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Launch of AD-Sim a new decision management tool for AD plants


Until now, there has not been an auditable decision management tool to assist anaerobic digestion (AD) plant developers in the scoping, design and operation of AD plants in the UK.

Golder Associates and Cranfield University have worked together over two years to develop AD-Sim, an AD process design and process operation model. The result is a software model which can be used to inform financial decision making, access impacts of feedstock throughput and/or energy revenues.

Funding and investment in AD plant for the various end use option currently envisaged, such as CHP and gas to grid, is commonly subject to due diligence to assess the correct sizing of plant for anticipated feedstock arisings. Investors also require realistic and robust, auditable forecasts of revenue from energy and digestate production. AD-Sim is the latest in a series of reliable, auditable software products developed by Golder Associates and used globally to support lenders and developers alike.

Once commissioned AD plants which accept mixed feedstocks are particularly vulnerable to the effects of inhibition of the biochemical processes which take place in the digester. Biochemical inhibition can result in sub optimal biogas yields and at worst a ‘sick digester’ with reduced treatment capacity whilst the digester is re-established. Operators of merchant AD plants must also consider the potential energy yield for any potential delivery to ensure they treat feedstock which gives the maximum biogas yields whilst maintaining a stable biochemical process. AD-Sim has been designed from the start to help a wide user community; developers, investors, academia, consultants and operators.

Launched at the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association’s trade show UK AD & Biogas 2013 on 3-4 July with demonstration sessions across the two days.

Golder Associates and Cranfield University are also issuing a Request for Information to the AD industry to help collaborate in the development of the tool by providing industry data that will be used to validate and improve the commercial applicability of the software tool. If you would like to be involved please click here for further details.

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