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BV Dairy of Dorset is using liquid anaerobic digestion (AD) technology in the hope it will cut its carbon footprint by more than 65 per cent.

BV Dairy expects to reduce its CO2 emissions by approximately 1,200 tonnes a year, which would equate to the environmental benefit of planting 120,000 trees.

This should also help the dairy save an estimated GBP150,000 a year.

When the AD system becomes fully operational in August 2010, BV Dairy expects to generate more than 75 per cent of the site’s electricity consumption.

Clearfleau designed and built the high-rate liquid digester.

Ener-G designed, supplied and operated the combined heat and power (CHP) technology, which will convert biogas into renewable energy.

Clearfleau’s high-rate anaerobic systems are used for the on-site treatment of liquid waste.

Anaerobic digestion is an established biological process in which micro-organisms that thrive in an oxygen-free environment convert volatile solids into biogas.

Clearfleau’s digestion systems operate with reduced liquid retention time on a confined footprint.

The 190kWe CHP system will be capable of generating 1,539MW of electricity and 1,685MW of heat per annum from effluent, dramatically reducing the dairy’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The AD system involves waste liquids from the dairy being converted into biogas, which is then used to generate electricity and heat using Ener-G’s CHP technology.

The majority of electricity will power existing dairy operations, with the remainder sold to the National Grid.

Surplus heat will be used in the production process.

In addition, small amounts of de-watered digestate will be produced that will be used as a soil conditioner and fertiliser and will comply with the PAS110 protocols.

Funding has been provided under the WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) Environment Transformation Fund, supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

This follows an earlier small-scale pilot project to test the AD operation at the site, which was carried out by Clearfleau.

The mobile plant has just completed further dairy trials and will be used on other projects in the brewing and food-processing sector during 2010.

The project is backed by Dairy UK, which estimates that if the AD system was replicated across the UK’s dairy sector, it would save about 346,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

The CHP system is being hired from Ener-G for a two-year period, prior to capital purchase.

Ener-G is urging the farming and land-owning community to take advantage of government financial incentives for creating energy from anaerobic digestion (AD), including Renewable Obligations Certificates and a newly introduced feed-in-tariff.

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