What is Anaerobic Digestion?
The first time I heard the word anaerobic digestion, I was puzzled and my imagination vanished into the thin air. The first meaningful thought that came to mind was that this could be a unique way humans digested lasagna or peri-peri chicken. I was way off the mark as this meant something completely different. It is, therefore, important to spare you from wondering on the actual meaning of anaerobic digestion and go straight to the point.
Anaerobic digestion is viewed as the process through which organic materials such as food or animal waste are broken down to generate bio-fertiliser and biogas. The unique thing is that this entire process occurs in the absence of oxygen, as the dissolution process takes place in an oxygen-free tank known as anaerobic digesters.
You might be pondering what the word anaerobic stands for or actually means. Anaerobic simply means ‘in the absence of oxygen.’ The irony is that we need oxygen to survive whilst anaerobic digestion takes place in the absence of oxygen.
The benefits of anaerobic digestion:
Anaerobic digestion are considered to be among the oldest biological technologies adopted by the human race. It is believed that high organic loading rates and low sludge creation are common benefits for using anaerobic digesters.
An increasing benefit for adopting an anaerobic digestive process is that of energy production. This, therefore, leads to a positive net energy production and more interestingly, the biogas produced can replace fossil fuels. The production of biogas has a direct positive effect on the reduction of greenhouse gas reduction.
Also, the biogas which is produced in the sealed tanks are useful as fuels in a combined heat and power unit (CHP), to produce renewable energy like electricity and heat. This does not end here as the process further generates a nutrient rich bio-fertiliser which could be pasteurised to kill any form of pathogens. These are then stored in massive sealed tanks and they can then be applied twice a year on farmlands in place of fertilizers.
Aside the above mentioned, other benefits of the anaerobic process consist of insect elimination at the storage pit, odours suppression and organic waste processing.
An important statistics to remember:
It is believed that every tonne of food waste recycled by an anaerobic digester serves as a substitute to landfill prevents between 0.5 and 1.5 tonne of CO2 entering the atmosphere.
Based on the above benefits of anaerobic digestion, you would agree that it is a very useful waste management process. Cleaning these anaerobic digesters are quite important in achieving a high level of biogas and bio-fertiliser. Hydro Cleansing is a leading firm capable of cleaning anaerobic digesters and could be contacted on 0800 740 8888.
Image credit: Wikipedia