation review equipment efficiency and reliability to Service,” recommends Jamie Gascoigne. “By maintain the best working conditions for the life of keeping regular, accurate records right from the digester.” the commissioning stage, an AD operator can determine what affects the gas output and tweak “Proper component design is crucial but an AD the process accordingly, to give the best results.” operator must also understand the biology of the Lucy Lewis, Research Manager for Evergreen system,” advises Dorian Harrison. “Operators Gas, which offers a Gas Optimisation and should be regularly monitoring a number of Enhancement Service, underlines this point: “Any parameters, including pH, alkalinity, ammonia, AD operator will want their plant to function in a dry solids, volatile fatty acids (VFA), and trace stable manner, producing healthy biogas and a quality digestate. The only way an operator can be sure of this is if the plant is monitored on a daily basis and the data analysed. Not only will this allow the operator to assess the digester’s performance, it will also help to troubleshoot problems that occur within the daily operation of a plant.” Alongside daily monitoring, assessing digester performance over a longer time period is also beneficial to process optimisation, explains Dr Les Gornall: “Perhaps more important than daily spot readings are the trend lines – one anomaly may not have much impact, but a gradual decline or deficiency will affect operation. PROjEN’s DMISt service provides a regular audit, using trended data to recommend operational improvements.”

UK biogas producers are moving away from the maize-only model, incorporating varieties such as hybrid rye and energy beet from KWS to increase their gas output


november 2013 | AD & Biogas News

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AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Digester performance

Regular monitoring of a variety of parameters is an essential part of running a successful AD operation

The impact of R&D

Detailed research on the benefits of regular monitoring, carried out at the Wales Centre of Excellence for Anaerobic Digestion, part of the University of South Wales, has highlighted not just the operational benefits to be gained, but also the financial ones. The report ‘Monitoring Review and Guide for the Optimisation of Anaerobic Digestion and Biomethane Plants,’ co-authored by Director Sandra Esteves, contains the following statement: ‘It is important to have in mind that the more parameters that are monitored…the greater the understanding and flexibility to control operation. There is never too much information, and the faster the information becomes available the quicker a control action is likely to take place… If AD plants are not monitored for at least key parameters it is very difficult to achieve important benefits of the system. It is similar to driving a car without a steering wheel.’

The report also highlights the cost benefits to be gained from increased biogas production as a result of efficient monitoring systems, demonstrating that an optimised, well managed plant treating around 30,000 tpa of source segregated food waste could expect to see an increase in revenue in excess of £200,000 pa from heat and electricity export and FITs, over a poorly managed rival. Its conclusion is unequivocal: ‘Based on the data presented in this report related to costs of analysers, laboratory analysis and annual monitoring contracts for AD and biomethane plants…the additional biogas production would outweigh the investment in monitoring even on medium size plants.’

Money matters

Any successful AD operation must also be a safe one, however. “Safety is paramount at all times, and starts with the fact that it’s a biogas plant,” advises Dr. Les Gornall. “Operators must appreciate the fire and toxicity risks involved and ensure that their plant is designed to meet UK legislation.” Operators must therefore be well trained; funders are increasingly looking for evidence of operator training programmes, alongside proof that the plant designer/installer is competent and experienced enough to provide adequate training for the UK market. Bruce Nelson, Director of Compass Renewables, reiterates how seriously the funding community takes the subject of training and safety: “In order for a new project to be considered for funding, the robustness and reputation of the technology provider, and its performance in previous projects, will be scrutinised. This will include the type of training it will provide; how long it will remain on site; what other support it will be giving (such as

Aqua Enviro undertakes detailed evaluation of an AD operation before making recommendations to enhance performance

remote monitoring); and ensuring that an adequate maintenance contract has been costed into the budget. Hand in hand with this goes projected operational performance, or past performance. Funders will want to see a figure of between 85-90% plant availability.” While the funding landscape is still challenging generally, and no less so for AD, the more consideration given to operational issues, the greater a project’s chances of receiving funding. “Although the UK market is still young and there are challenges for projects in delivering a consistent revenue stream, well operated AD facilities have the potential to achieve attractive commercial rates of return to both equity and debt providers. Achieving a high level of operational performance is critical,” states Adrian Judge, Managing Director (Waste & Bioenergy) of the GIB.

Enhancing plant performance

While there are no shortcuts to running a successful AD operation, operators looking to further enhance their plant’s biogas production can find an abundance of products and services available. Paul Lavender is the Business Development Manager for Aqua Enviro and is familiar with many of the issues facing today’s AD operators: “Regular queries include: why has our biogas production dropped? How can we assess if a potential feedstock is inhibitory? How much gas can we expect to get from our feedstock? How hard can we push our plant? We evaluate each site’s opportunities and challenges, and develop a bespoke solution, including services such as VFA speciation treatability trials to evaluate optimum operating conditions, and lithium chloride tracer testing to determine effective digester volume.” Increasingly, however, UK operators looking to optimise their process further are turning to additives. While it can be argued that a well designed, efficiently operated digester should not need any additional help, when used correctly additives can undoubtedly have a positive effect. “Certain plants can become deficient in trace elements such as selenium – those taking source segregated food waste, for example – and in these cases, additives can provide a benefit,” explains Dorian Harrison. “However, operators should first find out in what, if anything, their plant is deficient, and try altering the feedstock balance, before considering the use of an additive.” This view is echoed by Ray Long, Managing Director of Citadel, which has recently launched Bio Cat+, an additive produced through the fermentation of natural plant material. “We prefer to work with a digester that is known to be performing below its optimum; in fact, our business model is based on it. Continued>> november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Digester performance

For plants running below optimum efficiency, additives such as the Citadel BioCat+ system can improve performance

We install the system for free and if, over an agreed period of time, no positive results are seen then the client simply doesn’t pay. We want to see a positive increase in output, or a significant reduction in the quantity of feedstock – an AD plant in the north of England has experienced an increase in biogas output of over 10% since using BioCat+.” According to David Gabbott, Account Manager for AD nutrition specialist FM BioEnergy, it is also important to understand the needs of different AD

plant types: “For farm based plants, feedstock is a cost to the business. By increasing efficiency, we can help an operator to produce the same amount of gas from less feedstock, or more gas from the same feedstock. For food waste plants, however, feedstock equals revenue – the more feedstock a plant can safely process while still producing quality outputs, the more money it can make from gate fees. By increasing the stability of a food waste digester, operators will be able to process much higher volumes of feedstock, earning greater revenue from both gate fees and gas production.”

In order for the AD industry to attract more funding and continue to grow, it is imperative that all plants, both farm-fed and waste-fed, raise their game; as Adrian Judge points out in our Foreword on p3, a few underperforming sites can rapidly spook the investment community. Whether by improved feedstock management, correct technology selection, regular equipment maintenance, rigorous process monitoring, appropriate operator training, the use of specialist products and services, or a combination of all of the above, improving the 18

AD & Biogas News | november 2013

performance of UK AD plants should be the main priority for everyone involved in the industry. After all, we are only as strong as our weakest link.

Operational performance and best practice will be key themes at the ADBA National Conference, 3 December 2013, London. See p20 for full details or go to

Government & Agency News Defra reiterates support for on-farm AD Defra has published its response to a report from the Ecosystem Markets Task Force entitled ‘Realising nature’s value’, which sets out recommendations for economic growth in balance with the natural environment. In response to proposals under the heading, ‘Bio-energy and AD on farms: closing the loop using farm waste to generate energy’, the government reiterated its support of AD, referring to the AD Strategy and Action Plan for reducing barriers to AD, and citing its intention to work with WRAP to extend the scope of the existing AD Loan Fund by targeting £2-3m to support the development of small scale on-farm AD treating agricultural wastes. In addition, the response revealed that Defra and WRAP will work with the Green Investment Bank to explore how an aggregated approach for farm-scale AD projects could be put in place, both for equity investments and for debt for refinancing. The report also made reference to WRAP’s DIAD programme for innovation and improvement in AD, as well as the organisation’s research into digestate.

New style competency certificates come into effect CIWM and WAMITAB have announced important changes to certification through the Continuing Competence Scheme. The new guidelines, which will take effect from 1 March 2014, will see the current fixed two-year certificate period replaced with a new rolling programme, allowing individuals and organisations to monitor the currency of their technical competency and to easily track dates for certificate expiry and testing. T +44 (0)1604 231950 E

Enthusiastic response to WRAP’s community renewables scheme

WRAP has published a report examining various digestate distribution models. Drawing on experience from other organic waste sectors, such as composting and biosolids, the report sets out a number of key lessons for the AD industry, covering such areas as: the costs associated with the storage, transport and spreading of digestate; the benefits of dewatering digestate into an easier to handle solid material; the challenges posed by Nitrate Vulnerable Zone regulations; and getting farmers to understand the value of digestate. To read WRAP’s full report go to

Following its launch in June of this year, there has been significant interest in WRAP’s Rural Community Energy Fund from enthusiastic communities wishing to reap the benefits of renewable energy. A total of 400 communities have downloaded the application form, with 300 enquiries Community energy projects, such as this micro AD already lodged and plant from Bridport Renewable Energy Group, are being 13 applications encouraged by WRAP currently in progress, including for AD. “A community based in Devon already working with regional support agencies has contacted WRAP for advice on AD, while in the first batch of applications an award has been made to a community in Northumberland which is looking at a range of options, including AD,” explains David Rogers, who is managing the programme for WRAP. “Applications are being made by groups representing rural communities right across England. The key thing is for local communities to be in control of whatever technology they want to choose,” adds David.

See p9 for our in-depth technical article on digestate

See p7 for details of similar schemes in Scotland and Wales

Digestate report makes recommendations for AD industry

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


ADBA National Conference 2013 preview

AD – Can we afford not to recycle phosphates?

Sponsored by:

Can food waste policy keep up with industry growth? How can we demonstrate good operational performance? How will demand for biomethane develop? Can we afford not to recycle our phosphates? Driven by increasing pressure on resources and the impact of climate change, recognition of the need to move towards a circular economy is growing. Anaerobic digestion has a major role to play in achieving this – as highlighted in the recent Ecosystem Markets Task Force report – and nowhere more so than in UK farming, helping to keep farmers farming whilst decarbonising agriculture and improving the country’s food and energy security. Besides offering farmers an additional income stream, AD also has a valuable role to play in waste management, soil enhancement and the recycling of essential nutrients. However, despite the coalition’s commitment to supporting a huge increase in AD, is government policy in England hampering the ability of AD to reach its full potential and deliver these valuable benefits? Addressing the potential impact of the FIT degression mechanism on small scale AD, as well as food waste and bioenergy policy, the ADBA National Conference 2013 (3 December, One Great George Street, Westminster), will explore the extent to which these and other policies are restricting AD’s potential. As demand for biomethane as a vehicle fuel rises to decarbonise heavy goods vehicles, could this help drive a change in policy? Operationally, as the industry grows, there is increasing focus from the finance sector on performance; ADBA’s developing Best Practice Scheme will help operators maximise efficiency and operate safely, increasing the return on their

Who’s speaking? • Colin Church, Defra • Andy Rees, Welsh Government • Mark Hogan, Kier • Robert Wilby, SGN • Rembrandt Koppelaar, Imperial College London • Paul Densham, Sainsbury’s • Adrian Judge, Tolvik Consulting • Chris Mills, WRAP • Pete Pearce, Thames Water • Alexander Maddan, Agrivert • Prof Charles Banks, Southampton University • Anna Becvar, Earthcare Technical • And many more


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

investment. There is also increasing focus from farmers on the management of digestate, to ensure maximum availability and uptake of the nutrients it contains. Greater recognition of the value of digestate as a biofertiliser will increase the availability of land bank, helping to mitigate the impact of weather conditions and NVZ regulations. As the industry’s leading conference, the ADBA National Conference 2013 will bring these topical issues to the fore, provoking debate and discussion to focus not only on what AD can deliver but also on what both government and industry need to do to ensure AD reaches its full potential. Key topics include: the circular economy; farming; food security; soil management and nutrients; land bank availability and digestate; transport; gas to grid; finance; AD operational performance, and best practice. Bringing together industry experts, government representatives and key industry players from the farming, transport, waste, food and drink, AD and utility sectors, the ADBA National Conference 2013 is a must for anyone looking to influence, learn and network within the AD industry. Find out more at See the full programme on p22

Who should attend? For anyone already involved in the industry or looking to make the most of their resources through AD, this event is a key platform from which to influence, learn and network with the who’s who of the AD industry, including: • Farmers • AD and biogas suppliers, developers and operators • F leet operators • L ocal authorities •U  tility companies •W  aste management companies • Food and drink manufacturers, processors and retailers •H  ospitality businesses • F inanciers

Four reasons to attend • Hear the latest developments that could affect your business in 2014 and beyond • Question hard-to-reach decision makers • Meet new contacts directly interested in AD • Source AD products and services from our exhibitors

Register now Delegate rates: •ADBA member £295 •Non-member: £395 •Local authority: £99 (all ex VAT)

ADBA National Conference 2013 preview Event sponsor As the UK and Ireland distributor for the renowned MWM engine range, Edina Group supplies power generation equipment to AD plants and CHP applications. “The platform provided by ADBA and its associated events has helped to raise Edina’s profile both at home and abroad, largely due to the diversity of its exhibitors and visitors,” states Tony Fenton, Joint Managing Director. “Attendance at the ADBA National Conference has risen year on year and we are delighted to be able to contribute to the event, which provides publicity for our products and the wider industry. In particular, it gives us the opportunity to demonstrate the high standards and bespoke service which we maintain through our dedicated UK staff, who design, build, install and maintain the generation sets.”

“This will be our third year as an exhibitor at the ADBA National Conference, an event which has always updated us with the latest developments, legislation and operating issues in this rapidly growing market, as well as highlighting success stories. We will be showcasing the seepex smart conveying technology and are looking forward to explaining to plant builders and operators how our existing customers have extended pump life and reduced operating costs.” Lesley Eaton, Business Development and Marketing Manager, seepex

“System Mix has once again chosen to exhibit at the ADBA National Conference to further extend our relationships with some of the key players in the AD industry. I enjoy networking with fellow equipment suppliers and customers in a relaxed environment, as well as attending the sessions that are relevant to us as a supplier. We will be promoting System Mix’s use of Vaughan Chopper pumps in our pumped jet mixing systems, highlighting the benefits of simultaneously conditioning solids and fibrous-laden materials while mixing efficiently.” Andy Parr, Director, System Mix Ltd

“Green Gas Trading has found that the conversion rate and knowledge of the client base at the ADBA National Conference is higher and much more transactional than at other events. We receive significantly more targeted enquiries from the Conference delegates and are looking forward to showcasing our product.”

Join our exhibitors • AB Systems (UK) Ltd • Clarke Energy • Cooper Ostlund Ltd • Edina UK Ltd • Gas Bus Alliance Ltd • Gas Data Ltd • Green Gas Trading Ltd

• National Skills Academy • PRM Waste Systems • seepex UK Ltd • System Mix Ltd • Vogelsang • Weightron Bilanciai

Grant Ashton, Chief Executive, Green Gas Trading Ltd

“We are keen to showcase Clarke Energy’s new waste heat to power technology at the ADBA National Conference. Timing is crucial, as this will be the key AD event before the introduction of FIT degression for small scale AD operations.” Alex Marshall, Group Marketing & Compliance Manager, Clarke Energy

exhibit Now With just a few exhibition stands left, contact us now to ensure your company reaches our delegates. E T +44 (0)203 176 4414

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


ADBA National Conference 2013 preview ADBA National Conference 2013 Programme the full programme go to AD - Can we afford not to recycle phosphates? For Time Agenda Speakers 9.30 - 9.35

Welcome and introduction to the conference

Charlotte Morton, ADBA

9.35 - 9.40

Sponsor's address by Edina

Ian Farr, Edina UK

9.40 - 10.00

Why we need to move towards a circular economy, and AD’s critical role (with Q&A)

Ellen McArthur Foundation (tbc)

10.00 - 10.15

The importance of nutrient recycling for the future of farming and food production (with Q&A)

Baroness Miller, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agro-Ecology (tbc)

10.15 - 10.25 10.25 - 10.35 10.35 - 10.45

Perspectives on renewable energies and the cost of energy

10.45 - 11.00

Q&A on Perspectives on renewable energies and the cost of energy

11.00 - 11.30


11:30 Panel discussion: Telford Theatre

Can we afford not to recycle nutrients and organic matter? An assessment of the value of the contribution AD can make to supporting farming and food security, including the potential value of digestate in reducing the carbon footprint of food production and making farming more resilient against the effects of our changing climate.

1.00 - 2.00pm


2.00pm Break out session: Telford Theatre

Can food waste policy keep up with industry growth? A look at the direction of current food waste policy in England, and whether this will support the continuing growth of the AD market.

Chair: Bill Elliott, Tamar Energy Chris Mills, WRAP, Dr Andy Rees, Welsh Government, Andrew Needham, Biogen, Dr Colin Church, Defra, Mark Hogan, Kier Services, Dr Stuart Greig, Scottish Government

2.00pm Break out session: Rennie Room

How can we demonstrate good operational performance? A look at how performance should be measured, and how the AD industry can continue to raise its operational efficiency.

Chair: tbc Adrian Judge, Tolvik Consulting, Dorian Harrison, Monsal, Bruce Nelson, Compass Renewables, Alexander Maddan, Agrivert, Prof Charles Banks, University of Southampton

3.30 - 4.00pm


4.00pm Break out session: Telford Theatre

How will demand for biomethane develop? A discussion around the benefits and knock-on effects of the increasing demend for biomethane, the current financial incentives regime and the impact of biomethane certificates.

Chair: Rob Wood, Gasrec Paul Densham, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, Robert Wilby, SGN, Philip Simpson, ReFood (tbc), Grant Ashton, GGT, Katie Halter, DECC (tbc), Ed Cattigan, Biogas Power

4.00pm Break out session: Rennie Room

How will industry growth and changing regulations affect land bank availability? A session covering land back availability and the evolution of markets in digestate.

Chair: Pete Pearce, Thames Water Anna Becvar, Earthcare Technical, Will McManus, WRAP, Andrew Needham, Biogen


Drinks reception


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Speaker (tbc) Caroline Flint, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, DECC (tbc) Speaker (tbc)

Chair: Tony Juniper, Action for Renewables (tbc) Dan Rogerson, Defra (tbc), Rembrandt Koppelaar, Imperial College London, Patrick Holden, Sustainable Food Trust, Michael Chesshire, Evergreen Gas

Conference preview

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


R&D Update AD flexibility is key to R&D funding


For information and advice on our R&D activities or the ADBA R&D Forum, contact our R&D Liaison and PR Manager Rosaline T +44 (0)203 176 5441 E

he flexibility of anaerobic digestion can sometimes be its greatest challenge. The many different businesses and sectors with which AD can integrate make it tricky for government and research councils to pigeonhole it. On the bright side, when it comes to research, this flexibility means it is frequently possible to make a clear case for AD R&D under quite a few funding priorities.

Take, for example, two recent calls from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) supporting the current trend for on-farm innovation and development, and the move towards a circular economy. The fundamentals of AD fit so neatly with the principles of the circular economy that the TSB funding call on ‘supply chain innovation towards a circular economy’ is an ideal opportunity for AD R&D. Similarly, proposals for turning digestate or biomethane from what would otherwise have been wastes into new products, thereby preserving the value of products or materials at the end of their life to keep them in ‘productive use for longer’, definitely apply to AD. The deadline for registration is noon 11 December 2013, and the deadline for expressions of interest is noon 18 December 2013; go to for more info. Next, hard on the heels of the government’s Agri-Tech Strategy comes the Agri-Tech Catalyst. Designed to deliver the Strategy’s goal of placing the UK agri-tech sector at the top of the list when it comes to expertise in sustainable intensification in agriculture, the catalyst will help businesses and researchers to develop innovative solutions to agricultural challenges. This looks like another perfect match, since AD has been identified as a key technology in supporting sustainable intensification. This call has three separate competitions open for different project stages, all closing in early December 2013; for more details go to

24 AD & Biogas News | november 2013

ADBA R&D Forum preview The platform for AD innovation, research and development


ur fourth AD Research & Development Forum, 12-13 November, Gisborough Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire, is a must-attend event for anyone interested in optimising digester performance, maximising the value of biogas and digestate, or reducing capex and opex costs. The forum will provide the ideal platform to learn, share and debate the latest developments in AD research and development (R&D) including: the latest research from across Europe and the UK; a panel debate on the most profitable products from AD; a discussion on new ideas and future horizons for AD research; a tour of the Centre for Process Innovation’s (CPI) AD facilities; presentations on the commercialisation of R&D, and much more.

Join our exhibitors


Interested in reaching our R&D Forum delegates? To find out about our competitive exhibitor, advertising and sponsorship packages contact E T +44 (0)203 176 4414

• Dr Arturo Castillo Castillo, Research Associate, Imperial Centre for Energy Policy and Technology • Dr Becky Arnold, Research Manager, Biogen • Steven Broome, Head of Business and Projects - AD, CPI • Vicky Heslop, AD Consultant, Methanogen • Dorian Harrison, Technical Director, Monsal • David Tozer, Project Manager Organics, WRAP • Elise Cartmell, Head of Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University • Will Llewellyn, Director, Evergreen Gas Ltd • And many more

Book Now Ticket allocation is limited so book your place today. For full programme details and to register go to

In partnership with:

CPI, Fera, Biosciences KTN, Transport KTN, Environmental Sustainability KTN, WRAP

• The UK AD research landscape • Looking to the future – challenges and opportunities for AD R&D and innovation • Commercial opportunities – turning costs into profits and future revenue sources • Focus on innovation • The European AD research landscape • PLUS: Site tour of CPI’s AD research facilities • And many more


november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


UK AD & Biogas 2013 Preview 26

AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Members’ News & Views CBG upgrading contracts highlight growing gas to grid market In what is being seen as evidence of increased momentum in the gas to grid market, Chesterfield BioGas (CBG) has secured two contracts to supply upgraders for AD plants in the UK. ReFood UK has placed an order for a Totara biomethane upgrader for its Widnes food waste plant, while FLI Energy has also selected CBG to supply a Totara for its Ellough plant near Beccles, Suffolk, which will treat purpose-grown crops. CBG upgraders employ the Greenlane® water-scrubbing method which operates solely through the use of water, with no heat or chemicals required. The CBG process also meets both the Gas Safety Management Regulations and HSE requirements, under which UK gas to grid contracts are framed. “With the Renewable Heat Incentive now in place, it has become clear that producing gas for grid injection is a more commercially attractive option,” states Stephen McCulloch, Managing Director of CBG. “Following the resolution of the regulations covering biomethane specifications, such as oxygen content, we are seeing the results of our work in the industry and have a significant pipeline of enquiries for a diverse range of projects.”

Kirk equipment integral to on-farm AD project Kirk Environmental is on schedule to complete its part in the development of an AD plant at Wilcross Farm in Gisburn, Lancs. The facility, which consists of one 300m³ concrete digestion tank complete with a 1,430m³ BIODOME® double membrane roof, will process around 10,000 tpa of crops and livestock manure from four farms, including the centrally placed Wilcross Farm. The site was chosen for its good transport links and proximity to a national grid connection point, and is expected to produce 500 kWe; the land used to grow the feedstock will be treated with the resultant digestate. The project, which commenced in September 2013, is estimated to take six months to complete. Kirk was also instrumental in the development of the Carr Farm AD project (pictured)

See p30 for more details on the Ellough biomethane project CBG upgraders will be installed at plants run by ReFood and FLI Energy

Somerset schools compete in food waste challenge In a bid to encourage greater recycling of food waste and raise awareness of AD, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has invited local school children to design a poster that will help ensure no food waste ends up in landfill. The competition is part of a new educational pack that has been sent to all Pupil power is set to inspire more families to Somerset primary schools increase their food waste recycling to explain the science at the heart of the county’s new £10m AD facility near Bridgwater. The best posters will be used in a new publicity campaign by SWP to help families raise their food waste recycling rates.

Tamar Energy in recruitment drive

Tamar Energy’s Farleigh plant, part of a planned nationwide AD network

Tamar Energy is looking to recruit plant managers, maintenance engineers and operators, as it announces its next wave of four plants; part of a planned nationwide AD network. First-wave plants at Holbeach Hurn, Farleigh and Retford are currently undergoing commissioning activities, with two of the sites expected to supply electricity to the national grid by December 2013, while the company’s Halstead plant is due to begin commissioning in early 2014. A second wave of plants has recently been announced, with four sites under construction in Bromley, Hoddesdon, Ramsbottom and Wardley. The facilities, with a combined output of 10 MW, are expected to start generating electricity by the end of 2014, subject to the necessary planning permission.

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Members’ News & Views er memb


Thames Water – Driving innovation in wastewater

Our Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, spent the day at Thames Water Innovation Centre in Reading, where the company outlined the current trends within the wastewater industry and its future plans regarding AD… The wastewater industry has been championing AD longer than any other sector but it was clear on our recent visit to its Innovation Centre that Thames Water is not content to rest on its laurels. Innovation, process optimisation and nutrient recovery are key focus areas for the company, as Pete Pearce, Wastewater Innovation Manager, was quick to explain: “Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are valuable components of biosolids applied to agricultural land, enabling farmers to reduce applications of inorganic N and P fertilisers and so reduce associated financial costs and carbon emissions,” explains Pete. “We already apply biosolids to land in strict accordance with the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) regulations, and for non land applied sludge we are now actively researching processes for phosphorus recovery from any residuals, so that this invaluable element can continue to benefit agriculture.”

Maximising energy recovery from sludge is another key driver for Thames Water, which operates numerous CHP installations running on biogas from anaerobic digestion. The company’s innovation and process scientists are working hard to optimise existing processes and develop new ones, in order to both reduce the amount of biosolids to be recycled to agricultural land, and produce more renewable energy from its CHP plants. “Given the increasing pressures on the existing agricultural land bank for biosolids recycling, processes that can help to reduce our dependence on this outlet are being developed,” outlines Pete. “Advanced digestion and advanced dewatering processes allow us to deliver a better product to the farmer – enhanced digestion further reduces the odour potential of sludge applied to land and improves dry solids content, enabling more efficient and lower risk stockpiling on fields.” However, despite an ongoing rollout of innovative AD developments as part of a process of continual improvement within Thames Water, the company has so far resisted the urge to diversify into food waste AD. “While we are interested in options for the parallel digestion of organic wastes at some of our sites, the present regulatory framework makes co-digestion of food waste and sewage sludge problematic while maintaining biosolids recycling to land,” concludes Pete. Invite us to your open day for a chance to feature in a future issue. E 28

AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Members’ News & Views On-site industrial AD with no capital cost ENER-G has launched a An ENER-G biogas complete outsourced AD service, generation system at offering plant design, installation North British Distillery and operation. As ENER-G will also finance the project, there is no upfront cost or financial risk to the customer, with ENER-G sharing operational savings with the customer over an agreed contract term of up to 25 years. Suitable for a variety of industrial processes, including brewing, distilling, soft drinks, dairy and bakery, ENER-G’s AD package requires a minimum liquid effluent stream of 3000 kg daily of high COD (chemical oxygen demand) waste to qualify for funding. The digestion process can reduce the COD content of effluent by 80-95%, reducing effluent costs and offering the potential for water recycling once solids are removed. “The increasing cost of waste and effluent disposal, coupled with rising energy costs and environmental legislation, is prompting renewed interest in AD,” comments Scott Tamplin, Director of AD Development at ENER-G. “Our outsourced build-own-operate model means that cash strapped companies can benefit without raiding their own capital or trying to raise finance themselves.”

First on-farm AgriDigestore installed The first UK installation of a new low cost, on-farm AD concept from Marches Biogas has been unveiled at Rainton Farm in Castle Douglas, Scotland. The AgriDigestore transforms slurry storage tanks into digesters by integrating slurry and waste storage with AD technology, also allowing digestate to be used when required, directly from the tank without any process interruption. An AgriDigestore system has been fitted to a new slurry tower at Rainton Farm, enabling owner and ice cream producer David Findlay to generate 25 kWe from cattle slurry and grass silage.

Landia’s GasMix delivers greater gas production Landia mixers are at the heart of the ComBigaS plant in Denmark

Landia’s GasMix system has become an integral part of a simplified thermophilic biogas process introduced by ComBigaS in Denmark. The externally installed GasMix ejector nozzles are positioned at different levels on the 1500m3 digesters, which receive slurry pumped in directly from five sites within a 5km radius, to create a combined horizontal and vertical pattern that ensures complete mixing for faster and greater gas production. Kent Skanning, ComBigaS Chairman, enthuses: “We only need to operate the pumps for 15 minutes per hour, so we can keep energy costs under control. Landia’s GasMix also circulates the sludge, passing it through the chopper pump several times, which increases the amount of biogas that can be produced. In keeping with our own philosophy, GasMix is a simple but highly effective system that keeps all important temperatures consistent.” ComBigaS also uses submersible mixers from Landia for its biomass storage tanks, as well as a long-shaft chopper pump in the pre-mixing tank that turns the typical 15% straw:85% manure feedstock into a homogenous sludge.

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Members’ News & Views Construction begins on biomethane to grid project

Clearfleau commissions AD plant for Nestlé

The Ellough plant will

FLI Energy has begun deliver 1,100m3/h of biomethane construction on the Ellough biomethane to grid project near Beccles, Suffolk. Developed and led by BioCore Environmental, the project’s installed capacity will be 12 MW of thermal energy, using locally produced purpose grown crops as feedstock. FLI Energy has been contracted for the design, construction and maintenance of the plant, as well as a five-year maintenance and process analysis support contract. The plant will produce approximately 2,000m3/h of raw biogas and, following an upgrading process to remove CO2 and trace contaminant gases using a Chesterfield BioGas upgrader, will deliver 1,100m3/h of biomethane, enough to power 7,000 homes. “Biomethane from AD could potentially deliver 10% of the UK’s domestic gas demand,” comments Declan McGrath, Managing Director of FLI Energy.

The on-site AD plant will help Nestlé to cut costs and reduce its carbon footprint

Clearfleau has recently commissioned an on-site, AD-based bioenergy plant for Nestlé at its Fawdon confectionery site near Newcastle upon Tyne. Designed and built by Clearfleau, the facility converts trade effluent and residual confectionery ingredients into renewable energy. When fully operational, the plant will generate 300 kWe for use in the Nestlé factory, cutting energy and disposal costs and reducing the site’s carbon footprint, with any surplus being exported to the grid. “This project is a major achievement for Clearfleau’s design and engineering team,” states Craig Chapman, Clearfleau CEO. “It is also a timely boost for UK renewables, as a global food company is working with an innovative British company.”

See p27 for more details of Chesterfield BioGas’ upgrading contracts


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Members’ News & Views North East’s first commercial food waste plant opens for business Emerald Biogas has announced the completion of its new £8m AD plant at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, the North East’s first commercial food waste facility. Constructed by Entec Biogas GmBH, the 1.56 MW plant will process 50,000 tpa of food waste, generating enough energy to power 2,000 homes and supplying local landowners with nutrient-rich digestate. The facility also has the capacity to expand, with planning permission already secured to increase it to four times its current size, as well as two additional phases beyond this. Funding for the project was made available through the Rural Development Programme for England, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union. Antony Warren, Director of Emerald Biogas, comments: “This truly is a one of a kind facility in the North East. We are now in the position to collect unwanted commercial food waste and employ the latest AD technology to create a valued commodity that will be extremely beneficial to the local business and farming communities.”

UTS develops plug and play AD technology

A new ‘plug and play’ concept from UTS Biogas is promising to speed up AD plant installation. The UTS ProCon is a process container in which the most important components of a plant are pre-installed, including pumps, mixers and control technology. Suitable for feedstock types such as slurry, manure and purpose grown crops, it can be customised to various sizes, usually between 75-600 kW. Installation takes place at UTS’ Dorfen production facility, near Munich, enabling plants to be commissioned quickly and easily once on site.

Enhanced digester performance from Lukeneder Following the mantra ‘prevention is better than cure’, Lukeneder GmbH has developed a solution to treat excessive hydrogen sulphur and ammonia issues in AD plants before they become a problem. Replenishing trace elements and minerals while removing H2S and ammonia, Deuto-Clear® Sulfo facilitates the conversion of volatile organic acids into methane and helps to reduce corrosion on plant equipment. The ready-to-use solution increases digester stability, resulting in improved plant performance and enhanced digestate quality. Depending on plant design, the Deuto-Clear® Sulfo system can be connected to the substrate line, digester or preliminary tank, with the dosage being adjusted according to the nitrogen and sulphur loads in the feedstock.

The preventative nature of Deuto-Clear® Sulfo encourages greater digester stability

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Members’ News & Views Movers and Shakers Clarke Energy announces improvements to GE gas engines Available in the UK through Clarke Energy, the GE Jenbacher J312 gas engine has recently undergone an improvement programme, offering greater value and service to AD operators. The 500 kW engine now delivers increased electrical efficiency, up 0.5% on the previous model, while a 400 kW engine has also been added to the range, boasting an extended service interval of 80,000 hours, instead of the usual 60,000. “With FIT degression due to take effect from April 2014, now is the ideal time to take advantage of our improved proven and reliable biogas engine range – watch out for further developments coming soon,” states Alex Marshall, Group Marketing and Compliance Manager.

Adaptable and tough free-stand enclosure Pentair Haffmans has introduced the stainless steel A30S4E free-stand enclosure, ideal for protecting technologies in the harshest of environments. The three-point latching and sealing system provides protection from dust, dirt, oil and water, and is particularly suited to the food and beverage sector, pharmaceutical processing, and the oil and gas industry. Fulfilling IP66, IK10 and NEMA Type 4x industrial standards, the enclosure can be modified to specific requirements and is available in different sizes, with a variety of accessories.

Award-winning micro AD technology now patented SEaB Energy has secured both US and UK patents for its multi award-winning micro AD power plants, the MuckBuster® and Flexibuster™. In addition, the company has been named a winner in the 2013 Defense Energy Technology Challenge, part of the annual Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit, having applied its self-sustainable technology to military and disaster recovery applications.

Hertfordshire AD plant on schedule

AD operator Biogen is on schedule to complete its Bygrave plant, near Baldock, Herts, in the last quarter of 2014. Processing 45,000 tpa of food waste, the plant will produce enough electricity to power around 4,000 homes, as well as digestate for use on nearby farmland.

Flange protectors prevent pipeline corrosion Allison Engineering has developed an innovative solution to protect pipelines from the damaging effects of corrosion. Kleerband Flange Protectors are designed to fit all DIN and ANSI flanges with a diameter range of 0.5"-144", with non-standard sizes also available. Installation with a worm-gear connection requires no special tools, while a flexible, transparent polyband allows for easy inspection.


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Members’ News & Views

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News



Labour pledges food waste landfill ban

For up to the minute information and advice on regulations, consultations and government news, contact our Policy Manager Matt Hindle T +44 (0)203 176 0591 E

Waste planning policy updates welcomed Government has published updated planning policy, which local authorities will use to assess planning applications for waste infrastructure. The draft changes to Planning Policy Statement 10 focus on the benefits that can be delivered by siting energy from waste (EfW) facilities where they can make use of the heat generated, and the benefits of co-locating EfW facilities with sewage sludge plants.


abour has committed to banning food waste to landfill if elected in 2015. Announced at their recent party conference in Brighton, this commitment would be a huge boost to the AD industry, potentially making greater quantities of food waste, which cannot be reduced or reused, available for treatment through anaerobic digestion.

We have welcomed these changes, outlining the significant opportunities for exporting heat from AD plants and co-locating sewage treatment plants with AD projects. Our response also allowed us to argue that there should be clear guidance to councils to separately collect food waste for treatment through anaerobic digestion, in line with the requirements of the Waste Framework Directive.

Further work will need to go into developing an effective timetable for enforcing such a ban, and Labour would also need to outline how it would support the development of infrastructure to deal with the increased quantity of food waste. We are therefore keen to work with the party on these further details, focusing on the need for separate food waste collections and for food waste to be sent for treatment through anaerobic digestion.

Annual Defra report highlights industry growth Defra’s annual Progress Report, designed to benchmark the sector’s progress since the publication of the AD Strategy and Action Plan in 2011, has recognised the clear industry growth over the last 12 months, while also noting a number of barriers still holding back the sector. The report highlighted a range of notable industry developments, including: Green Investment Bank support for AD; finalisation of a Quality Protocol on biomethane; WRAP’s work to develop digestate markets, and the publication of our Practical Guide to AD. Reference was also made to ongoing work to tackle issues around regulation, finance, skills, digestate markets, biomethane in transport, and AD’s role in the rural community.


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Policy RO sustainability criteria delayed In response to calls from industry, DECC has announced that the implementation of the sustainability criteria under the Renewables Obligation (RO) scheme will be delayed until 2015. We had advocated for such a delay on the basis that, with crops planted and harvested on an annual cycle and AD plants taking around a year to build, longer sight of the changes was needed.

Land use criteria also form part of the sustainability criteria requirements, which consist of general restrictions on the use of biomass sourced from land with high biodiversity or high carbon stock value, such as primary forest, peatland or wetland. These criteria will have to be met by April 2015 in order for RO support to be received. Operators using energy crops will be required to provide detail on previous land use as part of the profiling data requirement.

There was also some welcome clarity around the long term GHG emissions criteria that AD operations over 1 MW, which treat non-waste feedstocks, will have to meet to continue to receive support under the RO. It has been confirmed that the below emissions criteria will need to be met from 2015 (and reported against from 2014): • April 2014-March 2020 = 285kg CO2eq/MWh • April 2020-March 2025 = 200kg CO2eq/MWh • April 2025-March 2030 = 180kg CO2eq/MWh DECC has also confirmed that the trajectory of these criteria will not change until April 2027, unless European or international legislation forces an amendment.

Ministerial changes at Defra and DfT

Ofgem clarifies 200 kWth RHI limit Following dialogue with Ofgem, the regulator has clarified its approach to the current 200 kW thermal capacity limit for AD plants combusting biogas under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). If the total installed capacity for capturing heat from any larger CHP engine (eg 250 kW electrical capacity) is below the 200 kWth level, then RHI support is possible. The precise wording of RHI legislation refers to ‘the total heat output of the equipment in the form of usable hot liquid or steam’, which includes both the water jacket and a heat exchanger, if both were fitted. Operators will therefore need to demonstrate that their installed capacity for capturing heat from a larger engine is below 200 kWth. While acknowledging that this verification will vary for each project dependent on the type of CHP engine and heat capture equipment in use, Ofgem will typically require manufacturer’s documentation clearly stating the rated outputs of relevant components, ie water jacket and heat exchanger. DECC has previously proposed to remove the 200 kWth limit, and we expect a final decision to be announced before the end of 2013. New support would then be in place by April 2014.

Farming Minister David Heath MP was the most notable casualty of the recent government ministerial reshuffle. Fellow Liberal Democrat Dan Rogerson MP has replaced Mr Heath, who opened GENeco’s Avonmouth plant last December. Mr Rogerson has taken responsibility for both waste policy, previously held by Lord de Mauley, and water policy, formerly in the remit of Richard Benyon MP, who has also left the department. There were no changes to the ministerial team at DECC, but Norman Baker MP, who spoke at our Biomethane and Gas Vehicle Conference in May, has left the Department for Transport (DfT), with Baroness Kramer taking on his role. Mr Baker was a strong advocate for the role of biomethane for transport; we hope that the new minister carries this momentum forward to ensure that the DfT continues to make the case for the vital role that the biomethane can play in decarbonising our transport sector.

In other RHI news, Ofgem has also published the latest draft RHI guidance document, covering RHI eligibility and how to apply for the scheme. The document includes advice on what is included within the capacity of a biogas CHP installation, eligible and ineligible heat uses, metering requirements and registration for biomethane producers.

Norman Baker MP, pictured speaking at our Biomethane and Gas Vehicle Conference, has left the Department for Transport

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Working Groups Lawyers and Insurers Group to establish on-farm precedents

Following the development of a feedstock precedent document, the Lawyers and Insurers Group has agreed to consider exploring which precedents would be most useful to support smaller on-farm plants. The group has already begun working on a Heads of Terms precedent document for a farm-sized project, and has also recognised the need for greater engagement

with funders to determine which documents would be most helpful. The group has agreed to arrange one of its meetings on the morning of our next Members’ Meeting, likely to take place in spring 2014, and to invite AD operators and funders to join this meeting to contribute their views on the type of work that would be most useful for the group to carry out.

Biomethane to Grid group focuses on RHI review Our Biomethane to Grid Working Group met in London in early October to share market updates and discuss issues of common interest. The group enjoyed a presentation on gas measurement and control for biomethane projects from Andy Ling of Elster, which ADBA members can view on the group’s homepage via the members’ area at Andy’s presentation also provided case studies from Elster’s recent projects, including Spring Hill Farm. The main topic of conversation was the future of the RHI, which the group discussed at length following a presentation from our Policy Manager, Matt Hindle, who outlined the expected timetable for the proposed RHI review in 2014; again, members can view Matt’s presentation on the group’s homepage. Matt referred to the main issues that will be discussed during the review process, including the potential for some form of preliminary accreditation or tariff guarantee, and questions around whether tariff rates should be graded according to capacity levels. These are expected to be major debates over the coming year, into which the group will feed their views. Progress on technical and regulatory issues through the biomethane roundtable, established last year by ADBA and the Energy Networks Association, was also discussed – see ADBA News, p6, for a full update.


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Working Groups HGV Gas Strategy top of agenda for Transport group The development of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) HGV Gas Strategy was top of the agenda at October’s Transport Working Group meeting, which was attended by Claire Boam of the DfT’s freight team. ADBA is part of the steering group for the development of the strategy, which is considering how government can increase the use of gas and biomethane vehicles in the HGV sector. However, as the group heard, there are still a number of areas in which more information is needed before the strategy can be published, expected by spring 2014. The group also analysed various funding streams for gas vehicles and refuelling infrastructure, including: the Low Carbon Truck Programme; the Green Bus Fund; the Clean Bus Technology Fund; and Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) infrastructure funding. The group’s next meeting has been scheduled for 14 January 2014.

In the loop

Get involved

Missed a recent meeting? Want to keep abreast of the latest Working Group actions? The expanded members’ area on our website,, now contains detailed updates of all the groups’ activities, keeping you informed on the issues that matter most to your business.

As reported last issue, our working groups are changing. Alongside our core groups, we are planning a looser structure, with different styles of meetings, specialist networks and workshops, and a focus on best practice. To ensure our working groups are meeting your needs, let us know what you want to see – contact Jordan Marshall, Policy Officer E T +44 (0)203 176 5540

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Membership Matters 38

AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Upcoming Events ADBA R&D FORUM 12-13 NOV 2013

3 DEC 2013

7 feb 2014

Gisborough Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire

ADBA NATIONAL CONFERENCE 2013 One Great George Street, Westminster


Energy Now Expo 12-13 FEB 2014

Telford International Centre

Our fourth ADBA R&D Forum will provide the ideal platform to learn, share and debate the latest developments in AD R&D. Topics include: the latest research from across Europe and the UK; a debate on the most profitable products from AD; discussions on future horizons for AD research; a tour of the Centre for Process Innovation’s AD facilities; presentations on tools to support the commercialisation of R&D, and much more. See p25 for full details and book your ticket today.

Despite having a major role to play in supporting farming and food security, is government policy hampering the ability of AD to reach its full potential? Discuss this pressing issue and more, including whether we can afford not to recycle our phosphates, at the ADBA National Conference 2013. This event is your chance to find out the latest industry developments from high level speakers, debate topical issues facing your business in 2014 and beyond, and network with the who's who of the AD industry. Register now – full details on pages 20-22.

Our first ADBA AD & Hospitality Conference, hosted in association with WRAP and the British Hospitality Association (BHA), will bring together companies from across the hospitality and food service industry with waste management businesses and AD operators to look at how we can increase the amount and quality of food waste extracted from the hospitality sector and recycled through AD, with a view to delivering financial and other valuable benefits to all.

The Energy Now Expo is the only renewable energy event organised specifically for the agricultural and rural sectors. Celebrating its fifth year, the 2014 event is being held in association with the CLA and NFU, and is sponsored by NatWest. Meet the ADBA team at stand 54.

Welcome new ADBA members! B9 Organic Energy Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) Citadel Environmental Solutions Fisher German LLP Flow Components Gleadell Bioenergy H&K Farms Heliex Power Ltd Jelf Group Plc Lancaster Environment Centre Meltog Merrivale Farms Ltd National Grid NRM Ltd OST Energy PRM Waste Systems Ltd Scaled Biogas Ltd The Underfloor Heating Company Ltd University of Leicester Weightron Bilanciai Ltd

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Membership Matters

Safety First Site induction

Terry Brownhill has 25 years’ experience in the waste sector with companies such a Veolia and AMEC and is currently Business Development Manager for PROjEN BioEnergy. An ADBA Director, Terry is also Chair of ADBA’s Training and Safety Working Group, and was instrumental in the development of The Practical Guide to AD. E It is essential that everyone who enters an AD premises – from site visitors and delivery drivers, to new employees – is given a full induction, to ensure they are aware of the layout, processes, key personnel, welfare facilities, and health and safety procedures. Failure to undertake a suitable induction process could result in: • Health and safety breaches • Personal injury • Damage to site infrastructure • Non-compliance • Stress and low morale in new employees The time taken to complete a site induction will vary dependent upon the recipient: a delivery driver or visitor would expect to spend between 10-30 minutes, whereas between one and five days would be more likely for a new employee. For staff and operatives, make sure that the induction process is

planned in advance of the employee joining the company, as it may involve senior managers, the company’s health and safety advisor, human resources and in some instances, the employee’s trade union representative. An example induction process is detailed below: A Visitor/delivery driver (10-30 mins) A+B Plant operative (one to five days) A+B+C Management/senior staff (one to three weeks)




Issue personal protective equipment (PPE)

Introduction to the company

Introduction to heads of department

Video or verbal briefing Site layout Site visit Denote site boundaries, tipping off point and restricted areas

Terms and conditions of employment

IT induction

Emergency procedures and fire assembly point

Human resources and training policies

Levels of authority

Risks – mobile machinery

Company rules and procedures

Use of mobile phones Welfare and and cameras employee benefits

To find out more see the Health and Safety chapter of The Practical Guide to AD at 40

AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Health and safety, and site rules

Membership Matters

Supporting industry growth In the four years since our inception, the UK AD industry has expanded from just 35 plants to over 120 – an increase of 243%. Throughout this time, we have worked hard alongside our members to help achieve the following: • The Practical Guide to AD – the first complete introductory reference tool for those developing and operating AD facilities in the UK (available free to members) • Finance Forums – regular liaison with the finance community to help attract investment in AD • Improvements to financial incentives – working alongside DECC to make incentives more effective • Due diligence template and feedstock precedent agreement – working with WRAP to help reduce project costs • Government recognition of AD – persuading government to commit to supporting a ‘huge increase in energy from waste through anaerobic digestion’ and the publication of an independent thinktank report • AD Strategy and Action Plan – key development role in this influential document, including leading on all eleven industry-specific actions • Regulatory changes – helping to facilitate regulatory improvements; for example, gas grid connection • Biomethane roundtable – established with the Energy Networks Association, helping to address barriers to grid connection

• 350+ members – representing the largest number of companies involved in the AD and biogas industry, covering sectors as diverse as farming, government, food and drink, water, transport, construction, academia, waste management, finance, engineering and many more – thank you for your support • Only AD-specific UK trade show in the UK – since our first show four years ago, UK AD & Biogas has grown by 365%; join us now • Topical industry events – including the ADBA National Conference, R&D Forums and Members’ Meetings, our industry-leading events feature high level political discussion, technology, services and innovation For the comprehensive list of all our achievements over the past four years go to

We’re not done yet In the next two years, we plan to:

• Gas Vehicle Hub – supporting the development of gas vehicles as a market for biomethane

• Develop a Best Practice Scheme – helping to raise industry standards, reduce project risks and costs, and attract more investment

• Promotion of on-farm and crop AD – including the development of crop best practice guidance

• Support the implementation of the AD R&D strategy – ensuring we continue to innovate, improve performance and make the most of the valuable resources we treat and produce

• Recognition of the value of separate food waste collections – engaging with local authorities and the food & drink industry

• Promote the value of digestate – increasing markets and therefore profits

• 50+ consultation responses on your behalf in the last year alone

• Create a new farmers’ service – supporting development of AD in the farming sector

• Venture Capital Trust exemption for AD – preserving one of few sources of finance for the industry • Biomethane Certification Scheme – supporting an initiative to help increase the value of biomethane

• Help make UK AD a world leading industry • And much more...

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Membership Matters Information, debate and networking Held at the stunning central London offices of ADBA member Maclay Murray and Spens on 23 October, delegates at our most recent Members’ Meeting, the first of the new membership year, enjoyed an informative afternoon of industry expert presentations, in-depth discussions and first class networking opportunities. Our Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, opened the meeting with an update on the buoyant state of the UK AD industry, revealing a 36% growth in the last 12 months, before Policy Manager, Matt Hindle, delivered an insight into the Association’s recent policy work, covering FIT degression, RHI, the biomethane roundtable and the DfT’s Gas Strategy. Other topics for discussion throughout the day included: key issues from Brussels, as outlined by Susanna Litmanen of the European Biogas Association (EBA); a case study on the trials of connecting to the gas grid from Future Biogas’ Philipp Lukas (whose Doncaster plant began exporting gas into the grid network just hours earlier); the latest from DECC on changes to FIT and the RHI; and developments in micro AD from Angela Bywater of Methanogen, who outlined the dynamic work happening in London community AD projects.

Alexander Maddan of Agrivert led a lively debate on the subject of food waste capacity versus available food waste. The event closed with a free drinks reception, affording attendees an opportunity to network and relax with colleagues, AD experts, the ADBA team and industry associates.

WRAP’s Nina Sweet updated the audience on the latest research and innovation on digestate, also covering developments with End of Waste and PAS 110, while Dean Pearce of ReFood, Michael Chesshire of Evergreen Gas, and

TEAM Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton T + 44 (0)203 176 0503 E

“The Members’ Meeting is the perfect place to network with a vast array of people from all sectors of the AD industry.”

Policy Manager, Matt Hindle T +44 (0)203 176 0591 E

James Tolson, Vogelsang

Policy Officer, Jordan Marshall T +44 (0)203 176 5440 E Commercial Director, Louise Wallace T +44 (0)203 176 0592 E Sales Manager Jamil Ahad T +44 (0)203 176 4414 E

“This was our first Members’ Meeting and we were very impressed with the content and in-depth information on offer.”

Sales Executive, Rachel Fenton T +44 (0)203 176 5418 E

Gary Burgess and Billy Bagnall, Biodynamic

Marketing Manager, Annika Herter T +44 (0)203 176 0590 E Design and Creative Manager, Matthew Ireland T +44 (0)203 176 4415 E

“A very worthwhile event; I learnt a lot and made some new contacts.” Raimund Selz, Metamo Process Technology

Marketing Executive, Kelly Oxenham T +44 (0)203 176 5417 E Marketing Intern, Barbara Landell Mills T +44 (0)203 176 7767 E R&D Liaison and PR Manager, Rosaline Hulse T +44 (0)203 176 5441 E Accountant, Amy Pritchard T +44 (0)203 176 6962 E

“It’s important for me to keep up to date with latest industry developments and regulatory changes, which is why the Members’ Meeting is so useful.” Lucy Booth, GP Planning

Office Executive, Peter Mackintosh T +44 (0)203 176 0503 E Finance, Bruce Nelson Director of Compass Renewables T +44 (0)1732 464495 E AD & Biogas News Managing Editor, Kirsty Sharpe T +44 (0)1920 821873 E AD & Biogas News Editor, Kate O’Reilly T +44 (0)7894 039609 E


AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Exhibitor Profiles

november 2013 | AD & Biogas News


Exhibitor Profiles 44

AD & Biogas News | november 2013

Adba 44ppa4 digital  
Adba 44ppa4 digital  

ADBA AD&Biogas News issue 19 November 2013