A Wiltshire company specialising in environmental and agricultural bio-catalyst technology has struck joint venture deals across Europe that are now also opening up opportunities in China and the Far East.
Citadel BioCat, based just off the M4 motorway near Chippenham, produces a non-toxic, bioactive product derived from the fermentation of natural plant material, including marine organisms.
The microbes in Citadel BioCat+™ can break down insoluble sludge and other poisonous materials from industrial or agricultural waste into water, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrogen gas.
The main applications are in increasing biogas production, treating waste water, bio-remediation and also in enhancing plant and livestock yields.
Water industry event
Enterprise Europe Network in the South West used its extensive international contacts to find a like-minded business partner for CEO Ray Long at EEN’s Aqua Match event, held during the Aquatech Amsterdam water industry event in August 2015.
EEN adviser Chris Lyons introduced him to Optifarm, a Netherlands company that has since helped Citadel Biotech to establish its biogas and agri-food products in Germany, Ireland and eastern Europe.
The connection with an Irish feed supplier to the Far East has led in turn to strong interest from poultry producers there. Its customers in China are impressed by remarkable food/weight gain figures with broiler chickens from non-antibiotic farming with Citadel BioCat+™.
Ray explained: “We conducted trials last year in the Netherlands and got amazing results. We managed to increase the weight of the bird, but it was eating less or the same amount of food.
Birds' general health enhanced
“We enhance the water that the bird drinks by adding the biological catalyst, which has an effect on the metabolism of its digestive system. Not only were birds processing all the food they were eating, but their general health was enhanced as well.”
An on-site fermenter is filled with water which is heated to 32degC. Cartridges of the bio-catalyst material are added to the water, and break down to make it biologically active.
Ray explained: “Citadel BioCat+™ is absolutely harmless. Quite a few of us in the office drink it on a regular basis, because it’s good for us too.”
Another application is to speed up small-scale, waste water treatment from domestic septic tanks, to use on gardens. The first units are going into communities in Peru and in islands around Croatia where there are no sewerage treatment facilities.
Ray, who heads a team of six at the Wiltshire firm, added: “We are expecting next year to be big for us, because we are going to be selling so much more material. Once you’ve got a customer using Bio-Cat+™ they’re not likely to come off it.”
“EEN helped us to be at the right place at the right time – and we had the right technology.”
Ray Long, managing director, Citadel Biocat.