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AD Centre of Excellence to be established Yorkshire, UK

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Yorkshire Water and the University of York will establish a Centre of Excellence for anaerobic digestion (AD) research as part of a £1.2 million (€1.4 million) project.

The organisations first collaborated in 2016 and delivered the ‘globally unique’ System-60 AD research facility in the Department of Biology at the University of York. Over the next four years, the additional funding will advance the ‘ground-breaking’ research with the creation of a Centre of Excellence for AD research.

Yorkshire Water has committed £600,000 (€705,000) to the project, which will transform AD performance, delivering environmental and financial benefits for the company and its customers. The work will strengthen the University of York’s bio/circular economy research portfolio, contributing to the regional aspiration to become carbon neutral.

“AD facilities are vital to the way we treat our sewage sludge both now and in the future,” said Tom Hall, head of bioresources at Yorkshire Water.

“We currently treat around 145,000 dry tonnes of sewage sludge each year, and this is likely to increase to around 180,000 dry tonnes by 2035, given population growth in our region and new regulations linked to phosphorous removal.

“This collaboration with the University of York is a vital part of Yorkshire Water’s programme for improving the environment and supporting the company’s commitment to net-zero carbon emissions.”

Richard Kershaw, Yorkshire Water’s wastewater innovation programme manager, added: “The strong partnership we have formed with the University of York is helping us to understand how existing AD facilities can be made to perform more effectively.

“This next project will enable us to increase digester throughput, boost renewable energy generation, and ultimately provide our customers with value for money.”