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The funds will enable bio-economy consultants NNFCC and bio-methane injection specialists CNG Services to pilot work in this field, using a group of Cheshire farmers as a test case.

The feasibility study will look at feedstock and technology options, as well as the viability of a number of business models, health and safety requirements, infrastructure ownership and regulatory barriers.

Biogas networks offer small-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) developers the opportunity to combine their resources to cut the cost of selling gas to the national grid, however many are reluctant to go it alone.

“The idea of a hub of farms feeding the national grid with low carbon gas is attractive,” said NNFCC’s head of biomass & biogas, Lucy Hopwood.

“Developing biogas networks could be an important way of getting more farmers involved in anaerobic digestion, which will benefit the rural economy and improve farm resource efficiency, such as nutrient and water management,” she added.

The partnership between NNFCC and CNG Services already has the backing of the National Grid, Arla Foods and the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers.

The feasibility study funding was awarded as part of WRAP’s Driving Innovation in Anaerobic Digestion (DIAD) programme which helps to take technologies, concepts or modifications, which have the potential to advance the operation and outputs of AD at all scales, to market penetration.

Maxine Perella

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