Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the process of breaking down organic materials such as manure, food waste, biomass, crops etc, in order to reduce waste and create green energy (biogas), fertiliser and heat.
This process usually takes place in an air tight tank called an Anaerobic Digester. It is recognised as the best way to deal with organic waste by leading authorities.
But there are areas for improvement, for example, organic waste is not broken down entirely, so leftover sludge has to be disposed of, resulting in pollution, odours, fees, fines, and wasted green energy.
The UK Government is encouraging existing AD plants to maximise the efficiency of these expensive systems.
This is what the Vanex process does.
Uses of the AD process
Anaerobic digestion is used as a source for clean, renewable energy. The process creates a biogas, consisting of methane, carbon dioxide, but also unwanted toxic gases.
Vanex increases the amount of biogas produced, and removes toxic gases and smells.
Without treatment, undigested organic slurry remains in the tank, decreasing the capacity by typically 5% per year. With Vanex, all organic matter is completely digested, meaning AD plants work to full efficiency and require less cleaning.
Anaerobic digestion process
This results in a combination of carbon dioxide methane gases (biogas), water and organic matter (digestate). Burning Biogas can produce both electricity and heat, methane can be injected into the gas grid.
Digestate is the nutrient-rich material left over, and can used for a variety of purposes, but primarily as fertiliser. With Vanex there is concentrated, more mineral rich digestate. The concentrated digestate retains less water, making the dewatering process far simpler and cost effective and reduces transportation costs.