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Carbon dioxide (CO2) recovery

Apsley Farms recovers the CO2 produced in its fermentation for use within the food industry. We provide a sustainable alternative to traditional means of manufacturing this important product.

The two sides of CO2

Most people are aware that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are the principal driver of climate change.

So it’s ironic that the same substance, used commercially, is a vital part of our fight against climate change. Carbon dioxide is used in the packaging of various foods, including salads and meat, reducing bacterial growth and extending shelf life. As dry ice, CO2 is used as a refrigerant, keeping food fresher during transport. Taken together, both processes reduce food wastage, which is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases.

Most commercial CO2 is obtained as a waste product from industrial processes which require substantial amounts of energy. This was evident during the CO2 shortages of September 2021, where two major UK CO2 suppliers were forced to close due to increases in natural gas prices.

There’s obviously a need for commercial carbon dioxide produced by more sustainable means. And that’s exactly what Apsley Farms has been doing since 2016, by providing sustainable CO2 for the food industry.

Why our CO2 is sustainable

All of the CO2 we supply is recovered from our biodigester. Rather than releasing this natural product of anaerobic respiration directly to the atmosphere, we put it to work for the food industry,

What’s more, every step in its production is grounded in sustainable and efficient practice:

  • Apsley Farms uses advanced farming techniques to reduce tillage, which in turn reduces CO2 release during the growing of crops for our biodigesters.
  • Storage and transport of crops – including at our partner farms – is optimised for maximum efficiency, again lowering the carbon footprint of the raw materials.
  • CO2 is produced through fermentation, an inherently low-energy process This requires a fraction of the energy input of alternative methods, such as the industrial production of ammonia.
  • Our relatively small energy requirements for CO2 production are met from our own fermentation processes. This is a green and highly efficient way of powering our operations.

The future of CO2 production

At the moment, commercial CO2 production is unsustainable: it’s energy intensive and relies heavily on industries with huge carbon footprints. There are, however, signs of change, with more and more CO2 is being produced from cleaner anaerobic respiration processes.

Apsley is delighted to be part of this revolution. Through investment and innovation, we produce low carbon footprint CO2 to help supply the UK’s needs.

For enquiries about our CO2 supply, or to learn more about our sustainability, please get in touch.