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Farm waste finds new life

The partnership will reduce the transportation carbon footprint

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By Ben Murray
Dumfries and West
Farm waste finds new life

A FARM in the region is sending its waste CO2 for use in food and healthcare supply chains.

The emissions produced by the anaerobic digestion plant (AD) at Crofthead Farm, near Castle Douglas, are being turned into dry ice for use in industries such as pharmaceuticals and food distribution.

Farm owners Mark Callander, Richard and Peter Barbour and Iona Capital have teamed up with Dry Ice Scotland (DIS) for the deal.

The digestor uses microorganisms to break down biodegradable material such as farm waste to produce biogas, which can be burned in a boiler to produce heat, or in a combined heat and power (CHP) unit to produce heat and electricity.

Working at full capacity, the Stewartry plant can produce enough power in the form of ‘green gas’ for around 8000 houses. The AD is mainly ‘fed’ not with the usual slurry or farmyard manure, but with hen and cow dung, which produces a nutrient-dense fertiliser as digestate.

The CO2 emissions from the AD would normally be released into the atmosphere but is now instead being bought by DIS, who are also investing £4m in a new facility at the AD plant site at Haugh of Urr.

Richard Nimmons said: “Our strategy reduces transportation carbon footprint and insulates our customers from any future CO2 shortages.”

Poppy Baggott, from Galbraith, added: “AD has many merits, providing renewable power and bringing valuable income for those who own and operate a plant. It also ensures land is kept in top agricultural working order to provide silage and agricultural matter for the process.

“The CO2 by-product is part of the natural cycling of carbon between biomass and the atmosphere, unlike additional emissions from oil refining or fertiliser production which cause climate change. As the material fed into the process would emit the greenhouse gas whether used this way or not, AD is seen as a net-zero technology.

“However, there is still an emission, so I was intrigued and delighted to see this example of ingenuity and innovation in the use of AD in the ongoing fight against climate change.”

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