News story

Shanks provides Cranfield University with Pilot Anaerobic Digestion Line

16 October 2014

Shanks provides Cranfield University with pilot anaerobic digestion line

International waste-to-product business, Shanks Group plc has provided Cranfield University with a pilot anaerobic digestion (‘AD’) line which will support future research and development. 

The line, which opens today, will treat food waste from the Cranfield University campus and turn it into biogas for renewable energy generation. Shanks will work closely with Cranfield University to process and optimise specific types of commercial and industrial (‘C&I’) waste and residential food waste through the line. Using the equipment, students will be able to conduct large-scale research and development projects and understand the AD process. Shanks will have access to the data from these projects and the resulting research work; allowing them to reduce risk and create further efficiencies in their existing and pipeline facilities. 

It is estimated that the line will divert up to ten tonnes of food waste from landfill, save up to five tonnes of carbon dioxide and produce up to eight tonnes of fertiliser each year. Additionally, the facility has created two jobs and has supported over 20 East of England SMEs through a series of topical workshops and project-based support to date. 

Peter Eglinton, UK Managing Director at Shanks said:

“By supplying this kit to Cranfield University, we are able to invest in learning and development in our industry, whilst obtaining research which will improve our ongoing operations and future tenders. I look forward to working with the university to review the progress of the line and seeing students learn how to make more from waste.” 

Sir Peter Gregson, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Cranfield said:

“We are delighted to officially open the Anaerobic Digester plant. This celebration reflects our desire to work closely with business, through such work, to provide a positive impact on society. This specialist plant is another example of industrial scale facilities, for which Cranfield University is renowned. It reinforces Cranfield’s commitment to sustainability which is reflected in our accreditation to ISO14001 environmental management systems.”

For further information:

Brunswick Group

+44 207 404 5959

Mike Smith


Justine McIlroy


Cranfield University

+44 1234 754949

Ruth Slack



Notes to editors


Shanks Group 

Shanks Group is a leading international waste to product business.

The Group uses a range of cost-effective sustainable technologies to make valuable products from what is thrown away. We produce green energy, recovered fuel, recycled commodities and organic fertiliser. 

Shanks meets the growing need from public and private sectors to manage waste sustainably without damaging the environment. Our solutions reduce greenhouse gas emissions, recycle natural resources and limit fossil fuel dependency. 

Shanks operates in four divisions that reflect its markets: Solid, Hazardous, Organics and UK Municipal. It has operations in the Netherlands, Belgium, UK and Canada and employs around 3,600 people. 

For more information, visit:  

Cranfield University 

Cranfield is an exclusively postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management. 

Cranfield Energy has over 160 academic and research staff engaged in research and teaching in energy and transport technologies. Activity ranges from offshore renewables, the production and clean utilisation of fossil fuels, through micro-generation and the use of energy crops, to the design of lightweight vehicles, turbine technology and the utilisation of wastes as fuel.