Experts from the University of Exeter have been awarded funding into groundbreaking research that will look to make the anaerobic digestion process more efficient.
It will receive £4 million funding from a £20 million pot announced by Chancellor George Osborne from the Biotechnical and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
One of the hurdles facing the AD industry that little is known about why the microorganisms work to break down material such as food waste.
As a result of this funding, Dr Orkun Soyer will lead the research at the university to better understand the process.
He said: “We are delighted to secure such a significant grant, which will enable us to carry out groundbreaking research into biomethane production.
“This process produces energy from waste, and could help provide answers to two key questions facing society: both how to dispose of increasing amount of food and animal waste, and how to ensure we can meet our energy requirements in the future.
“Anaerobic digestion units contain thousands of different types of microbial species working as a community. At the moment, we know very little about which of these microbes is crucial to the process and how we could manipulate them to promote communities of bacteria to work more efficiently.”