The EcoAD project aims to develop economic solutions for future on-farm anaerobic digestion technologies using typical Irish farm-based feedstocks

Project Insights

  • €324,065

    Total Project Costs
  • 3 yr

    Project Duration
  • 2019

    Year Funded

Project Description

Ireland must transition to a sustainable, renewable energy economy. This is exemplified in Ireland's National Renewable Energy Action Plan where renewable energy in heat (RES-H) and renewable energy in transport (RES-T) have shortfalls of 3.2% and 5% of their 12% and 10% targets for 2020, respectively. As such, the development of renewable technologies in heat and transport must be prioritised. Agriculture remains the largest contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Ireland accounting for 33% of total emissions. Ireland needs to consider initiating 'green agriculture' practices and carbon capture techniques. On-farm anaerobic digestion for production of biomethane is one method that could contribute to greening agriculture and broader decarbonisation in heat and transport. However, conventional anaerobic digestion systems for biomethane production may suffer from high costs and low digestion efficiency, thus hindering commercial application. The EcoAD project intends to develop economic solutions for future on-farm anaerobic digestion technologies using typical Irish farm-based feedstock (animal slurries, excess grass silage and straw). Finding the most efficient biomethane production scenarios, most importantly that are cost-effective, is of relevance in transitioning to a low carbon economy. Ultimately, this project aims to deliver future best practices and assess the economic viability of on-farm biomethane production from novel integrated anaerobic digestion systems. This goal will be achieved by the following research: (1) Enhancing on-farm digestion efficiency through novel pretreatments; (2) Integrating electro-methanogenesis with anaerobic digestion to increase biomethane conversion; (3) Optimising the logistics of on farm anaerobic digestion in Ireland; and (4) Techno-economic analysis of potential on-farm anaerobic digestion pathways.

Project Details

Total Project Cost: €324,065

Funding Agency: SEAI; Gas Networks Ireland (GNI)

Year Funded: 2019

Lead Organisation: University College Cork (UCC)

Jerry Murphy | Lead Researcher(s)