Biogas boosted by Alltech innovation

Improving biogas production efficiency is the main aim.
Improving biogas production efficiency is the main aim.
Promoted by Alltech

Europe’s biogas sector is being boosted by a groundbreaking product from Ireland that is helping to transform production.

A groundbreaking product developed by global biotechnology company Alltech, which was founded by Irish entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Pearse Lyons, is helping to transform biogas production.

Alltech’s DIGEST P3 product is achieving impressive results just a year after its launch, with around a quarter of the Northern Ireland biogas market now using it to aid production.

It has also secured a firm foothold in the United Kingdom as well as German and Italian biogas production markets, which make up the bulk of European production.

The success of the initial DIGEST P3 product is driving a second stage of development, with a trace element and desulphurization product now undergoing trials.

Alltech’s DIGEST P3 was launched in 2017 but has already had a major impact on the European biogas production sector due to achieving impressive results that improve the efficiency of production methods.

Alltech was founded by Dr. Lyons in the 1970s after he emigrated from Dundalk, County Louth, to the United States. The global business has nearly 40 years of experience in discovering and delivering solutions for the sustainable nutrition of plants, animals and people through scientific innovation, particularly yeast-based technology.

DIGEST P3 uses a core enzyme combination to break down fibre, so it is easier for microbes to utilise protein and energy. After undergoing lab trials, it was commercially trialled across Europe in Belgium, Germany, the U.K., Romania and France.

“We launched DIGEST P3 just over a year ago, and business is absolutely going well,” said Niall Brennan, biogas project manager at Alltech. “Now that we are on our feet, we also have a trace element and a desulphurization product in the trial stage.”

He added that the aim is to increase biogas production efficiency.

“We want to speed up the process so we can get more out of the substrate,” said Brennan. “The majority of plants I visit want to cut down on the level of silages they’re feeding, so DIGEST P3 is the ideal product.”

He said that DIGEST P3 stands out from other products thanks to the special processes used in its production.

“We use a special process called solid state fermentation to make DIGEST P3, which is done in Serdan, Mexico,” he explained. “Unlike the more common submerged liquid fermentation, solid state fermentation occurs when a filamentous fungus is grown on a solid culture. The process begins by growing the fungal organism in liquid fermentation tanks. It is then mixed with a sterile solid substrate to achieve the desired moisture level.

“Through this process, we can create multiple enzymes to help break down feed,” continued Brennan. “As many biogas plants use many different feedstocks, by including a product with multiple enzymes, we see a far better effect in terms of gas production and feed reduction.”

DIGEST P3 has proved particularly popular among anaerobic digester plants in Northern Ireland.

“There are about 50 plants in Northern Ireland, so the market is small in size, but from what I see, they are some of the best operators across Europe,” said Brennan. “We are working with about 20 to 25 percent of the Northern Ireland biogas market. We have been very lucky to partner with a great distributor, United Feeds. They have the sole distribution of all Alltech biogas products in Northern Ireland.”

Meanwhile, the Alltech biogas team is also looking further afield.

“Germany and Italy are home to 70 percent of Europe’s biogas production,” explained Brennan. “Luckily, Alltech has a strong presence in those markets, and we have been able to begin working with many biogas plants out there. The Czech Republic and Slovakia also are very important to us, as they tend to use large quantities of silage that are hard to break down.”

To learn more about Alltech’s solutions for biogas, visit go.alltech.com/digest-p3 or contact Niall Brennan on +353 86 183 2355.