University Knowledge Transfer helps provide alternative to landfill
Published Tuesday 19th April 2011
The University of Northampton is helping one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities to reduce landfill waste in the East Midlands.
The University is helping through the provision of a graduate as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme.
The graduate has been appointed to assist Rothwell based Fernbrook Bio Ltd run the ground-breaking facility which has been designed to produce renewable energy by reusing food waste from business and households in the region. It is expected to break down up to 30,000 tonnes of waste a year into biogas, which is then used to generate green electricity.
The anaerobic digester uses naturally occurring methane bacteria in an oxygen-free environment, to break down the organic matter. As the bacteria are living organisms it is essential to maintain a delicate balance in the process and the facility is constantly being monitored and tested.
We have benefited greatly from the knowledge of the University staff who have contributed significantly to the initial set-up of the facility as well as the appointment of the KTP graduate, Naz Ladumor. He has been a valuable member of the team responsible for the constant adjustment of the environment in the facility to maximise the efficiency of the bacteria and has been working in the laboratory for the last six months.Shaun Cherry, Managing Director at Fernbrook Bio Ltd
The KTP programme allows businesses with a strategic challenge to access to the academic resources of the University in order to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance. The required techniques and innovations are then embedded into the business by a graduate.
Throughout the KTP contract, businesses have regular access to the University's wealth of cutting-edge resources and a team of specialist consultants who use their expertise to advise on the project and help to supervise the graduate.
The ultimate objective of any KTP is to make a real contribution to the business and we are always delighted when an impact is strongly felt, as it has been within the Fernbrook Bio facility.Barri Stirrup, KTP Co-ordinator at The University of Northampton
Anaerobic Digestion technology has an excellent track record in the conversion of waste products and the Fernbrook Bio plant is expected to make a significant contribution to reducing the 500 million tonnes of waste which mostly ends up in landfill sites each year. As with any process there are by-products, but even this is reused, with the liquid waste being utilised as a soil conditioner for farm land in place of traditional chemical fertilisers.
A KTP can add expertise, innovation and value to any business and there are opportunities within numerous sectors including business, fashion, art and design, product design, health, education, engineering, computing, factory operations as well as waste management.
To find out more about how your organisation can benefit from a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with The University of Northampton, contact the Business and Commercial Services section on 01604 893300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.