Element - - BUSINESS -

The Avon­mouth Food Waste Di­ges­tion Fa­cil­ity at Bris­tol treats 40,000 tonnes of food waste from homes, su­per­mar­kets, and busi­nesses across the south west of Eng­land – prevent­ing it from go­ing to land­fill.

The plant uses a so­phis­ti­cated de-pack­ag­ing sys­tem that re­moves all the pack­ag­ing from in­com­ing food waste and pro­duces clean, or­ganic slurry for the di­ges­tion process. The re­sul­tant bio­gas is then used to pro­duce elec­tric­ity and heat - pow­er­ing both the site and ex­port­ing ex­cess en­ergy to the Na­tional Grid. The plant is based at Bris­tol sewage treat­ment works in Avon­mouth.

The po­ten­tial for co-lo­ca­tion of waste pro­cess­ing plants on waste­water or di­ges­tion in­fra­struc­ture is now a real­is­tic and at­trac­tive propo­si­tion to many water util­i­ties as the in­fra­struc­ture al­ready ex­ists. The Avon­mouth plant pro­duces 15 GWh of en­ergy a year from bio­gas gen­er­ated through anaer­o­bic di­ges­tion treat­ment and de­liv­ers a high-nu­tri­ent fer­tiliser which is used by farm­ers in­stead of ex­pen­sive in­or­ganic fer­tilis­ers.

The amount of en­ergy pro­duced from both the sewage treat­ment works and the food waste in­vest­ment al­lows Bris­tol sewage treat­ment works – one of the largest in the UK – to be car­bon neu­tral and self-suf­fi­cient from an en­ergy per­spec­tive, which helps to drive down op­er­at­ing costs. Ex­cess en­ergy is also fed back into the na­tional grid. Mon­sal man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ai­dan Cu­miskey said, “The Bris­tol site is now one of the most en­ergy ef­fi­cient in the coun­try us­ing our key tech­nolo­gies to con­vert food waste to re­new­able en­ergy.”

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