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UK CO2 shortage

Causes, consequences and solutions

Underlying Factors, Consequences and sustainable solutions

The United Kingdom is presently grappling with an urgent issue – a shortage in liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) supplies. This deficit has had far-reaching implications, touching on many sectors such as food and beverage manufacturing, medical applications and industrial processes. We address the causes of the UK’s CO2 shortage, discuss its impact and emphasise the significance of sustainable CO2 sources like Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants.

The Significance of CO2

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an essential gas with wide-ranging applications across numerous industries. It holds a pivotal role in the food and beverage industry, where it is used in food packaging, the carbonation of fizzy drinks and the slaughter of livestock. In addition, CO2 is critical for use in medical applications and in various industrial processes.

The Root causes of CO2 Shortages

Shutting Down of Ammonia Plants
The shutdown of major ammonia production facilities, such as CF Fertilisers’ ammonia plant, has significantly contributed to the CO2 deficit in the UK. The production of ammonia, a process that yields CO2 as a by-product, has become economically unviable due to skyrocketing of energy costs. This leads to the halting of production, directly impacting the supply of CO2.

Escalating Global Demand
A surge in global demand for CO2 has been driven by population growth, industrial expansion and broadening applications. This has strained the available supply, adding to the shortage situation.

The impact of shortages of CO2

Food and Beverage Industry

The CO2 deficit has seriously affected the food and beverage industry. Critical processes like the slaughter of pigs and poultry, food packaging, and carbonation of fizzy drinks all heavily depend on CO2. The shortage has led to potential production slowdowns, decreased product availability, and might potentially lead to price hikes for consumers.

Animal Welfare Concerns

The shortage of CO2 can lead to animal welfare issues, with a rising number of pigs and poultry unable to be processed due to insufficient CO2 supplies.

Sustainable solutions: Anaerobic Digestion Plants

Amidst the CO2 shortage, it is important to highlight the availability of renewable CO2 sources, such as Anaerobic Digestion plants. Unlike traditional methods, these plants have remained unaffected and continue to provide a consistent supply of food-grade CO2. Anaerobic Digestion plants generate CO2 from organic waste and biomass, ensuring a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution.

The role of Apsley Farms

Apsley Farms serves as a shining example of a provider of renewable CO2. Their dedication to delivering a consistent supply of food-grade CO2 obtained from their biodigester sets them apart in addressing the CO2 shortage. Unlike some other anaerobic digestion processes that utilise waste products, Apsley Farms uses crops for their biodigesters. This is an important factor in achieving food-grade certification for their CO2.

They employ advanced farming techniques, optimise storage and transport of crops. This ensures the quality of their CO2 but also reduce the carbon footprint of their operations. Apsley Farms is proud to be part of a revolution producing low carbon footprint CO2 to help meet the UK’s needs.


The CO2 shortfall in the UK, that has been triggered by the shutdown of ammonia plants and an upsurge in global demand, has had wide-reaching effects on numerous industries. It is therefore of critical importance to emphasise the need for renewable solutions like CO2 derived from Anaerobic Digestion plants.
Pioneers like Apsley Farms with their steadfast supply of food-grade CO2 from AD plants are not only helping to counteract the CO2 shortage but are also contributing towards a more sustainable and green future.

The Apsley team filling the CO2 tanker ready to deliver bulk supplies throughout the UK

Apsley Farms operates a fleet of CO2 tankers to provide businesses with regular deliveries of high quality, food-grade bulk CO2. The tankers travel the length and breadth of country delivering to a range of businesses including the food and drinks industry.

Apsley Farms in Hampshire is a supplier of carbon dioxide that is indispensably used within the food and drinks industry, which include breweries and bakeries. CO2 is used for a wide range of uses, from putting the fizz in your drinks to keeping your food fresh.

Our CO2 is sustainably produced as a by-product of the renewable energy production at the biogas plant at Apsley Farms. Every step in its production is grounded in sustainable and efficient practices at the Farm, as part of their commitment to reducing their environmental impact.

This includes the use of advanced farming techniques to reduce tillage, which in turn reduces the release of CO2 release during the growing of crops for our biodigesters. The storage and transport of crops are optimised for maximum efficiency, again lowering the carbon footprint of the raw materials.

Apsley Farms also offers onsite testing facilities of CO2 using UniSensor Carboscan, a state of the art testing laboratory.

 Contact us on 01264 554455 or visit our website

Watch our video below of one of our tankers arriving back to the Farm!