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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Proposed Research

CP459  Development of a Rapid Test for Anaerobic Digestion Waste & Resource Management
Project Appreciation and Objectives

The Government Review of Waste Policy in England 2011 and Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan published in June 2011 lays out the government's commitment to increasing energy from waste through Anaerobic Digestion. Such initiatives are the first step in removing the barriers which currently serve to restrict infrastructure development and will help to provide the necessary level playing field in terms of regulation and financial incentives for the production and use of biogas and digestate irrespective of feedback.

To effectively support the growth and development of AD, there is a need for a deeper understanding of feedstock characteristics and how these control waste digestability and the information on the quality and quantity of biogas that might be be producted from a waste, as well as estimating timescales for gas production. The problem with such tests is that the time lag between sample colleciton and the availability of test results hinders meaningful proacticve management of the digesters.

This project will develop and validate a suitable rapid biological test that can be used to predict biogas production potential and to predict inhibition issues assocatied with waste feedstock.

Benefits to Clients

  • Quality check that incoming feedstock characteristics comply with documentation.
  • Maximise productivity and increase digester throughput by assessment of new feedstock.
  • Minimise digester downtime due to poor or inappropriate feedstock.
  • Minimise the need to store wastes (with potential odour issues) waiting for test data.

Work Programme

  1. Review existing data relating to anaerobic biodegradability tests.
  2. Identify and assess rapid biological test.
  3. Validate selected test methods.

Project Output

  • A waste characterisation database, including rate equations for different feedstock.
  • A description of the rapid biological test with validation data.
  • An optimised rapid AD test protocol and baseline reference data.

Related Work

  • Use of acclimatised digestion tests to evaluate the biogas production potential of pre-sorted for pre-treated MBT residues, Waste Management Companies, 2010.
  • Characteristic residues from industrial processes and waste treatment Defra, 2005-2009.
  • PAS110 Digestate stability method validation. WRAP, 2009.
WRc's Portfolio Programme
Summary of the £1.5 million per annum research programme

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