The benefits of bioenergy
Anaerobic digestion – AD for short – is a low carbon process in which micro-organisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. As part of an integrated waste management system, AD significantly reduces the amount of waste going to landfill and, thereby, the harmful emission of landfill gas into the atmosphere.
- AD is also a source of renewable energy – the process produces a methane rich biogas that can be used to generate clean, green energy, replacing fossil fuels and helping to meet the Government's Renewables Obligation. The residual material is a liquid, rich in nutrients, that is used as a biofertiliser.
- AD diverts biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) from landfill to local treatment plants, making it an ideal recycling process. By adopting this process each tonne of food waste recycled by anaerobic digestion as an alternative to landfill prevents between 0.5 and 1.0 tonne of CO2entering the atmosphere.
- AD is a proven technology widely supported by Government and environmental organisations.
AD is cost comparable to other recycling technologies – indeed, a Eunomia report for WRAP(Waste & Resources Action Programme) identified the technology as the most cost effective and environmentally sustainable way of diverting food waste from landfill.