« BackNews: British Farmers Use Animal Waste For Renewable Energy

British Farmers Use Animal Waste For Renewable Energy


British farmers are increasingly turning to anaerobic digestion as a means to produce renewable energy from agricultural, farm, and organic waste such as cow manure.

The Independent reports that a group of farmers, working with dairy cooperative Arla, are turning cow manure into AA-sized batteries, or ‘cow-patteries’ and that 1kg of manure can produce 3.75kWh of electricity, enough for five hours of vacuuming or 3.5 hours of ironing, the newspaper said.

The batteries were developed by Arla and GP Batteries, and claim that the energy produced from a single cow could be enough to power three UK homes for a year.

The cow waste, which the 460,000 Arla cows provide an almost never-ending supply of, is broken down in an anaerobic digester to produce biogas, which is then taken to a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit, where it is used to generate renewable energy. The leftover waste is then used as fertiliser.

Arla farmer Neil Ridgway said: There is so much potential for innovations such as anaerobic digestion to contribute to the UKs renewable energy needs while reducing farm emissions with something readily available on our farms – poo.

Meanwhile, farmers in Glapwell in Derbyshire have been given permission by the local authority for a waste processing plant on a 1,250-acre plot of land on the edge of the village, that would convert 2,500 tonnes of agricultural waste a year via anaerobic digestion, converting it into around 40kW of renewable energy annually.

As with Arla’s scheme, the resulting fertiliser would be used on the farms, while the generated biogas would be used to create renewable electricity that could be fed back into the national grid.


In a planning statement, Boyer Planning Consultants, acting for the farms owners Alan and John Dore say the facility would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generating clean and renewable energy.



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