Emerald Biogas has received planning approval for the first commercial anaerobic digestion plant at the Newton Aycliffe Industrial Estate in County Durham, Great Britain.
It will use food waste from shops, supermarkets and manufacturers, mixed with organic waste and energy crops from local farms, to create biogas capable of producing power to heat 9,000 homes.
“The scheme will divert 40,000 tonnes of food waste annually from landfill for energy production, said Adam Warren of Emerald Biogas.
"The heat and power produced by the process will be 100 percent renewable and due to the location of the development it can be fully utilised by neighbouring industry," he said.
An additional benefit is that the remaining liquid product is ideal for fertilising crops, replacing energy intensive artificial fertilisers. 80,000 tonnes of bio-fertiliser could be produced for use on 4,000 hectares of agricultural land.
“At our public consultation events, we had a fantastic response from local farmers keen to diversify into growing energy crops as well as using our only byproduct - a 100 percent natural fertiliser for crops,” said Emerald Biogas Director Ian Bainbridge.