Sterksel Swine Research Farm consists of a sow farm and a pork farm. It produces more than five thousand tons of manure a year. To achieve good fermentation the manure has to stay in the fermenter for around 25 to 30 days, says Horrevorts. He wants to shorten that time by preventing the bacteria that convert the manure into energy from being washed away. The fermenter could then be smaller in size and this would make it cost-effective. In this way he hopes to produce enough energy annually to make the research farm carbon neutral. The fact that the plant extracts methane from the manure and converts it into usable energy is an additional benefit. It thereby prevents this powerful greenhouse gas from ending up in the atmosphere.
The process involving a mini-biogas-installation has been researched in the laboratory over the past few years. Horrevorts will now launch the design in practice. If the trial succeeds, he expects that companies will go on to market the mono-fermenter.