Solutions for heat and power generation with Anaerobic Digestion.

Zebec's clients can rely on Zebec to deliver to an agreed scope, on budget and on programme, whilst meeting Health & Safety and Environmental requirements.


Biogas Technology

Anaerobic Digestion as a resource recovery technology is relevant for a range of industries. It can be applied as a pre-treatment step to reduce the volume of waste and to control odours and pathogens in order to keep final disposal costs down. More often today it is utilised as primary treatment of biomas to produce valuable products such as biogas that can be converted into heat and energy plus digestate which can used as fertiliser.

Anaerobic digestion is the simple, natural breakdown of organic matter into carbon dioxide, methane and water, by two groups of microorganisms, bacteria and archaea. Since many of these are intolerant to oxygen, this process is known as anaerobic.

There are four main stages of the anaerobic digestion process.
Each stage breaks the matter into smaller and smaller parts, until the only remaining substances are methane, carbon dioxide and water, three very simple molecules.

Hydrolysis breaks down the complex organic matter – carbohydrates, fats and proteins – into simple sugars, fatty acids and amino acids. Carbohydrates, long chains of simple sugars, are broken down into single glucose molecules; proteins, long folded chains of amino acids, become individual amino acids; while fats, made up of head groups and fatty acid chains, have the latter part removed from the head groups and cut into smaller and smaller pieces.

Acidogenesis sees those single sugar molecules, fatty acids and amino acids broken down further into alcohols and volatile fatty acids (like ethanol and propionic acid), with by-products of carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide.

Acetogenesis is the third stage: here, those volatile fatty acids and alcohols are converted again, this time into hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and acetic acid.

Methanogenesis where methanogenic archaea convert the remaining hydrogen and acetic acid into methane, and more carbon dioxide.


What can we do with the final products?

At the end of the process we have a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide gases (biogas), water and some organic material (digestate).
Biogas can be burned to produce both heat and electricity, while methane can be used as vehicle fuel or injected into the gas grid.

Digestate is a stable, nutrient-rich substance and can be used for a range of products and purposes: most usefully as a fertiliser, rich in nutrients, but also as feedstock for ethanol production, and in low-grade building materials, like fibreboard.

Water, after further treatment within the AD process, may be returned to the environment.

Get In Touch

Find out how Zebec might be able to help design and implement the right technology for your site. 0141 440 1434


Zebec provides the opportunity to identify the value of your land and organic waste streams


Services Only

You retain ownership and financial control. Zebec provides the necessary technical, feasibility and engineering studies.

Risk Management

Zebec underwrite the initial feasibility study. You can invest at a later stage once the feasibility has been proven.


Zebec and other project partners form a joint venture to deliver the project. You decide on your level of involvement.