Newcastle University Project - From Manure to Megawatts

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01 March 2010

The University announced in late December 2009 that they are going ahead with a £1.85m project looking at ways of converting waste into energy. The project will be jointly funded by the University and regional development agency, One North East, and will involve the use of a state-of-the-art anaerobic digester which converts manure from pigs and cattle into green energy and organic fertilizer. The digester will be installed at Cockle Park Farm in Northumberland by Anaerobic Energy Ltd.

Along with examining AD techniques, the purpose of the project is to assist farms to turn into more sustainable businesses by working with the North East farmers, land managers and other related businesses to find new ways of producing renewable energy from waste.

A senior representative from One North east commented that "anaerobic digestion offers considerable potential for farms and rural businesses in the production of energy and the management of animal manures and other waste streams. However, the number of facilities on farms in the UK is limited as the technology has predominantly been used for the management of animal manures rather than energy production. It is an area that is waiting to be exploited bearing in mind that the UK has 150,000 full-time and 200,000 part-time farms".

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