Long established microbial feed additive manufacturer Alltech has leveraged its experience into the growing anaerobic digestion (AD) market. It has developed an enzyme complex that improves the efficiency of biogas production.

The company developed Digest P3 using its experience of the fermentation of yeast for livestock nutrition and health. It claims that using Digest P3, now available in the UK, allows greater flexibility in AD feedstock formulation and thereby increases profitability.

“Alltech’s core area of expertise is fermentation, and the biological processes inside an AD plant work similarly to that of a ruminant,” says Niall Brennan, biogas project manager at Alltech. “With a substantial number of UK farmers diversifying into the AD sector, it was a natural fit for us to develop a solution for mixed feedstock plants.

“Working in synergy with the biogas-generating microflora inside the plant, Digest P3 helps utilise feedstock components that were previously inaccessible through digestion,” Mr Brannan explains. “The resulting increase in readily available energy and protein for the digester microflora improves efficiency in biogas formation. Not only does this allow for a reduction in the input of feedstocks while maintaining energy output, it allows for greater flexibility in the type of feedstocks used.”   

After a successful laboratory-based trial of Digest P at Harper Adams University, Alltech performed more tests at 12 commercial AD plants throughout Europe. “Following the use of Digest P3, the results showed significant additional feed breakdown,” says Mr Brennan. “This resulted in increased biogas production, reduced feed costs and increased electrical output, leading to an uplift in operating profit of around £25,000 per year.”

Strathendrick Biogas in Scotland is one of the first UK forage-fed AD plants to use the product. Director Robert Kennedy says he is impressed with the results: “There was a significant improvement in feedstock-to-biogas conversion efficiency following the inclusion of Digest P3 when using higher volumes of grass silage,” he states. “Grass silage is a more cost-effective feedstock, so there are definitely significant benefits to using Digest P3 to increase gas yields.”

For more information, visit https://go.alltech.com/digest-p3 or contact Bob Kendal, UK AD manager at Alltech, on 07885 280691.