AMPC is helping the red meat processor sector transition to clean energy by expanding its bioenergy projects that are building confidence and capability towards adoption.
AMPC is piloting a project that will assess a new approach to processing by-product streams to create biogas, with the long-term potential to abate 1.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gases and generate up to $63 million in carbon credits.
The project, funded jointly by AMPC, RACE for 2030 CRC, Griffith University, and AgriFutures, will use a process known as anaerobic co-digestion (AnCoD). Anaerobic co-digestion is a process through which bacteria break down organic matter like wastewater biosolids and paunch in the absence of oxygen. It has the dual benefits of reducing 'waste' while creating a usable fuel source.
In this pilot, AMPC and its partners will assess the potential of co-digestion, where red meat processor waste streams are mixed with cross-sectoral by-products such as food organics and crop residues.
AMPC Program Manager Matt Deegan said, “This innovative approach could improve the stability of the anaerobic co-digestion process and increase biogas productivity. Early results have already indicated that biogas production can be substantially improved by balancing the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus levels in the feed material, by combining carbon-rich streams like grain residues with nutrient-rich red meat processor waste.”
The biogas generated through the process can be used to generate renewable electricity and process heating for use onsite. The process can also produce other useful food manufacturing and farm inputs such as food-grade carbon dioxide, biofertiliser, and recycled water.
Matt says the long-term potential economic benefits realised because of the project could be significant, with a projected total revenue of around $1.6bn over nine years.
“The potential returns make this a very attractive prospect for investors and stakeholders,” he says. “By the nine-year mark industry could abate 1.9 million tonnes of CO2-e greenhouse gas emissions and generate additional revenue worth $63 million through carbon credits as a result of this new process.”
“Once this pilot is finished (due at the end of 2025), we could then look at scaling up and implementing at BioHubs to evaluate the short-term impacts, before moving to wider-scale adoption across the red meat industry,” Matt says.
For more information, contact Matt Deegan at M.Deegan@ampc.com.au