Trace Elements for Process Stability - Boxford Suffolk Farms
When the Boxford Group commissioned their 0.5 MW AD plant in 2014, everything started well. However, they soon noticed their propionic and acetic acids climbing; this was causing them to reduce their feedstock levels, creating further problems as they are contracted to process a daily amount of apple pomace from an on-site fruit juice factory.
When they mentioned this to FM BioEnergy’s General Manager, Tim Elsome, he suggested their plant could be lacking vital micronutrients; subsequent analysis of a digestate sample proved this to be the case.
FM BioEnergy supported Boxford by prescribing a custom-made version of their BC.MAGXX product, which Boxford Suffolk Farms added to their digester daily. They saw an effect within a few days, both in terms of the amount of feedstock required to get the same volume of gas (it needed four tonnes of maize less each day), and in terms of the reduction in acid levels.
“We’ve been working with FM BioEnergy for a year, and Tim has quickly become an invaluable nutritional adviser,” explains Robert England, Farm Manager for Boxford Suffolk Farms. “Our process has improved to such an extent that we’ve recently expanded our operations to 750 kW. Since December, our AD plant has provided all the heat and power for our hotel, farm and factory, making us energy self-sufficient. We simply wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support of FM BioEnergy.”
“When you take the decision to build an AD plant, it’s a really steep learning curve. Before using FM BioEnergy’s services, we were getting a lot of analysis done but we didn’t know what it meant. With FM BioEnergy, we don’t just get a set of results or a batch of additives; we get an informed interpretation that brings everything together. Instead of firefighting, we’re now able to proactively manage our plant. Our relationship with FM BioEnergy has enabled us to increase the size of our plant and operate it efficiently and profitably.”
Robert England, Farm Manager, Boxford Suffolk Farms