My research has focused upon integrating novel technologies (anaerobic digestion (AD) and intermediate pyrolysis) for the optimisation of energy production, waste/residue utilisation and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. My recent research area has focused on the development of dry AD and nutrient recovery for the production of fertiliser-type products. Also, we have published some research investigating the survivability of pathogens and antibiotics through AD, prior to land application of the resulting digestate. With pyrolysis, my research interests are focused on utilising novel residues for pyrolysis and the subsequent uses of biochar for crop production and further nutrient recovery technologies.
My PhD investigated adapting current technologies from around the world for the novel purpose to dispose of fallen pig carcases on-farm. AD was investigated as an alternative method to try to alleviate the high cost, high carbon footprint and the biosecurity (pathogen) issues associated with current livestock disposal methods stipulated by EU legislation. Additionally, on behalf of the UK pig industry, I have undertaken further research to investigate the valorisation of pig carcase material through the use of on-farm refrigeration.
These research projects have been undertaken with a range of different companies, both via national and internationally funded research projects. Research grant funding has been kindly provided from a range of funders, for example EPSRC, Horizon 2020, Interreg, UK Department of Transport, AHDB, private companies etc. Some of the research has been undertaken directly with industry to ensure that project deliverables can be transformed into commercial practice.
International Water Association (IWA)
Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA)
Environmental Biotechnology Network (EBNet)
Harper Adams University supports Food and Farming Futures, the online land-based library.
You can contact Dr Marie Kirby if you would like to discuss any of the following course modules: