Treatment of and energy recovery from farm wastes



North West Environment and Energy Consortium

Farm Waste Management


A cross border research project between the South West College (Omagh Campus), IT Sligo and GreenFarm Energy (Ireland) Ltd. This project aims to improve the range of farm waste disposal options, increase the knowledge base and develop new technology solutions for energy from waste. This project is part-financed by the European Union through the Interreg IIIA Programme managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the ICBAN Partnership and is worth €399,755.


Areas of work

  • South West College (Omagh Campus) – survey of agri-waste production using GIS, investigating legislation, scoping waste treatment options & economic analysis of transport.
  • IT Sligo – development of laboratory techniques to analyse farm waste, operation of lab scale digestion equipment, characterisation of waste and its energy potential.
  • GreenFarm Energy (Ireland) Ltd – specification, construction and operation of pre-treatment bio-reactor to improve energy potential of organic waste streams.
The project has undertaken best practice scoping visits to Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria and the USA to view current technological advances in farm waste management and energy from waste systems.  Much knowledge has been gained in the practical application of waste treatment systems and the engineering principles involved.  By scoping the agricultural and energy sectors in mainland Europe and the ICBAN region, technologies have been identified which are suitable for application to our agricultural industry.  Work undertaken at the South West College (Omagh Campus) has mapped farm waste production, analysed the effects of the implementation of the Nitrates Directive, carried out economic assessment of waste transport options and specified equipment to extract energy from waste.







The specifying and commissioning of two lab scale bio-reactors at IT Sligo (the first of their kind in Ireland) has allowed researchers to investigate the energy potential of farm wastes produced in Ireland.  As well as investigating the energy potential of raw materials, the digesters have operated on improved energy potential farm waste produced by the pre-treatment vessel in Omagh.  The operation of these digesters has produced an invaluable knowledge base and information resource which is now becoming extremely relevant as farmers look towards becoming energy producers in this current time of climate change and farm diversification.



By scoping best practice in the farm waste management field, taking a clear direction towards applying the most appropriate technologies and undertaking significant research and development activity, the NWEEC Waste Management project has contributed to the knowledge base in the ICBAN region.  The information resource has been used to date to influence and advise senior politicians, senior civil servants and industry.  Curriculum development has improved the impact of the projects findings with information being disseminated through the Environmental Entrepreneurs programme and the Land Use, Environment and Sustainability Foundation Degree at the South West College (Omagh Campus).  Students have had the opportunity to learn about the issues surrounding farm wastes, legislation and treatment options with field visits to sites of best practice being undertaken to demonstrate first hand these technologies in action.


For further information please contact Dr. John Moore at the South West College (Omagh Campus)


Tel: (028) 822 45433

South West College (Omagh Campus)

2 Mountjoy Road


BT79 7AH


2019/20 Fulltime Prospectus IT Sligo