How AD benefits everyone

AD is an environmentally friendly, cost-effective solution to dealing with much of what we think of as “waste”. Instead of burning it, or sending it to landfill, AD plants could potentially  turn that “waste”, along with purpose grown crops, into 10% of the UK’s domestic gas, which means less landfill, stable energy prices, fewer carbon dioxide emissions, and even a financial saving for homesbusinesses, farms  and councils across the country.

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See below for examples of how AD specifically boosts energy security and fights climate change.

Waste feedstocks

  • 16% of UK methane emissions come from manure management. Through AD, approximately a third of these emissions can be abated, or around 3% of the UK’s total GHG emissions.
  • Separate food waste collections can boost recycling rates by a quarter, reduce waste by a third and save local authorities millions on the cost of disposal.
  • For each tonne of food waste processed through AD rather than landfilled, 500 kg of CO2eq emissions are avoided.

Crop feedstocks

  • Growing maize for AD is five to nine times more land-use efficient than biodiesel, and has many other benefits, including recycling nutrients back to land.


  • AD emits only 11g CO2/kWh of electricity generated – over 45 times less than the current grid average pf 270g/kWh.


  • When used for heat, biomethane generated from residual wastes could produce GHG savings of up to 92% compared to natural gas.
  • Heat, as in Heat Networks Investment Program. ADBA estimates 5.3MWth of cogenerated heat is currently vented. Total wasted thermal capacity is estimated at 135MWth, which if captured and used could abate 170,000 tonnes of carbon.
  • 5% of homes – four million – are off-grid but responsible for 23% of carbon emissions associated with housing. Biogas could address this.  


  • AD can produce enough energy to power all of the homes in London nearly three times over.



  • ADBA estimates the AD industry has sufficient capacity to power 80% of the UK’s bus fleet or 75% of the HGV fleet.

  • A study from Iveco (CNH) found that a biogas-fuelled truck compared to a diesel Euro VI delivered a reduction in CO2 of 85-95%, reduction in NOx emissions of 50-70%, and almost zero particulate matter.

  • Urban pollution now a bigger killer than tobacco and three times larger than Aids, tuberculosis and malaria combined.

  • Air pollution from vehicles is twice as deadly as traffic accidents, causing 5,000 premature deaths each year. Using biomethane instead of diesel has been proven to reduce air pollution by over 97%.

  • GHG emissions can be cut by over 60% by moving from diesel to biomethane vehicles, and fuel costs can also be cut by 13%.
  • Oslo’s entire bus fleet is powered by biomethane from sewage treatment and organic waste, achieving 70% GHG emissions reduction compared to diesel vehicles.
  • There are over 13 million gas vehicles operating in the world. Italy is the European market leader with over 760,000 vehicles.


  • One tonne of artificial fertiliser requires 108 tonnes of water and one tonne of oil, whilst also producing eight tonnes of carbon dioxide in the process.
  • Nutrients in digestate could be worth over £200 million to UK farming.