North West Environment & Energy Consortium (NWEEC)
North West Environment & Energy Consortium
Start date: Dec 31, 2003,
End date: Dec 30, 2008
A detailed study of the production of specific waste materials in the project area will be carried out. This will provide new data which will enable an accurate assessment to be made of current practices, quantities of material available and an identification of potential new methods of operating.The project aims to develop a process which uses large quantities of waste as a resource material. This will provide environmental benefits as follows:« Removal of large quantities of waste from the environment« Reduction in resources required for treatment and disposal of waste « Reduction in the burden on landfill« Reduced environmental pollution and nuisance caused by disposal, particularly surface spreading of slurryThe project offers the potential for renewable energy generation by production of fuel gas from the treatment process. This may have a number of applications including a supply of electricity to the grid from a renewable source.Economic benefits will also be realised relating to the application and installation of a new technology and opportunities deriving from the production of new materials with an economic value. Achievements: South West College in conjunction with the Institute of Technology Sligo and GreenFarm Energy received funding to conduct innovative research into the production, treatment and disposal of agricultural waste in the ICBAN region. The main objective of this project was to assess opportunities for nutrient recycling and energy from waste options for the rural sector. Key drivers for this project were the local implementation of the EU Nitrates Directive which will control land application of agricultural wastes as well as addressing the need for the agricultural sector to develop opportunities for farm diversification and sustainable land management. The work of the NWEEC project involves cross border collaboration with researchers in IT Sligo carrying out the analysis, design and laboratory elements of the project. Their work involves the nutrient profiling of animal wastes and potential energy crops as well as the optimization of the physical, chemical and microbiological components to improve the efficiency of nutrient recycling nd energy from waste systems. South West College carried out the management component of the project and delivered the agricultural waste survey and logistical feasibility studies required in order to better understand and model the options for decentralised waste management and energy production in the rural sector. In conjunction with the academic partners, GreenFarm Energy are working towards development of a farm scale energy from waste and nutrient recycling facility at their premises near Omagh.It was identified that there are currently limited waste disposal options for farmers on all scales within the ICBAN region. Through the work carried out by this project, a resource has been produced which encompasses all areas of on farm waste production, movement, handling, treatment, nutrient and energy content as well as the demonstration of current and developmental waste handling technology. Economic viability of solutions will obviously be of up most importance. It is the aim of the project to produce economic assessments for both the management and treatment of agricultural wastes at each step of the programme in order to provide models withpotential for replication. Working in partnership with GreenFarm Energy Ltd., a novel farm scale treatment and handling system is under construction which will draw together all the aspects of theproject and provide a unique demonstration of on site treatment of agricultural wastes and energy farming.
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