Low-cost digester additive for nitrogen-rich AD feedstocks

Portrait photograph of Tim Elsome, general manager of biogas specialist FM Bioenergy.
Tim Elsome, General Manager of biogas specialist FM BioEnergy

This article contains paid for content produced in collaboration with FM BioEnergy.

To better support biogas plants processing high levels of nitrogen-rich feedstock, AD experts FM BioEnergy will launch a new low-cost version of their ammonium inhibitor digester additive on Stand C109 at the World Biogas Expo 2023. Now available for the first time in the UK, BC.ATOX NCon Bio will deliver the same high level of ammonium inhibition as its established counterpart (BC.ATOX NCon) but at a 20% cost reduction, delivering better value for plant operators at a time when most products and services are rising in price.

Popular AD feedstocks such as chicken litter and food waste often contain high levels of nitrogen, which breaks down into ammonium and ammonia in the digester. Left untreated, ammonia is detrimental to the AD process, preventing feedstocks from fully degrading and negatively impacting plant performance. BC.ATOX NCon Bio binds ammonium and therefore reduces these inhibitory effects, enabling efficient substrate degradation and stabilising digester biology to boost performance and increase plant profitability.

Economic pressures impact feedstock types

According to FM BioEnergy’s General Manager, Tim Elsome, the current economic downturn is resulting in a greater need for a low-cost nitrogen inhibitor like BC.ATOX NCon: “The average price per tonne of key AD feedstocks has risen over the past year, meaning operators are chasing cheaper inputs to keep down their operational costs. Whether that’s reducing the percentage of costly maize in their feedstock mix by replacing it with inexpensive chicken litter or accepting more single-substrate deliveries of one type of food waste – rather than stabler but more expensive mixed loads – operators are having to make tough choices to balance the books. The result is often a feedstock mix that is high in nitrogen, leading to ammonia-related issues further down the line.”

20% price cut, same quality performance

To support cost-conscious plant operators during the current cost-of-living crisis, FM BioEnergy’s digester additive partner, German-based Schaumann BioEnergy, has developed a budget-friendly version of its market-leading ammonia inhibitor. By sourcing the product’s key active ingredient from a lower-cost raw material, it has achieved significant cost savings – without any impact on performance. The result is the same high-quality, fast-acting, non-toxic blend at a price point 20% lower than the original.

“At a time when costs are soaring across the board, we are delighted to be able to offer our valued UK AD customers the same quality ammonium inhibitor product at a significantly lower price point,” says Tim Elsome. “BC.ATOX NCon Bio reassures plant operators that their digester biology will remain stable, with biogas output unaffected, even if their feedstocks are high in nitrogen. We look forward to explaining more about this exciting new offering to visitors on stand C109 at World Biogas Expo 2023.”


Photograph of various vegetables, meats and bread in waste bin.
Traditional AD feedstocks like food waste can be high in nitrogen, which breaks down into harmful ammonia

+44(0)7802 173130