Projects: Wanlip



Wanlip Anaerobic Digestion Facility

Submitted: 18 November 2005 Operator: BIFFA Waste Services Ltd Location: Wanlip, Leicestershire


The project was designed as an alternative to sending organic municipal wastes to landfill. It is contracted to help meet the city’s target of 60% waste recycling and recovery by 2006.

It is funded by Leicester City Council at a cost of £80 per household per year.


It processes the biological fraction of Municipal Solid Waste from the Leicester area, after ball mill processing at Bursom Recycling Centre. Source separated kitchen and garden waste is also accepted.

The digester can process up to 50,000 tonnes/year

The facility includes 5 digester tanks, with a total capacity at any one time of 8000 tonnes.


Electricity: 1434 kW (ROC Accredited) Digestate: There is a potential for this to be marketed for agricultural use.

For more information see Biffa Leicester.


This is not the same the biogas as in the following information:

Wanlip Wastwater Treatment Works

The sludge works at Wanlip STW, a 660,000 p.e. treatment works serving the city of Leicester, was due for an upgrade as the existing assets were under capacity and life expired. Several options were considered by the project team – a consortium between Severn Trent Water, Costain and MWH – as part of the collaborative E5 alliance, and ultimately the solution developed included mechanical primary and SAS sludge thickening, Acid and Gas phase digestion, and sludge dewatering. The new works was to generate 30% additional biogas and compared to the existing installation, and to provide 100% of the site electricity. Lessons learnt from other Severn Trent Acid Phase digestion projects were available to be included in the design of Wanlip sludge works. The 28,000 t/annum sludge works is now processing all of the works indigenous sludge and accepting imports from a range of satellite sites. This paper will present the options considered for the replacement of Wanlip sludge works, the main features of the design, and the commissioning data validating the design assumptions.


Wanlip biogas

Wanlip STW is one of Severn Trent’s major sewage treatment facilities and treats domestic and industrial waste from inhabitants and factories in Leicester and satellite villages. The site covers nearly 40 hectares and it is designed to serve a population of approx. 900,000.

The project was awarded to KIRK in February and consists of six Epoxy Coated Steel Digester Tanks with stainless steel top rings and roofs, each with a volume capacity of 4,222m³. The project will also include some access steelwork with a 900mm wide walkway leading to a 4m diameter central access platform. Access around the full perimeter of the roofs will also be provided with a 900mm wide access platform.


Many more such plants have been built and commissioned since 2013, and WRAP provides a UK AD Plant map with an invitation to all active AD Plant operators to enter details of their own plants. Although, as a government run organisation it would be expected that WRAP would hold the most up to date data on UK AD Plants, that does not appear to be true.

For those that seek the most up to date information on UK AD Plant numbers and locations, we recommend a visit to the ADBA website list here. Their anaerobic digestion plant list and the map showing each plant’s location is now the most authoritative source for UK anaerobic digestion plants.




Projects: Southampton


Southampton University Research Projects

Submitted: 18 November 2005 This is a collection of small scale research projects.


Projects include the following: SUE Waste Project 3 “Appropriate scales and technologies for bioprocessing of organic urban wastes, including energy production from anaerobic digestion” – looking into Anaerobic Digestion as a part of the waste management process.

TRIF PS: “Particle size requirements for effective bio-processing of biodegradable municipal waste”- looking into the optimum particle size for waste to be broken down to.

TRIF MBR: “Anaerobic membrane bioreactor technology for biodegradable waste stabilisation”. An investigation into a proposed method for making the AD process more efficient.

More Information

Full details on all these projects can be found in the Waste Management

Research Group section of this site


Projects: Shropshire


Technology designer, supplier and operator: Greenfinch Location: Ludlow, Shropshire


The first of its kind in the UK, this plant is designed as an alternative to landfill for biologically municipal waste. South Shropshire District Council has secured funding from the DEFRA New Technology Demonstration Programme and Advantage West Midlands RDA.
It is due to open Spring 2006



The plant accepts source separated kitchen and garden waste, collected from local residents. This is shredded and slurrified on site. The digester has a capacity of 5,000 tonnes/year.
Electricity- 200 kW (reciprocating engine). 7% net of this is used on site. Heat- Amount not yet known, to be exported to neighbouring industrial estate.
A pasteurised biofertiliser will be provided to local farms.
More Information
Greenfinch Aerial View of site during construction (Aug 05), and completed (Oct 05):



Projects: Scotland (Greenfinch)

organic power

These are seven farm based AD facilities in SW Scotland. The equipment was supplied by Greenfinch.The digesters were procured and are owned by the Scottish Executive.

The farm locations are as follows:

  • New Farm (with electricity generation), The Ryes and Castle Farm; Southwick, Dumfries, Scotland
  • Corsock Farm; Dalbeattie, Scotland
  • Sorbie, Knockrivoch and Meikle Laught Farms; Saltcoats, Ayrshire, Scotland


Each of these dairy farms has its own digester and gas collection equipment. They were installed in 2004 in order to provide research into solutions to water pollution problems from farm run off, and a source of useful by-products for the farmers. They were procured, and are owned by the Scottish Executive.


Cattle slurry/ manure from the farm, no material is imported.


Heat- The biogas produced is used to generate heat for the houses and other farm buildings. Electricity- At New Farm, a 15kW electricity generator is installed, to provide power for farm use (not grid connected). Digestate- Liquid fertilisers, can be spread back on the grazing land

More Information

Greenfinch New Farm anaerobic digestion system, with power generation:


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Projects: Holsworthy


Holsworthy Biogas Plant

Submitted: 18 November 2005 Operator: Summerleaze Location: Dobbles Lane Ind Estate, Holsworthy, Devon. EX22 7HH
This is a centralised AD facility. The plant is designed to achieve several goals- nutrient management for local farmers, waste management for local industries, local employment, low cost heating for the town and renewable electricity production for the grid.
Originally a community project, Summerleaze took over in March 2005 and has invested in upgrades, including an additional storage tank, new offices, improvements to the gas system and new odour control.
Planned improvements include new gas and digestate storage facilities, delivery handling facilities, upgrades to existing storage tanks, a steam injection heating system and improvements to on site monitoring facilities.
Include cattle slurry, abattoir waste and food processing waste. The operators are also experimenting with energy crops such as maize. Processing capacity is up to 140,000 tonnes/ year. The plant currently takes around 80,000 tonnes/ year. Required energy input: 200kW electrical, 1MW heat.
Installed electrical capacity: 2.1MW, with current average of 1.2MW. Heat: 1.5MW Digestate will be offered to local farms.
With the upgrades complete, 2.5 MW power and 3MW heat are planned.
More Information
“Summerleaze An-digestion”


Operator: Summerleaze Location: Cambridge Research Park, Cambridge, CB5 9PG

This is a small 300m 3 digester, used for research and testing purposes. Summerleaze are currently studying the biogas potential of energy crops, with a view to using dairy and abattoir wastes in future.
The scale of this plant makes it possible to carefully control the system parameters and feeding rates to get accurate figures for gas production and biological activity. Once CHP is installed on the site the electricity will be used to generate renewable Hydrogen from an on-site electrolysis unit.
Summerleaze An-digestion

Bioplex Demo Plant

Operator: Bioplex Ltd Location: Longstock, Hampshire

This is a commercial demonstration plant for Bioplex’s “Portagester” technology, which combines a mobile pasteurisation and digestion unit with a conventional AD unit. This is a modular system which can be scaled according to requirements.

This “2nd generation process” uses pasteurisation and separation and can readily take liquids or solids, even with limited amounts of plastics. The cost per tonne treated is comparable to landfill disposal, with benefits of renewable energy and natural fertiliser production.

A “3rd generation process”, under development