Impact of climate change?

Impact of climate change?

Residents of Nutley, Axford, Preston Candover and Wield are experiencing a repeat performance of the sudden increase in tractor traffic through the villages this week

A fleet of tractors with tanker trailers have for the last few days each been on a twenty-mile circuit to carry liquid waste from the bio-digester at Dummer to be sprayed as fertilizer over fields between Wield and Bighton.

If this is one of the side effects of climate change policy it is not working. One has to question the environmental benefit of four tractors burning up a gallon of diesel on every trip and exuding greenhouse gases, apart from the noise and disturbance.

Local residents have been woken at 6.30 am as the first tractors go through and have continued every 15 minutes through the day until the evening.

The farm owner does not have any storage capacity for the liquid manure and the sprayer is being filled directly from the roadside tankers, accounting for the large number of deliveries which would normally be carried out by much larger tankers.

The initial programme of deliveries to Wield were completed by the afternoon of Saturday, 12 February, but a new schedule of deliveries started this week for an indeterminate period.

The biodigester at Dummer, owned by Biogen (UK) Limited, according to the company, reprocesses 40,000 tonnes each year of food and vegetable waste to produce biogas which is used in the generation of 1.5 megowatts (mw) of electricity a year, enough approximately for 60 houses, according to UK government statistics.

Anaerobic digestion is a sequence of processes by which micro-organisms breakdown biodegradable material and the process is used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste or to produce fuels.

Anaerobic digestion is used as part of the process to treat biodegradable waste and sewage sludge and is widely used as a source of renewable energy. The process produces a biogas, consisting of methane, carbon dioxide, and traces of other ‘contaminant’ gases. This biogas can be used directly as fuel, in combined heat and power gas engines or upgraded to natural gas-quality biomethane. The nutrient-rich digestate also produced can be used as fertilizer.

With the re-use of waste as a resource and new technological approaches that have lowered capital costs, anaerobic digestion has in recent years received increased attention from governments in a number of countries, including the UK. But, it clearly has its environmental consequences on local residents. 

If interested, see here for a more detailed explanation of the process.





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