What is Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion is the natural breakdown of organic materials into methane and carbon dioxide gas and fertiliser.  This takes place naturally, or in an anaerobic digester.

A typical anaerobic digester is a sealed vessel, or series of vessels, in which bacteria act without oxygen.  The organic material contents need to be fully mixed and warmed, usually to blood temperature.

Biogas is the name given to the mixture of gases formed during the anaerobic digestion of organic wastes.

Biogas consists of methane (c70%) and carbon dioxide (c30%).

It can be used in stationary engines to generate electricity, but it is not suitable as a vehicle fuel

After removing the carbon dioxide (and other trace gases using a variety of methods in a process known as upgrading) the remaining methane is known as Renewable Natural Gas or Biomethane.

Biomethane is virtually identical to natural gas, the main difference being that it is produced in days, rather than taking millions of years, billions of years ago.

The uses for biomethane are therefore as varied as are those for natural gas, for heating, cooling, as a source of chemicals, fertiliser or hydrogen.

When used as a vehicle fuel, biomethane is, without doubt, the world’s cleanest and most environmentally friendly fuel.

Carbon dioxide is valued for its properties as an inert gas, for heat transfer, and as a solvent.
Common uses include:

  • fire extinguisher systems
  • carbonation of soft drinks
  • freezing or chilling of food products
  • decaffeination of coffee
  • shield gas in welding
  • oil extraction; pumped into an oil well it dissolves the oil
  • respiration stimulant for medical use
  • propellant in aerosol cans
  • food production in greenhouses
  • in its supercritical form, as the most environmentally friendly solvent

Compost produced from a thorough and complete treatment system such as the Maltin® System ensures that all the material is broken down into its most basic chemical components with:

  • no contaminants
  • no smell when dry or when wetted
  • no pathogens
  • no weed seeds

In a thorough system such as the Maltin® System there is no waste product.

At Organic Power we maintain that WASTE is merely the result of poor or incomplete processing. A properly designed process will not produce any waste (UK Environment Agency, please note).