Anaerobic digestion

Area of Expertise:

This research presents a summary review of anaerobic digestion (AD) at farm level, compiled by AFBI and sponsored by Action Renewables. The main objective is to consider the potential of on-farm AD for agriculture in Northern Ireland as a future strategy for managing farm manures and plant nutrients in the manures together with production of renewable energy.

Hillsborough Anaerobic digestion (AD)

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a proven, well-tried and tested technology that converts organic matter to biogas in the absence of oxygen. Feedstocks for AD include sewage, animal manures, agricultural crops, animal by-products, organic wastes from industry (mainly from food processing) and the organic fraction of household waste. Within agriculture, AD is currently carried out on-farm, or in larger centralised AD plants. This research is concerned with on-farm AD.

On-farm AD has potential to produce biogas as a renewable fuel and to assist in managing the plant nutrients in slurry.  At present information on the performance and economics of on-farm AD in Northern Ireland are unknown. In order to provide this required information, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute at Hillsborough is installing an on-farm anaerobic digester. Data gathered from this research project will provide much needed information for the industry.


For more information contact: Anaerobic digestion group