The Role of Anaerobic Digestion in Achieving Soil Conservation and Sustainable Agricultural Development in the UK

Franklin I. Duruiheoma, Cynthia V. Burek, Graham Bonwick, Roy Alexander

Abstract


Anaerobic digestion represents one form of renewable energy technology but has many wider benefits. This paper reviews the processes involved in anaerobic digestion, the type of systems in place and the use of digestate to improve soil quality. A case is made for the technology in the UK in the context of soil conservation and sustainable agricultural production. Its broader contribution to sustainable development in the United Kingdom is also considered. Low levels of awareness of the benefits of anaerobic digestion, poor access to funds, inadequate incentives, an unfavourable legislative and policy framework for the technology, limited application of digestate for agricultural purposes and the need for further research on digestate use are identified as key factors hindering uptake of the technology. Anaerobic digestion is presented as a technology that can support soil conservation and sustainable agricultural development while also generating both energy and income, enhancing waste and nutrient recycling and promoting environmental protection.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jee.v6i2.7522

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