AD & Bioresources News June 2016

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Issue 32 June 2016

Building a world class AD industry

Launch of ADBA Best Practice Scheme

AD & Biogas Industry Awards shortlist

On-farm AD technology

ADBA pushes DECC to resolve incentives 2

AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

Foreword A brave new world for AD and biogas

Inside this issue > Foreword:


View from the top:


ADBA News:


Best Practice Matters:




Feature: Improving operational performance:


Advice Clinic: Digestate:


Technology Focus: On-farm AD


AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2016 Preview:


UK AD & Biogas 2016 Preview:


UK AD & Biogas 2016 Conference Programme:


UK AD & Biogas 2016 Seminar Programme:


UK AD & Biogas 2016 Exhibitor Preview: 28-31 Members’ News and Views:




Government & Agency News:


R&I Update:


ADBA R&I Forum 2016 Preview: Membership Matters:

41 43-46

Editorial: To be considered for inclusion in a future issue contact: Editor: Kate O’Reilly T +44 (0)7894 039609 E

AD&Bioresources News FEATURES Features planned for Issue 33 (September) include:

By Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive, ADBA


n a challenging environment, it’s more important than ever that we come together as an industry and showcase everything that AD can offer. As I’m sure you know, on 6-7 July the UK AD & Biogas show is back at Birmingham’s NEC. I’m personally extremely excited about this year’s event, and for a variety of reasons. The 2016 edition will see a series of firsts, records broken and breaking news stories that are going to reshape the nature of our business. The biggest change for this year is that our industry gathering is now going to be a truly global affair. The international themes will run through the entire conference programme and are reflected in our burgeoning international exhibitor and delegate list. We’re also proud to announce that several international associations have joined us as honorary members, and will be joining us in Birmingham. The challenges that we believe anaerobic digestion and biogas can help alleviate – and in some cases eliminate – are of a global nature and, moreover, urgent. By coming together to share experiences, expertise and business partnerships we can all benefit and create a stronger industry, and a more sustainable environment. Equally, many of the regulatory challenges we face, we face together; so being able to unify our voices into one will give strength to us all. And of course, global markets mean global opportunities for operators, developers, suppliers and consultants. To make sure that the UK is at the forefront of delivering a world class AD industry, we’ll be making an extremely important announcement on the first day of the conference: the launch of our industry-led Best Practice Scheme. This is an industry first, supported by government regulators and our partner organisations. The initial focus – on checklists for procurement, risk management and operational performance – will ultimately be expanded to develop a comprehensive, certifiable scheme. There are many other fantastic highlights to look forward to – from the launch of our latest Market Report, featuring our view of the top ten growing AD markets, to the launch of the Food Waste Recycling Action Plan; and from analysis of global challenges by the UN to discussion of the changing face of regulation of the UK water industry. I’m more excited than ever before about the potential of our industry, and once again UK AD & Biogas will provide everything you need to assess the market we now face. I hope you can join us – and 4,000 of your colleagues from around the world. I look forward to seeing you in Birmingham.

• How AD is giving water companies a competitive edge • Technology Focus: Odour control • UK AD & Biogas 2016 Review Copy deadline: 24 June

Features planned for Issue 34 (November) include: • AD as part of the community energy mix • Technology Focus: Pre-treatment technology • ADBA National Conference 2016 Preview Copy deadline: 16 Sept

Sponsorship and advertising: Neill Wightman, Events and Sponsorship Manager T +44 (0)203 176 4414 E

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


View from the top How ADBA is working to support a world class AD industry By Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s Chief Executive


s I set out in this issue’s Foreword on p3, we at ADBA want to support the growth of a world class AD industry. Our Best Practice Scheme is central to ensuring that our operating sites perform as well as they can, and that regulation and insurance premiums are proportionate to industry risks. It’s now taking shape, thanks to the many contributions of our members and other industry stakeholders – if you haven’t yet been involved, you can find out more in Jess’s column on p7, on our website ( and by coming to UK AD & Biogas 2016 (6-7 July, NEC Birmingham), where we will launch the scheme. The Best Practice Scheme steering group, made up of representatives from all sectors involved in the AD industry, has driven the development of the scheme. The group has agreed a two-step process: Step 1 Create a series of Best Practice Checklists with the aim of raising awareness of existing tools, guidance and requirements that can contribute to best practice. The first of these will be published at UK AD & Biogas 2016. Step 2 Develop a certification scheme based on the checklists. We will continue to work with all stakeholders and will be seeking feedback and input from our members throughout the scheme’s development. We hope that the checklists launched in July will ensure developers, operators, regulators, funders and insurers have all the information they need about regulatory requirements and existing industry best practice. Despite all the challenges that developers have faced, our industry has continued to expand in the last year to over 450 operational sites. But we 4

AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

know that there is more work to do to enable it to operate as well as it can: operators face constrained feedstock supplies, operational obstacles and often, contradictory regulation. The Best Practice Scheme – along with our operator groups and the support of our policy and regulatory team – is designed to help the latter two challenges. On feedstock, the devolution of waste policy has led to stark differences between England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The latter three administrations have encouraged food waste collection schemes, taking different approaches but all achieving impressive results. It is time for England to catch up, and through the Food Waste Recycling Action Plan and the Consistency Working Group (see Policy, p34-35) we have been putting pressure on Defra and DCLG to better support food waste recycling. We know that as an industry we need to continue to develop technology and embrace innovation to stay ahead of the competition. As our Market Analyst, Ollie More, reveals on p41, we held a hugely successful Research & Innovation Forum in April, and the R&I Hub and seminar programme at UK AD & Biogas 2016 will feature yet more academic and commercial research and innovation which could improve efficiency, generate more revenue streams and increase the potential of the industry’s membership. Finally, we need to continue to shout loudly about everything AD can do, to win the policy support which is so clearly lacking at present. Our Parliamentary Reception in March drew interest from over 80 MPs and peers, and many ADBA members have since hosted site visits for Parliamentarians. UK AD & Biogas 2016 will be another chance to showcase a world class AD industry – I can’t wait to see you there.


ADBA fights for future RHI support In late April we submitted our response to DECC’s consultation on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). While the government has clearly set out its intention to support biomethane and biogas heat, there are significant improvements we would like to see in their proposals. Our response followed consultation with our members and we thank all of you who took part in our webinars and shared views, data and evidence. Our response made it clear that biomethane is a success story for the RHI and that the scheme remains vital to investment in new capacity for green gas. We believe DECC should use this opportunity to ensure biogas heat is still viable, with reduced tariffs and constrained electricity support. Our response also highlighted several areas where we intend to work closely with DECC and reiterated our offer to bring together industry and academic experts to discuss evidence on the carbon effectiveness of crop feedstocks in more detail. DECC’s analysis failed to take into account the wider benefits that AD can bring, including using crops that help protect biodiversity, restore degraded landscapes, and support the use of waste and residue feedstocks. We addressed these areas in our response, and looked to the role that innovation can play if the industry is supported now, such as technology for capturing and using CO2 from biomethane upgrading. In addition, we also stated that to ensure that AD can deliver DECC’s demands, it will be vital for DECC to work with other government departments to encourage the uptake of separate food waste collections in England.

We’ve reiterated our strong support for tariff guarantees and the role they play in delivering investor confidence in a capped and degressing scheme. We also expressed our support for spring 2017 tariff resets to January 2016 levels for both biomethane and biogas heat. On the basis of the evidence members provided, we firmly believe that these reforms are necessary to achieve DECC’s aims for the technology for 2017-2021. At the time of writing, DECC is still considering responses to the consultation. For the latest news, contact thom.koller@adbioresources or go to

Innovations in AD can shape future energy markets The Energy and Climate Change (ECC) Select Committee is investigating ‘disruptive innovation’ in the energy sector, including technologies with the potential to transform existing market structures. Our members provided us with suggestions, which we used to form the basis of a submission to the ECC’s investigation, showcasing how AD can change the way energy markets work. We presented two innovations to the Committee that build on the established record of new technologies, processes and markets that the AD industry has helped develop: virtual power plant technology and biorefining excess electricity. Virtual power technology aggregates small scale generators and businesses, simulating the energy profile of a traditional power plant. The technology decreases reliance on fossil fuel power stations and increases the uptake of renewable energy by providing flexibility. Virtual power technology can generate additional revenue streams for small scale generators and allows them to compete with large power plants, as well as driving a more variable, green energy mix – essential if the UK is to deliver on its renewable commitments. Biorefining excess electricity provides a solution to wasted energy generated by renewable sources when supply outstrips demand – often at night. The process allows additional carbon-intensive fossil fuel sources to decommission without fear of a capacity crunch, as generated energy can be saved in the form of biomethane and used later. Further R&D is still needed to bring lab scale biomethanation technology to full scale implementation, and the University of South Wales is currently working with industrial partners to develop a pilot scale demonstration plant at a live industrial facility.

Both virtual power plant technology and biorefining excess electricity are very interesting concepts, which could play a significant role in driving the UK towards a low carbon future.

Get involved To find out more about the exciting innovations taking shape within the AD industry, come to the R&I Hub at UK AD & Biogas 2016. See p24-25 for full details.

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News



ADBA responds to EC Fertiliser Regulations proposals In May we submitted our response to the European Commission proposals for new Fertiliser Regulations, which will set end of waste criteria for digestates across the continent. While these criteria could theoretically replace PAS 110, as we have previously reported, the proposals now include an ‘optional harmonisation’ approach, which would allow the UK to continue to use existing standards for digestate spread within national borders.

Following the consultation period, the proposals are now being discussed at European Council level, where Defra represents the UK’s interests. We have shared our views and response with the Department, and will continue to work closely with them to represent UK food waste AD operators. The Commission is aiming to finish the European legislative process by January 2018.

We strongly supported the optional harmonisation approach as it will avoid market disruption for PAS 110-compliant UK operators. We have also called on the Commission to explicitly state that national standards like PAS can be used towards recycling targets, as per CE marked fertilisers in Europe. We also made comments on the workability of the proposed European standards in general, as they will impact on digestate market development and could influence future UK use of digestate. Operators have reported that the definitions of ‘organic fertilisers’ and ‘organic soil improvers’ in the draft legislation would currently exclude most digestates. Although this might not be of immediate concern to the UK with PAS 110 still in operation, it is better for all of us that the market for renewable fertilisers grows throughout Europe to develop digestate as a product and to encourage new technology.

See Us at UK AD & Biogas 2016 Stand: J502


AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

Best Practice Matters Excitement builds as launch approaches We have been making excellent progress on our Best Practice Scheme and excitement is now building as we look forward to launching our Best Practice Checklists at UK AD & Biogas 2016 at the NEC Birmingham on 6-7 July.

For information and advice on any areas relating to AD best practice, contact our Environment and Regulation Manager, Jess Allan T +44 (0)203 735 8380 E

What are we launching?

We will be launching the first phase of our Best Practice Scheme, which involves the publication of three Best Practice Checklists covering risk management, procurement and operational performance. These topics have been identified as priorities by industry stakeholders. The checklists will give an indication of what is considered best practice by the industry, raising awareness of existing tools, guidance, standards and legal requirements that contribute to best practice. They will also act as a first step towards the Best Practice Certification Scheme, which is the project’s second phase.

How can you be involved?

We are continuing to work closely with operators, developers, regulators, insurers, funders, other trade associations, professional bodies and suppliers to ensure that the checklists are an accurate and realistic reflection of best practice in the AD industry. We have undertaken a significant level of

industry engagement, including discussions at operator group meetings, a stakeholder workshop and updates at our Regulatory Forum and Members’ Meeting. This has allowed us to have many interesting and detailed discussions with a range of groups and gain a wealth of feedback, which is crucial to the scheme’s success. We are keen to understand the views of all those who operate in the AD industry and will ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for you to contribute your thoughts. Throughout June we will be circulating and finalising the checklists, so please do let me have any feedback –

Be part of it! You can be part of the launch and get your hands on a copy of the Best Practice Checklists by attending UK AD & Biogas 2016 – I look forward to seeing you there.

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News



News from the regions Boost for AD in NI with new food waste law

SEPA proposes stricter digestate standards

Food waste-producing businesses in Northern Ireland are now required to present their food waste separately for collection under changes to the law. The new duty, a part of the Food Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland), applies to those involved in the processing, distribution, preparation, or sale of food and who regularly produce more than 50kg of food waste per week. Following the introduction of the regulations in Scotland, AD plant operators reported an increase of up to 20 per cent in food waste collected for treatment.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is consulting on proposed new guidance on food waste management in Scotland. Only food waste managed in accordance with the guidance will fulfil the duty to segregate food waste, demonstrate compliance with duty of care and fulfil proposed waste acceptance criteria at SEPA-regulated food waste treatment facilities.

Scotland ahead of target for renewables Scotland generated the equivalent of more than half its electricity needs from renewable sources in 2015, surpassing the 50 per cent target set by Ministers. The figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change mean Scotland is now more than halfway towards its target of producing the equivalent of 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Jenny Hogan, Director of Policy for Scottish Renewables, said: “This is another important milestone for our industry and shows renewables are now a mainstream part of our power sector. There is still a huge amount of potential for future growth, if the industry is given the right backing by government.�


AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

The Agency is also seeking feedback on its revised regulatory positions for the Regulation of Outputs from Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Processes. These revisions set out limits (by weight) of physical contaminants (including plastic) to eight per cent of those specified in PAS 110 standards, and will align SEPA physical contamination limits with Quality Meat Scotland standards. Digestate which exceeds these revised limits will be regulated as a waste and will be deemed unsuitable for application to agricultural land. ADBA will be submitting a response to the consultation; to feed in your views contact

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


Improving operational performance

Driving up standards to create a world class AD industry


he 2015 anaerobic digestion report from the Green Investment Bank (GIB) revealed an improvement in operational performance across the AD sector over the two years since its first report was published. On a like for like basis, load factors for agricultural facilities in 2014 were 71 per cent (up from 63 per cent in 2013) whilst the corresponding figure was 72 per cent for source-segregated food waste facilities (up from 67 per cent in 2013). While this improvement is encouraging – and we must also take into account that the GIB report only considered average load factor across a limited set of data – the fact remains that a considerable number of UK plants are underperforming against their plans. The consequences of such inefficiency for our industry are considerable, not only in terms of lost revenue and increased operating costs, but also in terms of reducing the overall ability of the sector to contribute to the UK’s waste treatment and carbon reduction targets. And as for the effect on individual plants, a five per cent drop in output can cost a 1 MW plant around £5,500 a month. The same plant operating at just 65 per cent efficiency would be losing £37,000 every month.

Good operators are in the habit of looking, listening and feeling for changes to their plant


AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

The good news is that many companies and organisations, from researchers to plant operators, are highly focused on improving the industry’s operational performance, not least ADBA, which is developing a Best Practice Scheme to support the UK AD industry in becoming a world-leader in terms of environmental, safety and operational performance. But before an underperforming plant can be expected to improve, the operator must first understand its starting point.

Measure then monitor

There is a long-held management adage that if you can’t measure something you can’t monitor it, and this is certainly true when it comes to operating an AD plant. After all, the costs of monitoring are often much lower than the costs and lost revenue associated with re-establishing a biologically destabilised plant. Dan Purvis, Head of Operations at Future Biogas, agrees: “As an operator, you must be as proactive, rather than reactive, as possible. You therefore need the information to enable you to make appropriate decisions and identify issues before they become a problem. By monitoring your plant and recording data you are building a history of what’s normal for your plant.” Having such information readily available also has other benefits. “Plotting the data collected can often show interactions between different performance indicators; for example, how temperature affects biogas generation,” explains Amaya Arias-Garcia, Technical Director of GOALS-PME, and Chair of ADBA’s Best Practice Steering Group. “This data not only helps operators learn from their experiences but can also be very helpful for training new members of staff.” However, it is important that operators plan for information collection right from the start of the design process. “The correct instrumentation is vital and cheap,” says Les Gornall of CAPITA-PROjEN. “Although often left out in an attempt to reduce costs, over its ten-year lifetime, a £5,000 instrument like

Improving operational performance

Operators should not underestimate the significance of plant biology

a gas analyser could prevent ten foaming incidents. If each incident reduced output by 35 per cent for one month, this would represent a total cost of £370,000 over ten years.” But with so many parameters to take into consideration, just what should operators be measuring? “The minimum requirement is for the input volume to each primary digester to be measured on a flow meter, the gas respired by that primary digester to be measured on a flow meter and sample points placed to allow the site laboratory and an external laboratory to measure the quality of each flow,” explains Les. “It should be possible to write a daily mass balance for each primary digester from the instrument readings.” And although every plant is different, Amaya adds that other tools, like pH monitors, temperature probes and titration kits, can help to give the overall picture: “I would suggest that temperature, pH, biogas production, biogas quality (in terms of CH4, H2S and O2), and the dry matter content of any substrate are recorded as a minimum, alongside general observations.”

Know your plant

This last point should not be overlooked in a quest to assimilate hard data. “Plant operators should be walking around the plant and checking the machinery every day, trying to identify potential problems. We call it ‘look, listen and feel’,” stresses Dan Purvis. “Keeping the plant clean and having high standards of housekeeping will also help. For example, if you get an oil leak you’ll spot it straight away. It’s about paying attention to the plant and thinking that if something doesn’t look right or feel right, then it probably requires further investigation. Often it’s too easy to just leave things because the plant is running.” According to Dan, knowing what’s ‘normal’ for your plant will also make it easier to identify areas of underperformance, or any bottlenecks in the process. “If you know what the loading rate and residence time of the fermenter are, you can decide whether it can take any more,” he points out. “You can also look at how else to increase production; for example, by increasing the dry matter in your feedstock. Other things to consider might include the variability of biogas production and whether you have enough buffer capacity to smooth this out and allow the CHP to operate at a consistently high rate. With a gas upgrading plant, you will want to keep the compressor running at full capacity without sacrificing gas purity.”

Technical and biological support

Fortunately, technology is improving fast, and the latest optimisation support systems, such as the PROjEN ADvisor, do more than just monitor the system, as Les Gornall explains: “They look at rates of change in the system, flagging

Many plant operators are now focused on improving the industry’s operational performance

changes that are too rapid for the bacteria to adjust to. The software even allows the operator to insert next week’s feedstock table and the system will predict and highlight problems, allowing the operator to avoid problems before they occur.” The significance of plant biology should not be underestimated, either. “If the AD plant biology is not working in optimal conditions, then the digestion process cannot work at 100 per cent efficiency,” says Tim Elsome of FM BioEnergy. When CHP production at Springvale Energies dropped from its full capacity of 499 kW to 475 kW – causing the operator’s FIT payments and electricity sales to reduce by £860 per week – they turned to FM BioEnergy for help. An emergency product restored the plant to full production within 12 hours, and operator Nigel Bloom now adds a bespoke mix of the trace elements necessary for his plant and, most importantly, at exactly the right levels as the product is formulated from analysis of the digestate, every day. This keeps his plant operating at full load without process failure. Furthermore, adding appropriate enzymes – and thereby decreasing the feedstock retention time – has helped Springvale to recently increase output from 499 kW to 1.1 MW, without installing another tank. Continued>>

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


Getting value from digestate


AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

Improving operational performance And it’s not just the gas output that can benefit from stable plant biology. “With an incomplete digestion, gas yield will be below the Biological Methane Potential (BMP) of the feedstock, and acids are likely to start accumulating in the digester,” explains Tim. “This can cause further issues over time and can even affect PAS 110 certification in terms of the final digestate. For agricultural plants processing a lot of fibrous feedstock, the use of enzymes will not only increase gas yields while reducing viscosity, but will also change the composition of digestate.”

Maximising the value of digestate

So not only can an efficient plant yield more gas, it can also produce a better quality digestate. And when it comes to getting more bang for your muck, being able to demonstrate quality can provide a real financial benefit, with one company claiming a difference in value of 50p/m3 for PAS 110 certified digestate over a non-certified product. “While not all markets are particularly sensitive to digestate certification, there are some obvious exceptions; for example, the Scottish agricultural market,” comments David Tompkins of Aqua Enviro. “But even for merchant AD plant operators, who often pay third party contractors a certain amount per tonne to haul their digestate away, there can be gains. Those contractors may charge less per tonne if the digestate is certified or they may charge the same amount and pocket any downstream savings themselves. I would encourage operators who can’t take the spreading operation in house, to at least have a conversation with their contractors to understand whether there are any returns which could come back to the plant, rather than being held by the contractor.”

Improving efficiencies through innovation

But it’s not just in the commercial arena where operational performance is important. Improving process efficiency continues to be a key focus for researchers and developers in the AD industry, as the 2016 ADBA Research & Innovation Forum, held at the University of York in April, showed. Delegates learned of trials at a pilot scale by Thames Water, which showed that increasing temperatures from 35 to 39°C resulted in an eight per cent increase in gas yields, a factor that has now been incorporated into the company’s full scale digesters. And Dr James Chong of the Department of Biology at the University of York highlighted the benefits of looking after a plant’s microbe population. Dr Chong revealed that the dynamics and genetics of these populations can help to increase methane production and is developing a method to sequence the DNA of the microbes associated with digestion. In turn, this has allowed him and his team to identify the genes associated with each of the three steps of methanogenesis, providing a better understanding of how community function is likely to enhance methane production in practice.

An efficient plant will not only yield more gas, but will produce a better quality digestate, too

Other areas of focus for researchers include work on the low temperature treatment of wastewater and sludge, which is now moving from the laboratory into the commercial arena. Professor Tom Curtis of the School of Civil Engineering at Newcastle University points out that that 1-2 per cent of all electricity generated in the UK is used by the water industry, with half of this for aeration. At the same time, wastewater typically contains up to eight times the energy currently used to treat it. The challenge, therefore, is to harness this energy. A solution may come from Ireland-based NVP Energy, which has developed a low temperature AD (Lt-AD) technology. The company states: ‘Since the Lt-AD technology operates in the psychrophilic range, none of the biogas generated is required to heat the influent. Therefore, all of the biogas that is produced can be re-used on-site to reduce energy bills and fossil fuel usage. Unlike the aerobic/activated sludge process, the Lt-AD technology recovers the carbon in wastewater and transforms it into methane. This effectively means that the NVP Energy technology closes the carbon loop and so is a carbon neutral technology. Furthermore, as the energy generated from the biogas is greater than the energy required to operate low temperature AD, it is actually an energy positive technology.’ With events such as the ADBA R&I Forum, and the R&I Hub at UK AD & Biogas 2016, helping to foster greater links between industry and academia, it is hoped that more innovative solutions like this will make the jump from the lab to the commercial AD field.

Removing barriers to innovation

However, such developments require research which, in turn, requires funding. ADBA is asking the government to set aside at least £25m to the AD and bioresources sector, from an increased innovation programme worth £500m over the next five years. “We are calling on government to allocate £25m of the increased innovation programme for demonstration projects towards AD,” explains Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s Chief Executive. “The potential export value of anaerobic digestion technology is over £2bn per year. Increased innovation in demonstration projects, such as power-to-methane and digestate processing, could bring ways of sustaining the sector with reduced reliance on financial mechanisms, allowing AD to remain the most cost-effective method of producing home-grown green gas and electricity, and contributing to the UK’s 2020 renewable energy, recycling, decarbonisation, and climate change targets.” Ollie More, ADBA’s Market Analyst, believes that until more funding becomes available, the industry should not be afraid to look for inspiration from elsewhere: “We can’t rely on government policy to overcome all of the pressures on our industry. The area that we can control, though, is research and innovation. AD operators need to make up lost revenue by reducing the cost of feedstock, increasing and improving energy and non-energy outputs, improving the effectiveness of digestate as a source of fertiliser for farming, and using new technologies to manage the digestion and associated processes

At the 2016 ADBA Research & Innovation Forum, improving process efficiency was a key focus area

Continued>> june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


Improving operational performance more effectively. A report for the Department of Business, Innovation and Trade by Frontier Economics revealed that research and innovation could deliver a 30 per cent return on investment. Companies in the AD industry need an understanding of all the latest scientific knowledge. That knowledge may come from a variety of places as our industry is a combination of microbiology, thermodynamics, materials science, gas chemistry, rheology, agricultural science, finance and others.”

Incentivising heat use

However, research is of no use if the industry cannot implement it. Thomas Minter, Director of Malaby Biogas, believes that only a few plants with CHP units are making full use of their heat, despite the technology being available to do so. “Plants with CHPs installed before the December 2013 eligibility date are not able to claim RHI support; so older plants are not incentivised to use

heat from their existing CHPs. This is because of Ofgem and DECC setting the eligibility date a long time after they first announced the inclusion of CHP heat in the RHI,” he says. As well as a raft of regulations on everything from planning to electricity sales, a lack of investor confidence and market uncertainties, Thomas believes that the complexity of the existing RHI acts as a barrier to implementing new technology in the most efficient way. “RHI rules are complex and accreditation is slow to come through, which makes the outcome uncertain until after expenditure. Operators such as myself would like a simplified RHI, which properly understands biogas, CHP heat and the ability to use the large amount of waste heat created by pre-December 2013 plants. I understand the principle behind not including older plants is that DECC thought the RHI wasn’t included in their original business plans, but this is only the case for pre-2010 plants. The fact remains that CHP heat is generated anyway and it’s the cost of utilising that heat which is the barrier to delivery,” he adds.

Driving up industry standards

While such issues may take time to resolve, there is a more pressing need for the industry to improve not just its operational efficiency, but also its health and safety record. A number of high profile incidents have brought greater public and political scrutiny, with the Environment Agency (EA) now seeing AD as a high risk sector. The implications of not raising our standards are severe. Not only will it force the EA to regulate further (the EA is already surveying all AD sites); it will also make it more difficult for projects to attract funding.

Malaby Biogas is not incentivised to make the best use of its plant’s heat

To address these issues, and to provide operators with the tools to increase business sustainability and operational efficiency, ADBA is working on the creation of a new Best Practice Scheme (see p7 for details), set to launch at UK AD & Biogas 2016 (6-7 July, NEC Birmingham). “A steering group has 14

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Improving operational performance been established, consisting of representatives from key organisations with an interest in the industry, including trade bodies, professional bodies and other organisations,” explains Amaya Arias-Garcia, who chairs the steering group charged with delivering the scheme. “Risk-based process safety is at the heart of the Best Practice Scheme (BPS), following the pillars of accident prevention systems. The BPS will produce a checklist of the key considerations, guidance, and regulations surrounding risk management, as well as the existing risk identification and management tools, while the guide itself will also set out why risk management is important and the benefits.” ADBA board member Terry Brownhill, who is also Chair of ADBA’s Training, Safety and Environment Working Group, feels that the timing is right for such a scheme. “The UK AD sector is passing through a period of transition, both in terms of showing a willingness to adopt changes, and also dealing with the effects of uncertainty in relation to the robustness of support schemes,” he says. “Sections of the industry are learning from their mistakes and this has provided the stimulus to put a process in place to remedy any shortcomings. As we move forward, the AD sector will have the opportunity to adopt the Best Practice Scheme, which is being developed collaboratively across the sector. The real benefit from adopting best practice is likely to be the continuity of operation which results from biologically stable and safe plants which have been designed, constructed and maintained to an acceptable standard. This will result in increased plant availability and a more predictable return on investment and operating costs.”

ultimately improve efficiency and may also help operators to get lower insurance premiums. But there are not just operational and financial reasons for raising standards in the AD industry. Plant owners also have a huge duty of care towards the operatives of, and visitors to, their plant; they have not just a legal duty, but a moral duty to ensure their AD facility is being operated efficiently and, most importantly, safely.”

Carl Gurney of insurance broker Jelf Group agrees: “We hope that the implementation of the Best Practice Scheme will provide the right guidance and standards needed for design, construction and operation. That should

ADBA’s Best Practice Scheme will follow the pillars of accident prevention systems, such as installing lightning protection at AD sites

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


Advice Clinic: Digestate

Advice Clinic: Digestate In our regular advice column, ADBA members provide answers to some common AD queries


“How important is PAS 110 to end-users of digestate?”

“Certification of digestate under the Biofertiliser Certification Scheme to PAS 110 standard is of great benefit to both the producer and the customer. Under PAS 110, inputs are controlled with a management system in place to ensure that the whole digestate, separated fibre and separated liquor is of consistent quality and fit for purpose, which is greatly beneficial to the farmer when spreading to land. Digestate certified under the scheme is classified as a product rather than a waste and, as such, farmers do not require a costly waste permit or exemption in order to spread it. Digestate not certified as PAS 110, however, is deemed a waste and its use must comply with waste regulations, which would incur additional costs. In addition, the use of a pasteurisation step, as part of the production of some PAS 110 digestates, can further reduce pathogens and weed seeds that may have survived the digestion process. Therefore, the PAS 110 quality standard is vitally important to both digestate producers and end-users.” Nicola Strudwick, Environmental Consultant, E4environment Ltd T +44 (0)1743 343403 E



“What is the cost/value of digestate?”

“This is an impossible question to answer because it depends on many factors, including: the quality and quantity of digestate; whether it has PAS 110 accreditation; local competition; and location. Operators of AD plants situated in a hilly area with very little arable or productive grassland, where there isn’t really a market for digestate, could have to pay substantial costs to deal with it. In other areas, however, digestate has become a sought after commodity, especially where there is a direct benefit from the liquid and organic matter, and from displaced fertiliser costs. Whilst digestate can be a valuable asset, the nutrients are in very low concentration, meaning that it can be costly to transport large quantities long distances. Some waste-fed AD plants do not consider digestate part of their core model and prefer to pay contractors to take it away and assume responsibility for storage and spreading. However, other operators are now investing in infrastructure, such as lagoons and umbilical systems on farms, to reduce future annual digestate costs, even though this will result in upfront capital costs.” Cath Anthony, Rural Surveyor, Bidwells T +44 (0)1223 841841 E 16

AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

“What implications would European End of Waste proposals have for digestate recycling?”

“Whilst Europe-wide recognition of the fertilising benefits of digestate is to be applauded, there are various aspects of the proposed Fertiliser Regulations that could jeopardise digestate recycling in the UK. In particular, the concept of ‘fitness for purpose’ seems to have been forgotten. So, whilst there is a requirement for digestate producers to operate a Quality Management System, there is no requirement for this to include HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) planning. Instead, conformance is assessed by infrequent product testing. Without HACCP it is almost impossible to demonstrate that fit-for-purpose digestate is consistently produced, and the presumption is that digestate marked as a CE fertiliser will indeed be fit for its intended markets. Has anyone asked the market(s) what they think, particularly given the relatively relaxed physical contaminant limits in the European proposal? Whilst the current certification process will be allowed to continue, there is nothing to prevent UK operators achieving end of waste through the Fertiliser Regulations. If the new route is cheaper and easier to achieve, then there is a real risk that the quality of digestate will decline, and market confidence will be lost.” Dr David Tompkins, Bioresources Development Manager, Aqua Enviro T +44 (0)1924 242255 E

Next issue: Food waste procurement Send your queries to:

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


Technology Focus - Measuring & controls


AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

Technology Focus - On-farm AD

Why technology selection is crucial to on-farm AD success With current and future incentive schemes making the returns for on-farm AD extremely tight, choosing the correct technology is more important than ever, says Cath Anthony, Associate Rural Surveyor for Bidwells. But given the wide choice of technology available, making the right selection can be a minefield. Cath advises would-be operators of the factors to consider before making that crucial investment. On-farm AD expertise from “The type of technology required will be dictated including an assessment of the technology and, ADBA members by the feedstock. Crop or manure-fed plants are potentially, of the contracts. They might require generally simpler, but those with more complex feedstocks will need to consider additional equipment, and potentially different pumps and mixers, etc. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that the technology selected is capable of taking in the feedstock you propose using. It’s also a good idea to factor in some flexibility in case the feedstocks change in the future. After-care is vital. Whilst there are many very good technology suppliers on the continent you must be confident that their system will work in the UK; that instructions will be available in English; that their technology meets UK standards; that someone will be available to provide assistance on biology and equipment; and that parts are available quickly if something goes wrong. After all, a plant that isn’t producing gas is losing you money. Assistance in the initial phases will also be essential for many on-farm operators, who may need support with planning, permitting, grid connection and Ofgem applications. While some technology providers will give such help for free, others will charge for each service, so make sure you consider this before signing on the dotted line. And while the cost for these services is important, the time taken to respond, given the significance of meeting degression deadlines, is perhaps even more so.

warranties or guarantees and are much more likely to be reassured if the project is being supplied by one turnkey operator (preferably with a good balance sheet), who can be held liable if anything goes wrong, or if elements are not delivered on time. Ensure communication with the banks commences early and discuss technology contracts with them before signing anything, in case they are not acceptable to your funder. Finally, just because a technology is cheap to install does not necessarily mean it will deliver increased returns, as there may be substantially higher costs associated with its operation going forward. Don’t forget to consider expected output, parasitic requirements and lifetimes of parts (and replacement costs). Service and maintenance contracts, biological support, and guarantees and warranties can all provide much-needed certainty, not only to your plant’s outputs but also to your expected costs.”

AD4Energy, a British firm specialising in the design, build and commissioning of small-scale AD plants, offers digesters ranging from 100 kWe to 250 kWe; predominately for the agricultural sector. The company supplies its technology either in the form of a partially buried, rectangular, semi-plug flow digester or as an above ground, circular, CSTR digester. Both types can be tailored to closely match the client’s feedstock and energy requirements, making AD operations more cost-effective and efficient. Four Barns, a recently completed AD4Energy project, is consistently reaching between 95-100 per cent total possible CHP output. The 200 kWe, semi-plug flow AD plant is currently running on maize and produces around 17,000m3 of biogas a week. “Taking the step to build a small-scale AD plant on our farm was worthwhile as the benefits are vast, especially economically,” says Four Barns’ Richard Apps. Continued>>

Four Barns’ 200 kWe, semi-plug flow AD plant from AD4Energy

Experience and track record is another important factor to consider. Ask if you can visit operational plants, especially those which have been running for many years – I find it extremely useful to talk to current operators. Most technology providers who have happy customers will be willing to take you around sites and for you to talk to the operators to confirm their experiences and answer your questions. Training is also essential to ensure output is optimised and any potential issues are identified early. As farmers are more likely to take on the day-to-day operation of their plant themselves, many providers will organise training on other existing plants during the build period, so check that your provider offers this. On-farm AD is much more likely to be funded by a bank and most will require detailed due-diligence,

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


Technology Focus - On-farm AD “It gives us a sustainable business model for the future and we can budget on our return to avoid some of the risk from the unpredictable markets facing the agricultural industry today. There is no doubt that without the AD plant the business would not be able to sustain current levels of employment with such low commodity prices.” Last summer, Qila Energy took the decision to develop its own plant, rather than simply building to other people’s designs, and the company has now commissioned its first projects based on its own in-house design. This design includes advanced proprietary pre-treatment, using

Qila Energy’s 499 kWe plant at Tuxford, shortly before its commissioning in March 2016

thermophilic bacteria and enzymes to hydrolyse and acidify feedstocks. The benefits include

improved gas yields, greater process stability, and a reduction in retention times by two thirds. Just as importantly for the long-term sustainability of on-farm digesters, the Qila plant can use a higher proportion of ‘difficult’ feedstocks, such as manures, straw and grass silage. The control system is fully automated, and can be monitored and accessed anywhere in the world from a smartphone or tablet. Plants range from 250 kWe to 450m3/hr of biomethane. Marches Biogas, meanwhile, has built and commissioned 31 on-farm anaerobic digesters in the UK. Despite subsidy degression, the number of on-farm digesters has continued to increase and diversify in 2015/2016, many featuring additional technologies such as dryers, pasteurisation systems, heat monitoring and improved HMI/SCADA programming. This was demonstrated at Bryn Power, a Marches Biogas plant that was initially designed at 500 kWe and entered commissioning using cattle slurry as its feedstock. In early 2016, Bryn Power doubled its energy generation to 1 MWe by adding a second CHP engine, and now uses heat from the CHP to pasteurise its digestate. The pasteuriser discharges approximately 100m3/day, which is spread to land. Alongside the engineering, biological and mechanical elements of anaerobic digestion, Marches provided extra schematic programming to Bryn Power’s HMI (human-machine interface) system, delivering a user-friendly programme with increased remote plant monitoring and data. There is no doubting the value of digestate, but one of the problems for many farms is storing the large volumes produced, particularly when land may be subject to NVZs or other application restrictions, such as weather conditions. HRS Heat Exchangers has developed a novel Digestate Concentration System


AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

Technology Focus - On-farm AD Bryn Power’s Marches Biogas plant has doubled its capacity to 1 MW

(DCS) which superheats the digestate under vacuum to concentrate it and remove water. Compared to standard dryer or evaporation systems, total digestate volumes are reduced by up to 80 per cent. And using heat from the AD plant’s CHP engine, together with heat recovery throughout the process, means that thermal efficiency is much greater than drying systems. At the same time, the DCS turns ammonia into ammonium sulphate, reducing odours while increasing overall nutrient concentrations. A DCS system is in use at Willen Biogas’ 1.5 MW AD plant at Cattlegate Farm, Enfield, and has enabled tanker movements on the farm to reduce from almost 2,200 to just 870. “The DCS unit helps us to have more efficient

HRS is helping Cattlegate Farm make the most of its digestate

spreading windows, making digestate handling a lot more manageable,” explains Adrian Williams, Chairman of Willen Biogas. “We have the same nutrient benefits with less volume of digestate. Each tanker will have around a 40 per cent greater nutritional benefit.”

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2016 Preview



Join the industry’s highest achievers at the AD event of the year There are just a few weeks to go until the winners of the AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2016 are announced. This year’s entries are our strongest to date, as our shortlist covering every facet of the AD and biogas sector demonstrates. And with entries up more than 40 per cent on 2015, it’s clear that this year’s event is going to be a night to remember. With the awards open to international companies as well as UK firms for the first time ever, the AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2016 will reflect the truly exciting global nature of our industry like never before. This black-tie event promises to be a stellar evening. Hosted by Charlotte Smith of BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today and featuring entertainment from Comedy Store stalwart Ian Moore, over 300 guests will enjoy a gala three-course dinner with wine before the winners are revealed. So join us on 6 July – the first night of UK AD & Biogas 2016 – at The Vox Conference Centre in Birmingham to see who will be declared the international AD community’s best of the best.

Book your place at the AD world’s biggest party There are just a few places remaining, so you’ll need to be quick if you want a seat at this year’s awards ceremony. Individual places cost £190, with a table of ten costing £1,800 (all prices exc. VAT) – and don’t forget that there’s a 10 per cent discount for ADBA members. To register your attendance, go to:

“The awards highlight the strength of the global AD industry, so it’s an honour to be shortlisted. I’m very much looking forward to the event and celebrating this year’s success stories.” Tim Elsome, General Manager, FM BioEnergy Shortlisted in 2016 – Best process optimisation; Best AD support (technical)

“We were already counting down the days until UK AD & Biogas 2016 – but to find out that, together with our important AD operator customers, we’ve been nominated for five Industry Awards, makes this year’s event very special indeed. Roll on 6 July!”

Stand out from the crowd

Hugh Vaughan, Director of Landia UK & Eire Shortlisted in 2016 – Innovation in sewage treatment through AD; Best process optimisation; AD team of the year; Best on-farm AD plant; Best international commercial plant

Want to raise your company’s profile in front of the world’s finest AD-specific audience? Then sponsor an award today and watch your brand recognition soar. A few packages are still remaining – contact for full details.

“We were delighted to receive a commendation for our digestate pasteurisation system in 2015. With such a strong field, it’s an honour to be shortlisted in two categories again this year, and we’re looking forward to a fantastic night.” Matt Hale, International Sales Manager, HRS Heat Exchangers Highly commended in 2015 – Innovation in process efficiency/optimisation Shortlisted in 2016 – Making the most of digestate; Best process optimisation


AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

AD & Biogas Industry Awards 2016 Preview

The shortlist Congratulations to all our shortlisted entrants – and good luck for 6 July!

Innovation in sewage treatment through AD • Landia • Symbiona SA • Veolia UK & Ireland • Weltec Biopower (UK) Ltd

Best food waste collection system • BASF SE • Bio Collectors • DS Smith & Tesco • SWR & Edinburgh Airport

Best process optimisation

• Eco Sustainable Solutions with Landia • FM BioEnergy • Green Creative • HRS Heat Exchangers • Pentair Haffmans • Uniflare Ltd

Making the most of digestate • Altaca Energy • Fattoria Garofalo • HRS Heat Exchangers • Muntons • Vogelsang

Making the most of biogas

• Biogest • Clearfleau • Edina Group with Guy & Wright Farm • Limejump & Malaby Biogas • Pentair Haffmans • Uniflare Ltd

Hero of the year

Sponsored by • Dr Ulrike Etheridge, Biotrix Asia Company Limited • Les Gornall, Capita PROjEN • Rich Clothier, Wyke Farms • Stuart Bennett, Heat and Power Services Ltd

AD team of the year

• Agrivert • Edina Group • Iona Capital • Landia/Edina/Biodome Asia/Uniflare • RUR3 Environmental Ltd • Uniflare Ltd

Best food & drink industry AD project • Clearfleau Ltd • Muntons • Weltec Biopower (UK) Ltd • Wyke Farms

Best AD support (technical) • Capita PROjEN • Energyst Rental Solutions • Eurovacuum Products Ltd • FM BioEnergy • Livelab • Uniflare Ltd

Best on-farm AD plant

Sponsored by • ComBigaS with Landia • Edina Group with Springvale Farm • Foresight Group • Old Court Farm with AD4Energy

Best food waste AD plant

Sponsored by

• Agrivert • Bio Collectors • Clearfleau • Edina Group with Biffa • Xergi Ltd & Willen Biogas

Best AD support (legal/accounting/consultancy) • Capita PROjEN • Cranfield University • RUR3 Environmental Ltd • Stephens Scown LLP

Research project award • WRAP

Best international agricultural plant

• CIB-Consorzio Italiano Biogas e Gassificazione with Agripower Company • Cooperative la Speranza • Xergi A/S

Best international municipal plant • Host

Best international commercial plant

• Altaca Energy • Biotrix Asia Company Limited • Landia, Edina, Biodome Asia and Uniflare with Richgro AD Plant • Symbiona SA • Weltec Biopower (UK) Ltd

Best international micro-scale plant • Biogest

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


UK AD & Biogas 2016 Preview

Countdown to the world’s biggest AD and biogas event


fter six hugely successful UK events, this year sees the world’s biggest AD and biogas show – UK AD and Biogas 2016 – become a truly international affair. Ours is a global industry, and the problems that anaerobic digestion is helping to address – from fuel poverty, to soil degradation, to climate change – are global, too. By working together, we can help AD to reach its potential sooner; so join us at the NEC Birmingham, UK, on 6-7 July 2016 for the greatest meeting of the global AD and biogas community ever seen. Register now at

Unrivalled FREE content • Over 300 exhibitors • 4000+ global attendees • Two-day conference • Seminar programme • Research and Innovation Hub • Biomethane and vehicle area • One-to-one advice clinics • AD plant visits • Farmers’ Breakfast Briefing • Local Authority Networking Lunch

Register your FREE attendance today • Discover the latest technological advances for sewage, food waste, on-farm and biomethane plants • Find new international markets for your business • Network with key players from the global AD community • Learn all you need to know to get your AD project up and running • Hear from international policy makers • Showcase your brand to visitors from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas • Increase your AD knowledge Free registration at


AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

“Each time the event gets bigger and better. Particularly interesting are the exhibition booths and conferences/ seminars, where you can obtain a good update about market trends and evolution.” Luis Vergara, Ultrawaves

Last chance to book your stand! Limited exhibition stand space still available. For the latest prices and floorplan, contact today.

UK AD & Biogas 2016 Preview R&I Hub

FREE site visit

Discover the latest research and innovation shaping the future of the industry. Situated in the centre of the exhibition, our R&I Hub will feature sessions on microbial profiling, organic acids production and struvite precipitation, plus many more.

UK AD & Biogas 2016 also includes a free site visit to Channing Digester on-farm AD plant. Based at Brandon, near Coventry (close to the NEC Birmingham), the 499 kW plant was built by MT Energie and is fed with maize silage, pig manure and poultry litter. Places are limited – to book contact

“The greatest networking event in the AD calendar, to miss it is inconceivable.” Les Gornall, CAPITA-PROjEN

“An excellent industry event. A must for anyone involved in the sector – whether you’re looking for a chopping pump or £5m of finance, it’s all there at a very convenient venue.”

“With everything under one roof, the event showcases and celebrates the best of the AD and biogas industry.” Vicki Shaw, Dr Vicki Shaw & Associates Ltd

Gareth Lay, Bruton Knowles

Our Conference and Seminar speakers include • Dr Mushtaq Ahmed Menon, United Nations Environment Programme • Dr David Joffe, Committee on Climate Change • Representative from the American Biogas Council • Jorge Antonio Hilbert, National Agricultural Technology Institute • Representative from the Department of Energy & Climate Change • Henry Ferland, Global Methane Initiative Secretariat • Fran Lowe, Environment Agency • Chris Huhne, ADBA Strategic Advisor • Mark Varney, FareShare

Become an honorary international trade association ADBA member Join the following organisations by becoming an honorary international trade association member of ADBA. • The Australian Organics Recycling Association • BGAM – BioGas Association Malaysia • Consorzio Italiano Biogas • Irish BioEnergy Association Contact for more information.

Join our sponsors Raise your company’s profile in front of the world’s biggest AD-specific audience. Packages still available – contact for more information.

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


UK AD & Biogas 2016 Preview: Conference Programme Conference programme Day 1 – Wednesday 6 July

Day 2 – Thursday 7 July

Time Topic

Time Topic

10.00 - 10.15 Welcome and introduction: building a world class AD industry

10.15 - 11.00 Driving world class performance: launching an industry best practice scheme

10.00 - 11.00 Launching the Food Waste Recycling Action Plan

Circular solutions for global challenges

11.00 - 11.25 COP21: what does the global carbon agreement mean for AD?

Joining the links in the food chain

11.00 - 11.30 The EU Circular Economy Package: implementation, regulation, and impact on AD 11.30 - 12.10 Does the EU Circular Economy Package go far enough?

11.25 - 11.50 The fifth carbon budget and the policies needed from the UK government to meet it 11.50 - 12.15 Financing global AD and waste collection infrastructure projects 12.15 - 13.15 Energy security - Keeping the lights on through AD 13.15 - 13.55 Recycling nutrients and saving food waste

Will the EU Circular Economy Package extract more food waste for AD? 12.10 - 13.00 Case studies: extracting, recycling and processing nutrients through AD Opportunities and risks in policy and regulation

13.55 - 14.20 Sanitation - A clearer path to cleaner water

13.00 - 14.00 What challenges and opportunities does the de-regulation of the water sector hold for AD?

14.20 - 15.00 Farming, soil and food security - Feeding the world and farming sustainably

14.00 - 15.00 Making biomethane for transport profitable - policy, subsidies, and industry collaboration

15.00 - 16.30 UK opportunities in a global market

16.30 - 17.00 The view from government - supporting AD growth

End of Conference

For the full programme, including timings, go to

Stand Number H501

20 systems in the UK to date ORBITAL - Your Preferred choice!

BIO-Methane to grid entry network units

• Telemetry/remote monitoring • Odourisation system • Propane enrichment • Reject gas recirculation • Optional redundancy 26

AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

• Complete turnkey solutions • Energy measurement – FWACV (Ofgem) • Gas quality measures – GS(M)R1996 • Fiscal metering system • Pressure control & safety slamshut


UK AD & Biogas 2016 Preview: Seminar Programme Seminar programme Day 1 – Wednesday 6 July

Day 2 – thursday 7 July


Purple Seminar


Green Seminar

Purple Seminar

Small scale AD development

10.00 - 10.55

Finance - What finance options exist for new AD developers, and how can existing plants re-finance?

Biomethane - Accessing the UK gas to grid market in 2021

Green Seminar

11.00 - 11.55 Land use - Growing sustainable and innovative energy crops

12.00 - 12.55 Land use - Getting the most Environmental protection out of energy crop rotations How to ensure appropriate for your farming practice secondary containment 13.00 - 13.55 Operational performance - Why isn’t my plant running at 100%?

Digestate - The benefits of biofertiliser for land, crops, and your AD operation

14.00 - 14.55 Operational performance - Ensuring plant stability through data modelling

Digestate - Turning an operating cost into a profit

15.00 - 15.55 On-site AD - Which industries Feedstocks - Digesting difficult and sectors need to prioritise wastes on-site deployment? 16.00 - 16.55 On-site AD - How to capture and use heat from an AD operation effectively

Feedstocks - Calculating sustainability criteria and reducing rural GHG emissions

11.00 - 11.55 Cost competiveness - Manufacturing cheap AD plants

Biomethane upgrading technologies

12.00 - 12.55 AD projects - Dispelling the myths surrounding local AD developments

Electricity - Selling your energy through AD

13.00 - 13.55 AD projects - How to submit Gas - Selling your energy a successful AD business through AD plan 14.00 - 14.55 Training - Raising competence across AD supply chain

Bioplastics - The role of bio-bags in reducing food waste and increasing recycling

15.00 - 15.55 Health and safety - What health and safety protocols are needed for your plant?

Biotechnologies - How can biotechnologies be integrated into working AD plants?

For the full programme, including timings, go to

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


UK AD & Biogas 2016 Exhibitor Preview Tailor-made AD solutions AD4Energy is delighted to be exhibiting at UK AD & Biogas 2016 for the first time. With restricted grid connections and changes in tariff rates affecting the UK AD market, the company is focusing on ‘tailor-made AD’, designing its plants to closely match clients’ energy requirements and available feedstocks. This allows the maximum amount of heat and electricity to be used on-site, making projects more cost effective and efficient, as well as conforming to the available grid capacity. AD4Energy’s on-farm AD technology comes either in the form of a partially buried, rectangular, semi-plug flow digester or as an above ground, circular, CSTR digester. The plants typically range from 100 kWe to 250 kWe, and the company offers a full suite of services, from pre-contract to aftersales. Key staff members will be available to discuss and answer any on-farm AD queries. Stand F505

CSO Technik is focused on helping its customers solve their most challenging AD issues, from waste intake through to final output. Be it solids handling, pasteurisation, energy recovery, desulphurisation or associated control of odours, the company offers enhanced technology solutions. “In an industry where TOTEX is an ever growing challenge, we deliver innovative AD solutions to facilitate improved ROI,” states Colin Froud, Managing Director. “Key to this is a robust Odour Management Strategy and sustainable recovery of energy through the use of Lackeby Heat Exchangers.” As the management of odour in food waste AD reception and depackaging halls is vital to any operator, the company offers an ionisation system; ‘Terminodour™’. With a small footprint, low power consumption and zero reliance on either water, chemicals or biological activity, Terminodour has now achieved international acclaim. Stand A209

AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

AD and biogas storage tanks may all look the same, but do all tank companies approach the design of their products in the same way? Balmoral Tanks invites visitors to find out how future problems can be avoided by the application of good design. “Within our industry a number of design standards exist but there are very few that are specific to tank design,” explains Jonathan Smith, Sales Director. “Relying on luck is acceptable when playing the lottery but not when dealing with costly assets or, at the end of the day, people’s lives and livelihoods. There is no substitute for structural understanding of tank behaviour and the ability to analyse and calculate detailed design aspects to accepted design codes and standards. That’s where we differentiate ourselves and that’s how we can help save you time and money.” Stand F403

Innovative pre-treatment system

Superior odour management


Good fortune or good design?

Anaergia specialises in organic recovery and the production of clean energy, fertiliser and recycled water from organic waste streams. It offers a wide range of organic waste to resource solutions for municipal, industrial, commercial and agricultural markets. The company also builds, repowers and services AD facilities, and has recently completed plants at Leeming (food waste, gas to grid); Raynham (innovative gas to grid); and Greenshoots (renewable electricity and heat for use by local industries). Anaergia is currently completing a food waste plant at Cardiff, which will be fully operational by early 2017. This facility includes Anaergia’s game-changing OREX™ pre-treatment system. Visitors to UK AD & Biogas 2016 can find out more about this system, as well as the company’s ammonia stripping technologies and its wastewater treatment plant AD services. Stand E401

UK AD & Biogas 2016 Exhibitor Preview Proven performance Gemidan Ecogi’s food waste pre-treatment technology is helping to optimise AD operations. This new technology produces a pulp which is 99.96 per cent free from physical impurities, whilst retaining >95 per cent of the organic matter available within source-separated food waste. The company was awarded an EU Environmental Technology Verification in February 2016 that formally substantiates these results, marking the culmination of four years’ development, independent process monitoring and scientific testing. “We are now looking forward to showcasing the benefits of our technology to visitors at UK AD & Biogas 2016,” says UK Sales Director, Tony Pickess. Stand E209

Pump interventions in situ

Netzsch has recently developed the ‘Full Service in Place’ (FSIP) concept for progressing cavity pumps, making interventions possible without dismantling the pump from the pipework. This approach has already proven itself in practice with the TORNADO® T2 rotary lobe pumps; now a FSIP® version of the progressing cavity pump is established on the market, too. The new design makes it possible to complete a full service (including the mechanical seal) and reinstallation in full operating conditions, within just 20 minutes. As well as the FSIP progressing cavity pump, Netzsch will also be showcasing its macerator/ grinding unit 300, TORNADO T2 rotary lobe pump, and NEMO B.Max pump. Plus, Service Manager Ian Cooper will be on hand to answer any questions and demonstrate the ease of disassembling/assembling the progressing cavity pump whilst in situ. Stand E501

Digestate optimisation technology Demonstrating how to optimise AD plant performance, HRS Heat Exchangers will showcase its latest ultra-energy efficient Digestate Concentration System (DCS). “The volume and consistency of digestate can quickly become a costly bottleneck if it isn’t concentrated. Faced with incentive degressions, AD plants must run efficiently with every aspect optimised in order to maximise return on investment,” comments Matt Hale, International Sales Manager. The DCS concentrates liquid digestate and increases the dry matter typically from four to 10 per cent. This reduces the overall volume of digestate produced, meaning that up to 60 per cent less storage capacity is needed and fewer lorry loads are required, which helps curb a plant’s transportation costs and carbon footprint. Furthermore, the water removed by the process is recovered and mixed with the front-end feedstock, increasing the efficiency of the digester and reducing the overall amount of energy and water used. Stand D501

Tank and roof solutions KIRK UK has recently completed the installation of key equipment at Tamar Energy’s food waste AD plant in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire. This state-of-the-art facility is one of a number of Tamar plants across the country and as part of a £2m contract, KIRK has constructed primary digesters, a secondary digester and a process water tank using PERMASTORE® glass-fused-to-steel tanks, as well as double membrane gas holder roofs from sister company BIODOME®. The tanks have been provided with stainless steel roof access platforms, access stair towers, cladding, insulation and an air injection system in the roof space. All works have been completed in a very tight footprint that required close co-operation and planning with other trades working on the same area. Staff members will be available on-stand to discuss KIRK’s wide range of storage tank and roof options for all AD and biogas applications. Stand K201

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


UK AD & Biogas 2016 Exhibitor Preview Compact CO2 recovery system Pentair Haffmans will introduce its compact, enclosed, skid CO2 recovery system that can be connected to any existing biogas upgrading plant. With capacities up to 1,000 kg/h, the system allows plant operators to recover CO2 from the biogas stream, minimising the plant’s overall CO2 footprint and allowing for a wider choice of feedstock. The recovered CO2 can be used in a variety of applications, including as gaseous fertiliser in greenhouses or for the production of dry ice, or sold to a third party. “An additional advantage of the system is that during the CO2 recovery process, all impurities – including the methane slip – are removed and sent back to the biogas upgrading system. This results in a significantly higher methane yield,” says Ivan Williams, Pentair Haffmans’ Commercial Director CO2 and Biogas Systems. “The portion of environmentally-harmful greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere is reduced to almost zero, which makes this technology a future-proof investment.” Stand F501

Solving operators’ problems Metamo staff describe themselves as true process engineers: “We’re always looking for better solutions to the typical problems AD operators face,” explains Raimund Selz, Managing Director. “For example, grit is a big problem in many existing AD plants. Conventional traps don’t always catch it all, meaning that buffer tanks and digesters can silt up, and pumps and other moving parts can quickly wear out. We went on the hunt and found a solution, which we launched at last year’s show. This year, we’re proud to say that we’ve successfully installed our de-gritter for one of our clients – after some adjustments to ensure it works with their particular set-up, of course. Now, we’re looking forward to helping visitors to UK AD & Biogas 2016 with their AD problems.” Stand F203

Solid and liquid feedstock mixing Vogelsang will exhibit two alternative digester feed system solutions; for mixing and homogenising solid and liquid feedstocks to a required ratio. The advantage of both solutions is that the mixing takes place outside the process tanks, with the resultant homogenised media being pumped directly to one or more tanks – reducing layering and increasing gas yield rates in the digester, and reducing parasitic loads associated with in-tank mixing. The CC Mix is designed for agricultural feedstock plants where the fibre lengths are less than 60mm. The PreMix unit is designed for both food waste and agricultural applications, and where the combined liquid and solid feedstocks require, or would benefit from, maceration. Vogelsang will also exhibit the company’s full range of rotary lobe and progressive cavity pumps and shredders, and will detail its range of systems for spreading digestate. Stand F507

Launch of new AD business Officially launching at UK AD & Biogas 2016 is Amur, a new energy business which is part of AB Agri, the agricultural group of Associated British Foods plc. Amur will primarily partner with AD operators, supplying them with feedstocks and additives to optimise performance, along with advice on how to maximise value from these products and get the most from their plant. General Manager, Nigel Lee, comments: “As well as seeing our existing customers, we’re also looking forward to introducing our products and services to the wider AD community. Our primary focus is on helping both waste and agri-fed AD plants improve performance to optimise gas yields with consistent, unsurpassed feedstock supply, supported by scientifically proven results. We’re also working with NNFCC to deliver sustainability support to customers; to help customers better understand their supply chain emissions; and to enable them to identify and source sustainable feedstocks.” Stand H509


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Live pump demonstrations In conjunction with P&M Pumps, who market the Rotamix System incorporating the Vaughan Chopper Pump, System Mix returns to UK AD & Biogas. On-stand attractions include a full-size working pump, which will effectively demonstrate how Vaughan chopper pumps operate, and a working scale model demonstration of Vaughan’s unique Rotamix Digester and sludge tank mixing system. “Working demonstrations have proved popular with show visitors in previous years, as has the informative and professional advice we provide, based on our successful installations at numerous AD plants across the UK,” says Director, Andy Parr. “There are now many high profile users of the Vaughan/Rotamix system, including most of the water utility companies, together with AD plant suppliers and end-users. As a result, we’re looking forward to building on our successes made to date and UK AD & Biogas 2016 provides the perfect platform to achieve this.” Stand C207

UK AD & Biogas 2016 Exhibitor Preview Micronutrients for AD optimisation OMEX Environmental Ltd provides biological and nutrient additives for the energy, water and transport sectors, specialising in the supply of micronutrient additives for AD and biogas plant optimisation. As well as promoting its successful range of trace element additives, the company will also be launching its unique micronutrient additive, Nutromex® Biopack. This is a powder mixture of bio-available trace elements and specially selected bacteria which supplements existing microbial populations within a system, thereby improving overall plant functionality. Nutromex® Biopack can be used on a variety of substrates and is available in an easy to dose 250g biodegradable bag. OMEX is also proud to announce that it is the official UK distributor of DSM Enzymes, Methaplus® L100 and Axiase™ 100. DSM Biogas develops enzyme solutions for biogas applications, in order to improve the efficiency of fermentation in biogas production. Stand F509

Biogas CHP expertise Headline sponsor of UK AD & Biogas 2016, Edina is a supplier, installer and maintenance provider for biogas CHP plants in the agricultural, food processing and sewage wastewater treatment sectors. As one of the founding members of ADBA, Edina continues to advocate the benefits of waste to energy and is now celebrating over 100 MWe of biogas installations since 2009. The company has recently commissioned a landmark project with Australian organics processor Richgro, as well as a number of other high profile projects in the UK and Ireland. Visitors will be able to hear from Edina experts at the company’s stand adjacent to the Edina Café; the perfect place for industry professionals to network and discuss potential business opportunities. Stand E301

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


Members’ News & Views Malmberg celebrates milestone anniversary Swedish company Malmberg now has subsidiaries in Germany, England, Denmark and the Baltics

International biogas, water treatment and geothermal energy company Malmberg is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The family-run Swedish firm began back in 1866 when 23-year-old Smith Jöns Malmberg discovered a solution for filtering wells. As the need for supplying fresh running water to more households increased during the 1900s, followed by the first wastewater treatment plants in the 1930s, Malmberg grew with the times to become the global business it is today. It currently turns over 600 million SEK with an export share of 60 per cent, and has 170 employees. Chief Executive Officer, Per Malmberg, said: “One hundred and fifty years after Jöns Malmberg created the innovative filter well, the family name is synonymous with innovation, environment, energy and creativity – all with water as the common denominator.”

UK collaboration for renewable energy storage project The University of South Wales The project aims to convert excess Sustainable Environment Research renewable electricity to gas using Centre (USW SERC) is working microbes with NiTech Solutions Ltd on a project to develop a renewable energy production and energy storage process. The year-long feasibility study is part of the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst programme and will evaluate the potential for NiTech’s Oscillatory Baffle Reactor (OBR) technology to be incorporated into a biological process invented by USW SERC that could either produce or store energy at grid scales. The aim of the project is to incorporate NiTech’s reactors into a laboratory scale process that biologically combines renewable hydrogen gas with excess carbon dioxide to produce either methane gas for fuel use, or carboxylic acids for energy storage purposes, with a view to significantly improving the process economics versus conventional reactor technology. This is a step towards developing and commercialising the C1 gas conversion process, which has the potential to change the way in which energy is managed by providing a bridge between electricity and gas grids.

FGS Organics acquires EnVar Composting


AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

FGS Organics has acquired EnVar Composting Ltd, the UK’s largest waste in-vessel and windrow composting facility, from the ADAS Group. The acquisition is the latest addition to the portfolio of companies owned by FGS Organics’ Chairman Trevor Heathcote and forms a natural progression for the company. “The acquisition of EnVar Composting will further strengthen FGS Organics’ existing organic recycling operations throughout the South and East of England,” said Trevor. Colin Speller, Managing Director of the ADAS Group, added: “The sale of EnVar Composting allows the ADAS Group to concentrate on its core purpose of providing ideas, specialist knowledge and solutions to secure our food and enhance the environment. We believe that FGS Organics is a highly suitable owner of EnVar that is well positioned to develop and grow the business to the benefit of clients, staff and suppliers.” FGS Organics provides specialist recycling solutions for the agricultural, industrial, energy and recycling sectors

Members’ News & Views

Operator News Foresight foresees new AD plant in Berkshire Foresight Group has invested £3.5m in a new AD plant near Reading, which will be built and maintained by BTS Biogas. The 499 kW facility will generate around 3,600 MWh of renewable electricity each year – enough to power around 900 homes – while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 2,000 tonnes, and producing digestate for use on Berkshire’s Mapledurham Estate. The dairy situated on the Estate has a contract to supply milk to Marks & Spencer and this project was initially identified with the strategic support of the retailer’s ‘Plan A’ programme, designed to help farmers explore the opportunity of producing sustainable power. Jamie Williams, representing the Mapledurham Estate, said: “The Estate is very proud to have successfully formed a partnership with BTS Biogas and Foresight to deliver this plant. The long term sustainability of dairy farming and energy production depends on collaborations of this nature.” The plant will treat 10,000 tonnes of slurry per year from the Estate’s dairy herd when it goes live in October

Global News Air Liquide on a roll with biogas purification

Two new UK contracts for WELTEC BIOPOWER WELTEC BIOPOWER is building an AD plant for Stephen Carson’s agricultural enterprise near The Low Farm plant achieved Strabane, Northern G59 in September 2015, even Ireland. The plant’s though WELTEC only started two stainless-steel work on site in July digesters (3,573 m³ and 4,903 m³) will be fed with 24,500 tonnes per annum of cattle manure, whole plant silage, dry chicken dung, grass silage, sugar beets and small quantities of maize. The operation is set to go live in the summer. WELTEC has also recently completed a 500 kW plant at Low Farm in Sherburn, England, which processes pig manure, dry chicken dung, beets and maize silage. Both plants use the company’s MULTIMix input system to ensure optimum pre-treatment and make use of inexpensive feedstock, such as manure and grass. The surface area of the feedstock is enlarged through shredding, in order to optimise substrate/bacteria contact and boost methane yield. The MULTIMix unit also removes stones, minimises the likelihood of layering within the digester, and significantly reduces the energy required for digester mixing.

Landia’s GasMix brings South Korean delegation to Hampshire

Air Liquide’s technology is helping to decarbonise Europe’s roads

Air Liquide has tripled its biogas purification capacity in Europe, having commissioned 12 biogas purification units over the last year. The new units are located in France, Hungary, Denmark and the UK, and five of these – representing a total investment of €12m – are also operated by Air Liquide. They generate long-term contracts for the production of biomethane for Europe’s natural gas grids, which supply vehicles that run on bio-NGV (natural gas for vehicles). François Darchis, Senior-Vice President, said: “These new biomethane production contracts illustrate the ability of Air Liquide to leverage its technologies to incubate new businesses. By positioning on the entire chain from biogas purification to distribution with bio-NGV stations, we are contributing to meeting energy and environmental challenges.”

The GasMix digester mixing system was the focus of a visit from South Korean business leaders to Landia’s UK office in Whitchurch, Hampshire. The pump and mixer manufacturer has won a big order for the system from South Korea, as Paul Davies, Key Account Manager at Landia, explains: “The visit to Whitchurch gave our visitors the opportunity to see Landia for themselves and make a detailed inspection of the GasMix systems we’ve built for them.” The international market is playing an increasing role in the success of Landia UK, as this news comes after the official opening of the Richgro AD plant in Perth, Australia, where the GasMix system is also being used. The new plant has the capacity to process more than 35,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial organic waste, producing power to run Richgro’s operations and provide energy for the grid, with the final by-product used as a raw material in Richgro’s garden products.

The South Korean delegation at Landia UK’s Hampshire headquarters

For more news on how companies key to the UK AD market are now making international strides, see ‘Business without borders’ on p12 of our new global supplement, AD & Biogas News International

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


Policy Ofgem ‘wasting’ 10% of AD’s FIT capacity ADBA analysis has revealed that over 2 MW of this year’s 20 MW tariff capacity for AD within the FIT cap could be unavailable. This is due to the way that Ofgem queues applications that breach the 5 MW quarterly caps – rather than rolling over to the next quarter, unused capacity is simply removed from the scheme.

The government’s consultation response stated that ‘any unused capacity for a particular technology and degression band from one quarter simply gets added on to the next quarter’. However, Ofgem’s interpretation of the legislation is that only capacity unused because of under-deployment should be added to the next quarter. Not only do we believe that the FIT deployment cap of 20 MW is already too constraining, our Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, has called the lack of a rollover between periods a ‘shocking’ waste of MWs worth of renewable electricity. And future tariff periods could potentially see even more extreme examples of lost capacity, depending on the order in which Ofgem receives applications. We have written to DECC to highlight the impact of Ofgem’s interpretation of FIT regulations and are calling on the Department to provide a resolution which will allow the industry to continue to develop to at least the 20 MW cap, if not further.

Get involved We have been working hard to identify plants in the FIT cap queue directly affected by this issue and are pressing DECC for changes to the regulations. If you believe this affects you, please contact

Task 37 launches small scale on-farm AD report The IEA’s Task 37 has launched its new brochure on small scale AD in the livestock sector; a comprehensive review of smaller scale technologies and their application around the world. In the context of falling, constrained incentives, the section on support schemes in different countries is particularly interesting, emphasising that support in most places has been based on renewable energy generation payments of some form. With the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) no longer providing a viable subsidy for new plants, this poses a question we all need to think about: is there a better way to support smaller scale plants, and particularly those on agricultural and industrial sites? ADBA’s response to the RHI consultation made a clear case for where biogas heat tariffs can help – but for plants whose benefits mainly lie in carbon mitigation, environmental protection and waste treatment, there has to be a better way. The Task 37 report is available to download from: Dr Clare Lukehurst OBE, one of the report’s authors, will be presenting its conclusions in the seminar programme at UK AD & Biogas 2016 (6-7 July, NEC Birmingham). See p27 for more details. 34

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Policy Amber Rudd MP acknowledges FIT delays Several ADBA members have been in touch to report severe delays in Ofgem approval of their FIT applications. This is despite Ofgem affirming that the expected timeframe for processing applications within 12 weeks has ‘proved sufficient to many AD projects…assuming that applications to the scheme are right first time’. We have raised members’ concerns with Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, who recognised the important relationship between ADBA

For up to the minute information and advice on regulations, consultations and government news, contact our Head of Policy, Matt Hindle T +44 (0)203 176 0591 E and Ofgem. Amber suggested we establish formal quarterly meetings with Ofgem to put forward ideas for improving their processes, and acknowledged that: ‘Ofgem have limited resources to process applications. We recognised that the FIT Review was likely to increase applications to the scheme last year and provided extra funding to Ofgem to speed up their processing of pre-accreditation applications.’ However, the Department has not proposed any action which would help individual projects affected to date. We are continuing to push this point and will keep ADBA members updated on how this progresses.

ADBA responds to new EC bioenergy sustainability policy The European Commission is developing a new bioenergy sustainability framework for post2020, within its broader ‘Energy Union’ reforms. New sustainable bioenergy policy could have profound impacts on AD and bioresources, with possible changes to: sustainability criteria; soil, water and air quality standards; provisions aimed at limiting indirect land-use change; and new energy, industrial uses and food markets. ADBA responded to a call for evidence in May, advocating that the new policy should provide firm recognition of the value of biomethane and its wider environmental benefits. We recommended that biogas be promoted in recognition of its decarbonisation contribution and its benefits to farmland and farming practice. Addressing questions on bioenergy risks, we provided evidence of energy crop feedstocks supporting food production and the wider farming business, when integrated into a farm’s crop rotation. Well-managed crop feedstocks contribute to soil remediation and help with problems caused by mono-cropping – such as blackgrass – in areas where food crop rotations have not proved viable. Our response also called for policy to encourage a greater uptake in biomethane: ‘To ensure further uptake of all biofuels, a binding sub-target for biomethane should be introduced (with a subsequent one being introduced for the RED successor, after 2020). EC legislation should make it clear that biogas and biomethane also count towards the sub-target of renewable energy in transport.’ We also provided evidence on the value of digestate, highlighting its nutrient value and the benefits it brings when recycled back to farmland.

Separate food waste collections crucial to improving recycling rates ADBA is strongly advocating the role of food waste collections in improving recycling rates and reducing the cost of residual collections, in the development of the Food Waste Recycling Action Plan, likely to be launched on the second day of UK AD & Biogas 2016 (7 July). The Food Waste Recycling Action Plan has been coordinated by WRAP and will set out a series of ways in which food waste recycling can be improved. Alongside this work, we have participated in a collection consistency group led by the Resource Minister, Rory Stewart MP. This group involves ADBA, WRAP, local authorities, waste management contractors, recyclers, producers, and the retail sector. It is looking to provide suggestions to harmonise waste collection schemes, which could have real benefits for the volume of food waste collected. The views of ADBA and our members have been communicated in both processes and we will continue to be closely involved. With DECC’s RHI consultation emphasising the government’s desire to see more waste feedstocks processed through AD, this is an important opportunity to emphasise the need to link waste and energy policy. ADBA’s Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, commented: “Delivering greater consistency in waste collections would make recycling easier for families across the country, and help improve recycling rates. Separate food waste collections make the biggest difference by far to increasing recycling rates, whilst at the same time improving the UK’s energy and food security.”

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Operator & Working Groups


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Government & Agency News Updated FIT guidance Ofgem has updated its Feed-in Tariff (FIT) guidance for renewable installations, including AD plants. The changes in the guidance reflect minor and technical alterations introduced by the government’s Feed-in Tariffs (Amendment) Order 2016 and relate to applications for FIT accreditation after 10 May 2016. Applicants who have submitted an application before this date should refer to the previous guidance, ‘Feed-in Tariff: Guidance for renewable installations (Version 10)’.

DECC’s new Permanent Secretary Alex Chisholm has been appointed as the new Permanent Secretary for the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Alex, who is currently Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority, was chosen following an open competition. “I look forward to working with the Department’s ministers and officials, and getting to grips with the many different challenges involved in ensuring the UK has secure, affordable and clean energy supplies,” said Alex, who will take up the post on 4 July.

Food chain in line for £20bn savings with new waste agreement

Waste in Westminster Our Head of Policy, Matt Hindle, reports on the latest waste news from Parliament

MPs show their support for ADBA members Following our Parliamentary Reception in March, we have been delighted to see a number of MPs visiting businesses, plants and farms in their local areas. Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire, visited The Leen Farm in his constituency. Mr Wiggin, celebrated by the Countryside Alliance for his efforts in promoting farming and the rural community, heard about how the AD unit has been a lifeline for the farm during the continuing downturn in the dairy industry, providing stable income from energy generation, as well as carbon reduction. Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC, MP for Kenilworth and Southam, recently visited agriKomp and Weltec Biopower to learn more about how the AD projects they are involved in deliver vital baseload power, decarbonise the energy, waste and farming sectors, and improve food security. “Anaerobic digestion has a great deal to offer in both energy generation and waste disposal, and it was good to see locally based firms operating in this sector,” he commented after the meeting.

Over 100 major food retailers, trade bodies and local authorities have signed up to a new agreement from resource efficiency charity WRAP to reduce the UK’s food and drink waste by 20 per cent over 10 years. WRAP estimates that meeting the Courtauld Commitment 2025 targets will deliver £20bn worth of savings to the UK economy. Dr Richard Swannell, Director of sustainable food systems at WRAP, said: “To safeguard UK food we need a step-change to increase sustainable food and drink production and consumption, conserve resources and combat climate change.”

We were pleased to join Baroness Sue Miller of Chilthorne Domer on a site visit to Bio Collectors’ premises in Mitcham earlier this month. Baroness Miller’s policy interests include energy, environment, agriculture, food and rural affairs, and she was keen to learn more about how digestate is being recycled and how food waste operators are working with farmers.

Changes to EA Guidance

The more we can engage Parliamentarians to show them all that AD can do, the more support we will get for the industry. We are very happy to help members arrange visits, so please get in touch. Contact

As part of Defra’s Smarter Guidance review, the Environment Agency (EA) has recently made significant changes to its website, including withdrawing or archiving some guidance. The EA’s Viv Dennis presented on these changes at ADBA’s Regulatory Forum in May, and full details are available to members via our website ( Members can also access the EA’s latest performance data for the industry, including details of pollution incidents.

L-R: Jeremy Wright MP; agriKomp Director, Steven Cook; and agriKomp General Manager, Quentin Kelly-Edwards

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R&I Update What’s planned for the Research and Innovation Hub?

For information and advice on our R&I activities, contact our Market Analyst, Ollie More T +44 (0)203 567 0751 E

One of the key features at UK AD & Biogas 2016 will once again be the Research and Innovation (R&I) Hub. This is an area located at the centre of the show hall, where researchers and innovators get on their soap boxes to tell the industry about their work and why it’s important. We’ll have four sessions covering a range of different topics, so make sure to pick the sessions that are right for you.

These are just a couple of examples of the kinds of talks we’ll be featuring at the R&I Hub – the full programme is now on our website in the ‘Features’ section of the UK AD & Biogas 2016 page. I hope to see you there.

We have an exciting line-up planned. Professor Sandra Esteves of the University of South Wales is booked to talk about microbial profiling, organic acids production and digestate dewatering. With the AD market likely to see consolidation in the coming years, those operators able to fully understand and exploit the microbiology are likely to be the sharks rather than the fish in the sea. We also have Dr David Styles of Bangor University talking about the life-cycle analysis of struvite precipitation. Some very large food waste AD plants have been built in recent years, which now have hundreds of thousands of tonnes of digestate to manage. Extracting nutrients from these plants can dramatically change a project’s economics. But how do the energy and greenhouse gas balances stack up? David will tell us. 40

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ADBA R&I Forum 2016 Review Controversy, digestate and new feedstocks on the menu at ADBA’s R&I Forum By Ollie More, Market Analyst

Our sixth R&I Forum, held in April at the University of York, brought together a wide variety of world class researchers to talk about developments in their fields. It was extremely useful to hear an overview of the work of the AD Network from Professor Charles Banks of Southampton University. Professor Keith Barnham of Imperial College, meanwhile, gave an impassioned appeal to delegates, urging us to sign up to an all-renewable electricity supply – prompting discussion as to whether this is achievable. It’s always good to have a bit of controversy to start proceedings. Day one also featured some detailed results of recent studies, including from Professor James Chong of York University, who spoke about microbiomes. If I was to recommend a future career path to my five-year old daughter, it would be microbiology and genomics – this is the future! We also discussed the global potential for AD: if 10 per cent of global arid land was used for growing AD crops, there’s no reason why the AD industry could not be bigger than nuclear.

Day two had a more commercial focus. We’ve long known about the project by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to find a use for the wetland reeds they harvest for nature conservation. ‘A bit too woody for AD’ was the initial response of many in the industry. But with Future Biogas now installing straw-to-biogas systems, woodier material may be increasingly on the menu for anaerobic digesters. We finished day two with an overview of the latest digestate research. The opinion of some was that digestate should be first on the list rather than last, both for ADBA and for AD operators. This is something we’ll need to make sure is reflected at UK AD & Biogas 2016, and at next year’s R&I Forum. Overall, we enjoyed a hugely engaging forum and some valuable conversations. I’m looking forward to next year’s event already.

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AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

Membership Matters All roads lead to Lincolnshire

Our Membership Development Manager, Alex Monks, reports on the front-line issues affecting ADBA members. To invite Alex to visit your business or find out how to make the most of your membership, contact: T +44 (0)203 176 5418 E

My membership visits take me all over the country, from on-farm AD operators like AEL Biogas to streamlined research and testing facilities like Geotech. In June, I will be visiting members in Yorkshire and Gloucestershire, but one of the places I seem to visit most often is Lincolnshire. The county contains one of the highest concentrations of AD plants in the UK and driving to visit a new member recently, I passed no less than five plants visible from the A15! If you would like a visit to discuss making the most of your membership, joining ADBA or any issues you are facing, then please let me know, regardless of your location.

In April I enjoyed an international visit to the Bioenergy Italy show in Cremona, near Milan. It was interesting to keep up with the latest developments in Europe and great to catch up with UK-based members Balmoral Tanks, who were flying the UK flag in Italy. September will see ADBA return to Milan, with an invitation for members to visit two large scale, cutting-edge food waste plants. Dates are yet to be determined but if you are potentially interested in the trip, do let me know.

AEL Biogas’ on-farm AD plant in Lincolnshire

© Stuart Bruce

Welcome to our webinars This year saw us launch a new venture; the webinar. These online, one-hour sessions present a new opportunity for members to engage with us, from the comfort of your home or office.

Looking ahead to the summer, I’m starting to get excited for UK AD & Biogas 2016, which is taking place 6-7 July at the NEC Birmingham. It will be great to see so many of our members under one roof. This will be my fourth year of attending the show and it just gets bigger and better, with a familiar face around each corner. Don’t forget to register for your free delegate badge – see you all there!

Best practice on the agenda at Regulatory Forum

The first webinar provided an overview of the RHI consultation, with subsequent sessions focusing on specific areas of the consultation and receiving member feedback. Demand for these sessions was high, with 75 members logging on to watch one session alone. The feedback we received was included with our final response to DECC, which we submitted on 27 April. Our next webinar will be an update on our upcoming Best Practice Scheme. For more information or to contribute to an upcoming session, please contact Our Spring Regulatory Forum proved an informative day, with interesting discussions around updates from the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and Animal and Plant Health Agency. Attendees also heard the latest on ADBA’s Best Practice Scheme from the association’s Jess Allan and Amaya Arias-Garcia from Goals PME. In the afternoon, Carl Gurney from Jelf Clarke Roxburgh delivered a fascinating insight into the insurance sector, highlighting typical requirements and giving some tips on risk management. Many thanks to Clarke Willmott for kindly hosting this event at their offices in Bristol.

Welcome new ADBA members! AMT Anaero Technology Envirosense Consulting Ltd

BP Burst Energies Cannon Hall Estate CQA International Foxburrow Farm Ltd GP Biotec Heatcatcher KMH Systems

Ductor Livelab

DuPont Energyst Lombard Shedfield Growers

SS Agri

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


Membership Matters


AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

Membership Matters

Safety First

By Carl Gurney, Renewable Energy Director for Jelf Clarke Roxburgh T +44 (0)7799 474419 E

No compromise on insuring safety There is now a huge emphasis on the competency of AD operations in the UK; all plants need to reach acceptable levels of health & safety and risk management. If the industry does not improve, the Environment Agency may be forced to regulate further than it already does and developers may find it even more difficult to attract funding. Furthermore, insurers will either apply premiums that are unsustainable or not offer cover at all. It’s worth considering whether financiers will want to invest in any project without an insurance policy to de-risk the bank sheet.

Health & safety

The top three considerations for AD operators are visitors, employees and regular reviews. Regarding the safety of people visiting the site, it’s imperative that correct signage is installed to highlight any potential hazards, including: • Explosion risk • Toxic gases • Moving vehicles • Trips • Noise Regarding the safety and knowledge of employees, operators must check that all staff: • Have had adequate training • Know the emergency procedures • Have had confined space awareness training • Are equipped with personal protective equipment AD operators should also consider the following health and safety questions: • Are the installed gas metering devices tested and working?

• Is there evidence of operating competency? • Is the health and safety policy regularly reviewed?

Preventative measures

In addition to a robust health and safety policy, it is also important to have in place preventative measures and equipment. For example, the risk of a plant fire can be minimised by: • Considering the locations of equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire and gas detection, and prevention equipment • Not storing oil in the engine room • Conducting a Fire Risk and Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) assessment, paying close attention to any pressure equipment that will require statutory inspections • Carrying out a Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) assessment ADBA’s Best Practice Scheme, which will be launched at UK AD & Biogas 2016 (6-7 July 2016, NEC Birmingham), will offer sector leading guidance on how to achieve operational competency. I would also add, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The input of an experienced insurance broker with access to risk management service providers, who has previous claims experience in the AD sector, can be invaluable in helping to mitigate risks at an AD facility.

june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News


Membership Matters Team changes


Welcome Huw

Huw Harries, Director of Membership Services “Having spent 20 years creating and growing B2B networks, events and media in international markets across several sectors including transportation and climate change mitigation, I’m looking forward to working with the team at ADBA to develop best of class membership services worldwide.”

Some causes for optimism despite uncertainty Attendees at ADBA’s spring Members’ Meeting were left in no doubt that politics are going to continue to have a significant impact on the future of the industry. Brexit, the RHI consultation, food waste collections and biomethane for transport were all discussed at the packed London offices of Ashfords LLP on 21 April.

Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton T + 44 (0)203 176 0503 E PA to Chief Executive, Eleanor Maroussas T +44 (0)203 567 1041 E Strategic Advisor, Chris Huhne E Head of Policy, Matt Hindle T +44 (0)203 176 0591 E Policy Officer, Thom Koller T +44 (0)203 176 0592 E Market Analyst, Ollie More T +44 (0)203 567 0751 E Environment and Regulation Manager, Jess Allan T +44 (0)203 735 8380 E Director of Membership Services, Huw Harries T +44 (0)203 176 5441 E

Chris Huhne, ADBA’s Strategic Adviser, outlined that while policy inconsistencies were likely to continue, there is cause for optimism. “AD is making progress because the government is keen on farm decarbonisation and AD is a clear part of that,” he stated. ADBA’s Head of Policy, Matt Hindle, explained how the association was responding to DECC’s proposals for the future of the RHI. He said that tariff guarantees were a positive move, although clarification was needed on the specific wording of the proposals. However, Matt also highlighted members’ concerns over potentially damaging policy changes, such as the removal of support for digestate drying. See more in our response in ADBA News, p5-6.

Membership Development Manager, Alex Monks T +44 (0)203 176 5418 E

ADBA Chief Executive, Charlotte Morton, reiterated how inconsistencies in the approach to food waste collections in England are affecting feedstock availability. Despite the fact that the independent Committee on Climate Change has stated its ambition to see all biodegrade waste removed from landfill, nearly half of all food waste is still not collected separately. Charlotte and Matt took members through two separate workstreams to address this issue that ADBA is involved in: the Consistency Working Group, and the Food Waste Recycling Action Plan. You can read more about these initiatives in our policy update on p34-35.

Market Research Analyst, Sarika Jain E

Opportunities to use biomethane as a transport fuel were laid out by ADBA’s Policy Officer, Thom Koller. Cities such as Reading, Leeds and Bristol are ahead of the game but investors will require a reformed Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation; a consultation is expected to be published by the Department for Transport this summer. On market confidence, Market Analyst, Ollie More, said that an expected drop


Events and Sponsorship Manager, Neill Wightman T +44 (0)203 176 4414 E Senior Events Manager, Gayle Brandon Kirby T +44 (0)203 176 5440 E Event Producer, Ed Gavaghan T +44 (0)203 176 4415 E Marketing Manager, Vera Gerson T +44 (0)203 176 0590 E

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in planning applications for AD plants had not materialised. Data to April 2016 showed that 459 plants were currently at the planning stage. He said: “We see planning applications as a sign of confidence in the sector and we are not seeing a rapid decline. The sector seems to keep outperforming expectations.”

“This is quite a challenging time for the industry but I was interested to hear about biomethane as a new avenue to explore. It’s innovation and new ideas like this that will secure the future of the industry.”

“We all know that the sector is going through some difficult times but I got a feeling of resilience from the meeting. Companies are still finding a way to make it work.”

David Woolgar, Director, Biogen

Kulraj Heer, Consultant, Investment Fund

AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

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june 2016 | AD & Bioresources News



AD & Bioresources News | june 2016

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