The use of farm organic wastes and energy crops is an environmentally friendly diversification for farms and offers many advantages. The treatment of farm wastes, such as manure slurries and vegetable wastes in an anaerobic digester, would allow easier storage and a better fertiliser value when spread.
Agricultural crops such as maize silage, grass silage, wheat and rye will boost the gas production significantly, allowing a steady power production and predictable income return.
These inputs can also have benefits when grown as a break crop. The use of agricultural crops in a biogas plant is often the main driver to make a farm-based plant economically viable. The biogas production is, via the generation and sale of electricity, usually the main or only financial return for a plant.
The agricultural crop will have a production cost making it even more important to extract the best value out of the gas produced. To achieve the best value, a high efficiency electrical conversion generation unit is needed, but also with the confidence in the technical backup from the supplier to give reliable continuous operation over the project lifetime.
The combined heat and power unit is probably the most vital link in the economic success of an agricultural anaerobic digestion project. The choice of supplier can be critical to project success.