This week’s edition of the Irish Farmers Journal’s renewable energy Focus supplement takes an in-depth look at biogas.

Over the past 30 years, over 17,500 anaerobic digestion (AD) plants have been developed across Europe, over 9,000 of which are in Germany. There are around 60 plants in operation in Northern Ireland. These plants have created at an additional farming enterprise for many farmers, as well as creating a new market for organic wastes and slurries, and crops.

While Ireland ranks amount the bottom of EU countries when it comes to biogas development, at long last real momentum is gathering to kick-start the industry.

In this week’s seven-page renewable energy focus, we bring you the latest developments in the sector. This includes an overview of the industry models proposed by various bodies as well as indication of the costs and subsidies required to make biogas production a reality.


Developing and running a biogas plant is a highly complex process and should not be entered into lightly. Prospective plant owners and operators should be aware of the technical challenges they are likely to encounter. In this week’s Focus, you’ll find technical articles and podcasts on the following:

  • Feeding nitrogen-rich feedstocks: nitrogen-rich feedstocks are attractive due to their potentially high biogas yield, but can also cause significant problems in the digester tank if not managed correctly.
  • Upgrading biogas to biomethane: biomethane is biogas which has been purified to around 99% methane content. We look at the various technologies available on the market to upgrade biogas to biomethane.
  • Grass-fed digesters: grass will form a significant feedstock in Ireland’s biogas industry. However, high inclusion rates of grass in a feedstock mix can bring a number of problems. We explore these challenges in detail.
  • Digestate management and upgrading: digestate is a valuable byproduct of anaerobic digestion, but new technology now allows this product to be upgraded even further. We find out more on upgrading technology.
  • This week’s Focus is also packed with online extras, including video and podcasts. If you’re a curious about how biogas might work on your farm, or want to get more out an existing AD plant, then pick up a copy of this week’s Irish Farmers Journal, available in shops this Thursday.

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