There are an estimated 100 non-water industry anaerobic digesters in the UK producing bioenergy and many more digesters currently in the planning stages of development. Here are our picks for the top ten:
Biffa Waste Management Service - Poplars Anaerobic Digestion Plant
Founded in 1912, Biffa has over a century of experience in recycling and waste management. Their Poplars Anaerobic Digestion Plant in Staffordshire is the most efficient food waste processing AD plant in the UK generating up to 6.5m MW of electricity, providing a single point waste disposal solution for packaged & unpackaged food waste.
GE Energy - Girvan Distillery
As a large exporter, GE occupies over 20 sites and contracts thousands of UK based suppliers. The innovator installed a Jenbacher J620 engine at distiller William Grant & Sons’ distillery in Girvan, Scotland in order to burn biogas from the anaerobic digestion of waste materials. The combined heat and power was developed to cut the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions while providing 3 MW of power, as well as steam for distillery processes.
ReFood (PDM) - London Sustainable Industries Park (ReFood)
ReFood’s waste Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility in London is capable of processing 160,000 tonnes of food waste a year. Just like the Doncaster and Widnes facilities, their London site offers businesses of all sizes an alternative to sending unwanted food to landfills with a secure closed-loop, end-to-end solution. Refood work to improve companies’ green credentials, reduce their carbon footprint and lower their overall food waste disposal costs by up to 50%.
ReFood (PDM) - ReFood Doncaster AD
The UK’s leading recycling centre, ReFood’s Doncaster AD provides a secure closed-loop solution that converts food waste into renewable energy. Their innovative process helps private and public sectors across the UK to cut their carbon footprint, reducing overall food waste disposal costs by up to 50%. The AD also creates its own nutrient-rich bio-fertiliser, which they proudly call ReGrow.
Metis Construction - Imperial Park (Metis)
The Metis Construction plant at Imperial Park, Middlesborough treats various types of organic waste and is designed to give the operator high flexibility regarding the type of feedstock he wants to digest. The generated electricity is fed into the National Grid and the developed heat is used to heat the digesters to 40°C and to pasteurize the digest so that it can be used on the land.
ReFood (PDM) - ReFood Widnes
One of Europe's highest capacity plants, the Refood Widnes site in Cheshire processes 160,000 tonnes of food waste a year. The plant has 50% more capacity compared to their Doncaster site, with three combined heat and power (CHP) engines to convert the biogas produced during the AD process into 4.2MWh of renewable electricity.
H2Energy/ 2 Sisters Food Group - Willand AD
The bio-refineries on the Willand site in Devon is the result of Liverpool-based H2 Energy and leading food manufacturer 2 Sisters Food Group collaboration. The plant converts food waste and by-products into power and heat. The merger provides significant savings in energy and waste management costs by processing the waste where it is produced and environmentally supports the food manufacturer's drive towards a lower carbon footprint and zero waste to landfill.
DONG Energy- Lostock Works
The Dong Energy (now Orsted) waste treatment plant at the Low stock Works in Northwich was the first full-scale bio plant in the world capable of handling household waste through enzymes, mechanical sorting and anaerobic digestion. The plant handles 120,000t of waste a year, equivalent to the waste generated from approximately 110,000 households, and generates between 5MW and 6MW of renewable electricity a year.
Essex City Council/Material Change- Courtauld Road AD
Material Change Ltd and Essex City Council Anaerobic Digestion facility treats household food waste collected by local Essex authorities and a combined anaerobic digestion in-vessel composting facility in Basildon to treat kerbside-collected mixed food and garden waste. The food and garden waste will be treated to produce agricultural soil improver, liquid fertilizer and biogas, with the remainder sent to the National Grid.
Global Renewables - Farington Waste Recovery Park
Global Renewables Lancashire (GRL) is a UK based resource recovery specialist who operates a state-of-the-art Mechanical Biological Treatment waste processing facility in Farington. Both plants process up to 600,000 tonnes of municipal waste each year, enabling Lancashire to become one of the leading areas in Europe for environmentally friendly waste management.