This is exactly the reality for Bedfordia Farms based at Milton Ernest near Bedford.
Finally, we are converting waste into renewable energy, which helps to reduce greenhouse gases and carbon emissions.” The slurry from the Bedfordia pig farming operation forms the basis of the biogas plant’s raw material intake and is essential for achieving the porridge-like consistency ideal for the anaerobic digestion that produces the methane.
Biogen takes pig slurry and material everyone throws away – particularly waste from the UK food chain – and uses it as fuel to make renewable energy.
Each year, around 12,000 tonnes of slurry travels effortlessly from the Twinwoods pig unit via a 250m underground pipeline straight into the biogas facility.
Up to 30,000 tonnes of food chain waste is mixed with it to fuel the digestion process, producing methane which in turn is used to power a combined heat and power generator that produces enough electricity for the pig unit and up to 1000 homes.
“Our process is a unique, farm-based application of an established eco-technology called anaerobic digestion,” explains Biogen operations manager Phil Moffat.
“The process uses bacteria in a sealed chamber to break down the slurry and food waste and produce a methane-rich biogas and high nutrient bio-fertiliser.“It really is a win:win:win situation: it’s a green solution for the disposal of pig slurry and food chain waste in a sealed process that reduces pollution.But it’s the food waste, with its higher energy content, that boosts the methane yield.“We are able to accept almost any form of food waste – liquids, sludges or solids – and we can take both packaged and unpackaged material,” Phil Moffat says.Case Study SLURRY DRIVES BIOGAS PLANT OUTPUT AND FARM’S GREENER FUTURE With energy prices soaring, the ability to dispose of pig slurry by turning it into electricity is attractive enough.But when the by-product of the power generation can also cut the arable land nitrogen bill, any large-scale farming operation would sit up and take notice.