Amur, a subsidiary of AB Agri - an Associated British Foods business - is launching an anaerobic digestion feedstock which is blended to a specification designed expressly to optimise productivity.
According to the company, AD plants often struggle to optimise gas production. It said that this is largely due to variance in the feedstocks fed to the plant. Just like the human stomach, the bacteria that produce biomethane struggle when the feedstock changes. Feeding a plant consistently helps the bacterial population and health, which, in turn, helps to optimise the volumes and consistency of gas which is produced.
However, the blended ‘soup’ – manufactured from food waste and sold under the Ch4rger brand is mixed to a fixed specification and provides AD operators with a consistent product, which supports a finely-tuned biocommunity to digest the waste and produce biomethane. The special blend is claimed to maintain peak performance and, in turn, leads to a more regular production of gas.
Nigel Lee, general manager at Amur described Ch4rger as a natural development for the company. Amur’s parent company, AB Agri, has been routing food manufacturing by-products into animal feeds for 36 years.
He explained that by buying into the concept, food manufacturers will be able to exploit the value inherent in co-products and wastes, by pushing them through the channel which generates the most value (animal feed or AD), while also guaranteeing the best environmental performance.
“This is an industry first,” said Lee. “We have been generating profitable disposal routes for co-products for over 30 years, while providing the skilled technical know-how to ensure that animals are fed the right blends for peak performance.”
“In creating Ch4rger, we spent three years applying our wealth of biological expertise to blending wastes, in order to produce a fixed specification,” he continued.
Amur works directly with food manufacturers and third party waste contractors to source feedstock.
“We produce Ch4rger both for our own use and as a commercial feedstock for other AD plants so, unlike individual operators whose requirements for feedstock go up and down, we never have to turn feedstock away,” said Lee. “We are also able to use our wealth of knowledge in feeding animals to advise contractors on the most cost effective application for different types of food waste.”
In practice, the company said that means it is able to advise customers on the most cost effective route for by-products.
“Most producers these days prefer the AD route, but productivity varies hugely between plants,” explained Lee. “If customers choose to send animal by-product and other wastes to Amur, they can be certain that their material will not just be a tick towards sustainability – any food waste used to make Ch4rger is having a significant impact on the productivity of the AD plant it feeds.”
Lee concluded: “People like our soup, because we have taken the nutritional and biological expertise that we have garnered for 36 years in AB Agri, and transferred that across to waste. We are unique in being able to mix a waste to a specification, which provides AD operators with a consistent product which allows the plant to fulfill its potential.”
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