Our own source of clean green energy
This is the process where we ferment organic material in anaerobic conditions to produce Methane and C02. The predominant organic material is the waste cow slurry from the dairy herd which is mixed in with a little bit of whole crop rye (plant material). This allows us to convert cow slurry from being potentially environmentally damaging to being a source of clean green energy.
We harvest the Methane to power a gas engine that in turn is connected to a generator that generates renewable electricity that powers the farm and glasshouse with the remainder going to the national grid. The heat that the engine produces is captured and used productively to dry wood chip.
The waste CO2 that is produced in the fermentation is fed to the growing tomato plants inside the glasshouse. Tomato plants love CO2! The end slurry product is called digestate. As the fermentation process converts Ammonia to Ammonium, the accessible nitrogen available to plants in the end product is much higher than the slurry that is fed in. This means we can use this hugely rich form of organic manure to grow more grass for the Standhill cows to munch on.