ADBA has widened its remit to include emerging technologies and products from the bioeconomy, to reflect this we have changed the Association’s name. As of 1 October 2014 we are now called the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association.

ADBA now represents companies and organisations working on novel technologies and processes that complement the anaerobic digestion process and products. 

These technologies represent a significant opportunity to existing ADBA members as ways to increase the profitability of their existing plants by increasing efficiency or creating products that command a higher value in the current market. At the same time as reducing the industries dependency on government support and ensuring that ADBA and its members keep ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging technologies that could compete for existing feedstocks.

Some examples of the technologies and processes that will now be included in ADBA’s remit under the umbrella term ‘bioresources’ are:

  • Bioplastics

Volatile fatty acids produced during the AD process can be used to make bioplastics which can be used in packaging. Reducing dependence on oil-based plastics and potentially closing the loop

  • Algae

Algae links with AD in several possible ways as pre or post treatment with the heat or electricity from the AD plant running this additional process.

  • Energy storage

Storing both heat and electricity is really important and a key challenge for renewable technologies

  • Heating

Using electricity to heat homes is incredibly inefficient. Finding ways to use the heat generated by existing AD plants to heat homes and commercial buildings reduces energy consumption and increases the efficiency and therefore return on investment of your existing AD plant

  • Electricity

Generating electricity is still by and large a fairly inefficient process. Improving the efficiency of this conversion rate would clearly increase the amount of electricity our industry could generate from existing feedstock volumes.

  • Gases

At the moment we use the biogas from AD directly in a CHP, we clean up and inject into the gas grid or we clean up and use as a vehicle fuel. However we could use biogas as a source of other gases like hydrogen or CO2, which could potentially have high market values than biogas and biomethane in the future.

  • Chemicals

During the AD process long chain volatile fatty acids are made. Instead of breaking down this molecules to make methane which we burn for energy. We could use them as building blocks to make other chemicals.

Below is a Venn diagram illustrating how the different technologies all fit together with anaerobic digestion:

AD & Bioresources Venn diagram

Charlotte Morton, ADBA Chief Executive on the name change:

“Our name change reflects the opportunity that you, our existing members, are able to be a part of. The technologies and processes that ADBA now represents under ‘bioresources’ are all complementary to the existing AD process and its products.


“We want to support our members to take advantage of the huge potential of these novel emerging technologies, so that the industry can continue to support the UK to make the best use of its available resources.”