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Odour and air quality assessments - anaerobic digestion plant, Norfolk

Resource and Environmental Consultants produced air quality and odour assessments to support a detailed planning application for an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant and associated biogas engine in North Norfolk.


Our client wanted to develop an AD facility to use fresh biomass material to produce renewable electricity for export to the National Grid. Planning consent was required for the project and concerns over air quality and odour impacts had been raised. Resource and Environmental Consultants were approached to address these issues and advise on suitable methods to control impacts for local residents.


The air quality assessment considered emissions of a number of potentially harmful substances from the biogas engine. A detailed model of the site and surrounding area was developed and emission dispersion from the plant predicted. The results of the assessment indicated low impacts at sensitive locations and we identified a recommendation for a shorter stack height than originally envisaged. This resulted in cost savings for the client, as well as reducing potential visual impacts associated with the scheme.

The odour assessment considered fugitive emissions from a number of site areas, including silage storage and transportation, the feedstock hopper and air expelled from the digestate tanker. Odour levels were predicted at residential properties close to the site and compared with the Environment Agency criteria to provide an indication of the likelihood of complaints. The results of the assessment indicated the operation of the development would not result in odour nuisance at any location.


Following Resource and Environmental Consultants’ involvement in the project, planning consent has since been received for the proposals.

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