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Optimising Anaerobic Digestion Plants - 2 PLACES REMAINING

  • Date(s)
    Wednesday, 23 May 2018
  • Time(s)
    9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Venue
    Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
  • Fee

    Members: €395.00
    Non-Members: €445.00

    NOTE: You can only book online using credit or debit card details.  If your preferred method of payment is by invoice / purchase order / bank transfer / other, please contact the CPD Training Team on 01-6651305, or email to secure a place.

  • CPD Credit
    6.5 hours   C1, C2


The quantity of wastewater sludge produced in Ireland is projected to increase by 80% by 2040 to 96,000 tonnes of dry solids.  Thickening, dewatering and anaerobic digestion help to reduce the volumes that need to be transported and the associated costs.   Maximising energy recovery from anaerobic digestion is a priority for local authorities and water companies.  In the future sludge will be traded between counties/companies, it is therefore essential for an AD business to understand its headroom capacity and how the costs of treatment can be reduced and revenue increased. 

This course will provide attendees with a detailed understanding of the anaerobic digestion process, terms used to describe its health and efficiency, key performance indicators and case studies to demonstrate where improvements can be made and challenges overcome.  It will cover examples in domestic, food waste and industrial applications (e.g. food and beverage).

Learning is delivered through a combination of lectures, individual and group worked examples.

Course Aim

Each tonne of dry solids produced from wastewater contains 4-7 MWh of energy; up to double this for food wastes.  A well performing AD plant, incorporating Combined Heat and Power technology will generate, from this feedstock, up to 1.2 MWh of electricity (2-2.5MWh for food waste).  However, the energy and revenue generated could be much lower (0.4 MWh per TDS) where the AD process is non-optimal.  This course is designed to help attendees understand and act upon the factors that influence biogas production and revenue generation.

Course Objectives

After the course participants should be able to:

  • Understand the different phases of AD and the tests/terminology used to characterise performance
  • Calculate and explain the balance between organic loading rate, methane yield, volatile solids destruction, hydraulic retention time and VFA: alkalinity
  • Understand the factors that influence thickened/cake dry solids and liquor treatment quality
  • Develop key performance indicators for AD, thickening and dewatering processes, taking in to account different feedstocks
  • Explain how to increase throughput by incorporating thermal or biological pre-treatment
  • Identify and troubleshoot common operational challenges, including digester foaming

Course Programme

  • What is AD?  The four phases. Terminology – volatile fatty acids, alkalinity, pH, dry and volatile solids, redox potential
  • Key performance metrics – hydraulic retention time, organic loading rate, methane yield, volatile solids destruction, VFA: alkalinity
  • Maximizing biogas production and throughput and understanding the impact on digestate dewaterability and liquor charactersitics
  • Common operational problems and their solutions

Who should attend?

This course is aimed at anyone seeking to advance their knowledge of anaerobic digestion and focuses upon operational experiences.  It is suitable for plant operators, process scientists, team leaders, consultants and managers across wastewater, food waste and industrial sites looking to improve the performance of the AD plant.  It also includes aspects of design, which can be incorporated into existing plants to increase throughout.

Other CPD courses in this series

Trainer profile

Matthew Smyth  BSc, MRes, MBA, MCIWEM CSci CWEM

Technical Director, Aqua Enviro

Matt has been in wastewater and sludge for twenty years and works with water companies, industry and waste producers to develop and implement solutions.  In the late 1990’s he began his career working on pilot and full-scale Sequencing Batch Reactors, developing, then commissioning carbonaceous and nitrification control strategies, that have been widely adopted plants at in the UK and Ireland.  He has subsequently worked closely with many anaerobic and advanced anaerobic digestion facilities treating wastewater and food waste materials, dewatering the digestate and handling the liquors produced.  He presents and publishes regularly at industry recognized conferences including Aqua Enviro’s European Biosolids & Organics and European Wastewater Management Conferences.  He is a member of the CIWEM Wastewater Management Panel and the ADBA Training, Safety & Environment Working Group.  Matt has delivered over 2000 training days on these topics (1 training day is when 1 person attends 1 course for 1 day).

Make a Booking

23 May 2018


Confirmation is subject to event fee being finalised. Cancellation fees calculated at 50% of the estimated total bill will be charge for confirmed bookings cancelled less than 5 working days prior to the date of the planned event. A replacement person can attend instead. Cancellations made the day prior to an event will be charged 75% of the total estimated bill. No-shows will be charged the full fee. All cancellations must be confirmed in writing by email. Engineers Ireland will not be liable for any costs in the event of a course being re-scheduled.  This applies, but is not limited, to any travelling, subsistence or consequential expenses incurred by delegates.