Document Type

Dissertation

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

1.5 EARTH AND RELATED ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, 1.6 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, Chemical process engineering, Energy and fuels

Publication Details

This thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the taught Masters of Engineering in Sustainable Electrical Energy Systems of the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Abstract

Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is a natural process of decomposition and decay that takes place in the absence of oxygen and by which organic matter is broken down to its simpler chemical components. AD plants could help Ireland meet its requirements under a number of EU Directives as landfills release far more greenhouse gas emissions than other forms of waste treatment. It is estimated that 37 million tonnes per year of animal manure are stored on farms before disposal. There are also 676,000 tonnes of municipal food and garden waste produced annually. This waste could be used in AD plants to produce electricity which would be considered to be a renewable technology. The objective of this study is to determine if cooperatives for anaerobic digestion (AD) could be developed. The study will address the feasibility of an anaerobic digestion cooperative using the following influencing factors: economical, financial, logistical, participation of farmers and local communities, sizing perspective, waste material required, assistance from government and related agencies and national and EU legal requirements. The impact anaerobic digestion plants could have on the rural domestic electricity network will be discussed. A model will be proposed addressing the above. There is no cooperative such as this in Ireland; therefore the ideas behind cooperatives for AD in Europe will be examined.