It is cutting costs by more than £3M a year, while supplying up to 25% of the creamery’s energy needs.
Providing full control and visualisation of the operation is a Movicon supervisory control and data acquisition system supplied by Products4Automation.
While First Milk has long had an aerobic plant at Aspatria, when the company had to upgrade this to reduce effluent treatment costs and lower its carbon footprint, it looked at an on-site AD plant for its production residues.
Anaerobic digestion plant
It worked with funding partners to set up Lake District Biogas to own and operate the plant, and the result was the installation of a brand new anaerobic digestion plant, designed and commissioned by Clearfleau.
The process takes feedstock from the creamery, comprising low strength wash waters such as process rinses, supplemented by cheese production residue.
This liquid is pumped into the anaerobic digestion plant from the creamery where it is converted into biogas. It is then fed into a membrane-based upgrade unit that removes carbon dioxide from the gas to produce bio-methane.
At full capacity, the plant treats 1,650m3/day of process effluent and cheese residues, generating around 5MW of thermal energy.
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