digestion at Camphill Community Ballytobin, Ireland
Ireland is considered to be among the countries of the EU with
the greatest potential per capita for farm biogas. However, despite this
potential, it was not until 1999 with the construction of Camphill digestion
plant, that a decentralised anaerobic digestion plant was created in this
The main aim of the project was to test the development and
operation of a centralised anaerobic digestion plant in Ireland in order to
study the feasibility of using farm and industrial (from the agro-food
industry) wastes as the basis of a profitable renewable energy enterprise.
The installation is located in the Ballytobin Camphill
Community (a residential therapeutic centre for disabled children and adults,
located within a 20 acre farm).
Financial resources / Economic Benefits
production and other benefits
Wastes feeding the digester come from farms and food-processing
industries (a creamery and brewery) located close to the plant. The gas
produced after the anaerobic digestion of the wastes is burned in a traditional
CHP installation. The solid effluent resulting from the process is composted
and sold as organic garden compost.
Financial resources / Economic
Total cost of the project was € 140,000. It was financed by the
Irish Government and by the European Commission through the Horizon Programme,
LEADER II Community Initiative and the ALTENER programme (having received €
70,000 within the framework of this contract).
Energy production and other benefits
The electricity produced from waste
treatment is used to meet the energy requirements (both heat
and power) of the 90 people living in Ballytobin Camphill
Community, estimated to be 150,000 kWh of electricity and
500,000 kWh of primary energy for heating per year.
Moreover, employment in a rural enterprise has been created
for people with disabilities.
Potential for replication
The final aim of this project was to test the model in order to
determine if it was appropriate for replication by the creation of 15 similar
biogas plants in Ireland (in the following 5 years), of variable sizes and to
create the know-how that will make possible the proliferation of plants of this
kind in Ireland (a country with a high potential for farm biogas). It is
expected that the B.I.G. partnership will make it easier to collect the
modelling tools to replicate the model and to disseminate the programme
(Bio-energy and Organic Fertiliser Services)
+353 56 55836