Cambridgeshire could see the development of a new anaerobic digester site if plans go ahead, after a farming company submitted its proposals to the local authority earlier this week.
Collmart Growers of Pondersbridge has asked Huntingdon District Council if it could build the digester with its biomass boiler heating facilities opposite its packing and storage area, Hunts Post reported.
A spokesperson for Collmart was quoted by the news provider as saying: “The feedstocks for the process will consist of a total of 25,000 tonnes per annum made up of 5,500 tonnes of onion waste, 6,650 tonnes of straw, 5,500 tonnes of sugar beet pulp and 7,000 tonnes of maize.”
It was added that the feedstock will be by-products of onion processing or grown by the company itself within its own land.
Biomass production works by trapping the gas released when biological material starts to rot. This is then turned into power, which can be used to provide energy to the rest of the farm sites.
The spokesperson went on to say Collmart believes more than 16,000 tonnes of digestate would be produced on site per year. Therefore, it might even be able to sell some of the gas produced to the National Grid, for use by the general public.
Those nearby who might be worried about the impact of the anaerobic digester have been reassured that the process is silent and odour-less. What’s more, the main equipment is locked securely in purpose-built buildings, so they will have little effect on the area.
This comes after the Department for Transport revealed its plans to transform landfill into fuel that can be used to power aeroplanes for the UK aviation industry.
It has committed £434,000 to the initiative, while Shell has promised £3 million and Velocys has pledged £1.5 million.