No whey! UK biogas plant to run on cheese

A new anaerobic digestion plant in the UK is to use residues from cheese production to generate biogas. It will feed biomethane into the gas grid in rural Cumbria, which […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A new anaerobic digestion plant in the UK is to use residues from cheese production to generate biogas.

It will feed biomethane into the gas grid in rural Cumbria, which is expected to deliver more than £3 million per year in cost savings and revenue for Lake District Biogas.

The facility, built by UK firm Clearfleau which provides onsite treatment solutions, will take feedstock from dairy giant First Milk’s nearby Aspatria creamery site.

At full capacity, it will treat 1,650m3 per day of effluent and whey and generate around 5MW of thermal energy, enough for up to 20% of the creamery’s needs.

It will also produce 1000m3 of biogas per hour, of which more than 80% will be upgraded for injection into the national grid.

At least 60% of the biomethane will be used in the creamery for steam generation, with the rest being used by local businesses and households in Aspatria.

The plant will receive incentives from the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed-in Tariff schemes.

Craig Chapman, CEO of Clearfleau said: “Dairy processors can generate value from their residues with a better return on investment than for other more conventional treatment and disposal options.

“This project, generating biogas solely from creamery residues is based on British engineering and is transforming the way in which the dairy industry manages its residues. This shows how sustainability can be an integral part of our food supply chain.”