The extent of the potential for anaerobic digestion has yet to be realised in Ireland, according to an expert consultant from WYG, the international professional services group. Anaerobic digestion is a series of processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen, used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste and/or to release energy. It is widely used as part of the process to treat wastewater.
WYG recently strengthened its growing specialism of anaerobic digestion (AD) with the appointment of expert Dr Kevin Monson who is based in Dublin.
With over ten years experience in the anaerobic digestion field, Kevin Monson believes that the full potential for AD has not yet been realised in Ireland. He says: “Anaerobic digestion, having widely been used as a wastewater treatment option, has now evolved into a viable organic wastes treatment technology that can be utilised as a means to divert many organic wastes from landfill. Anaerobic digestion is also increasingly seen as a renewable energy technology, and in many cases the production of renewable energy (rather than the treatment of wastes) may be the primary driver.”
He adds: “As well as the municipal wastes sector, the anaerobic digestion of agricultural wastes (and energy crops) has real potential in rural Ireland. We can educate and advise farmers and land-owners of the options available to them to optimise their agricultural waste management, and support them to take anaerobic digestion projects from conceptual idea to project realisation, resulting in an increase in the number of operational and profitable anaerobic digestion plants.”