Pocket Power

Expansion of pocket digestion in Flanders.

Rising energy prices are more and more becoming a determining cost in the economic picture of agri- and horticultural companies. At the same time a lot of agricultural residues remain unused on farms (manure, crop residues, ...) and they can cause nuisance, e.g. smell, nutrient leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. 

Pocket digestion (small-scale anaerobic digestion (AD)) of these residual flows can help the farmer to fulfil the electricity needs of the farm and also partly the heat demand through combustion of biogas in a CHP (combined heat and power unit). At the same time small-scale AD is considered a measure for addressing greenhouse gas emissions from manure storage. Because of its local character and limited scale, a pocket digester, as compared to a larger digester, involves less transport, minimal disruption to the landscape (and therefore greater degree of acceptance by neighbours), independence of market prices, no competition for input streams, etc. Nowadays, pocket digestion only takes place on dairy farms. Pig farmers and vegetable growers who want to do something with their waste streams are limited in their valorisation options. 

Pocket Power has two objectives: 

  1. expansion of small-scale anaerobic digestion to at least one other agricultural subsector, and 
  2. quantifying the impact of small-scale anaerobic digestion in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as formulating strategies that can increase the reducing impact. 

Although the project targets the entire agricultural and horticultural sector, it is expected that especially the pig, vegetable and dairy farms with sufficient biomass will benefit directly from this project.

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