Simon McQueen-Mason, Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP), York University: PRESENTATION ONLY(free)
INTRODUCTION: The Waste Biorefinery Platform: The Future of AD in the UK
The amount of organic waste treated by anaerobic digestion has doubled since 2009 with around 11 million wet tonnes treated annually. However there are a number of threats to the continued expansion of this technology, with shrinking gate fees for raw material, increased costs for digestate recycling and uncertainty as to the long term sustainability of the land recycling route. This gives scope for further research and development into harnessing the resource more effectively.
One of the most encouraging avenues being explored is creating an organic waste Biorefinery platform. A Biorefinery is a facility that integrates biomass conversion processes and equipment to produce fuels, power, and chemicals from biomass. The Biorefinery concept is analogous to today’s petroleum refineries, which produce multiple fuels and products from petroleum. Industrial Biorefineries have considered to be one of the most promising routes to the creation of a new domestic bio based industry.
The event explored the different avenues being considered for the management of organic waste using Biorefinery technologies to synthesise novel products and create a more efficient market for digestate. As ideas for future Biorefineries have developed from the conceptual to the viable, differentiating between inputs has become a means of distinguishing the types of plants attracting research and investment. In this instance it is the raw material that outlines the processes and locations involved in the generation of eco-friendly and valuable products.
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