The Chief Executive of the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), Charlotte Morton, has been awarded an OBE for services to the Development of the Biogas Industry.

Charlotte Morton

Charlotte Morton

Currently in the process of stepping down from her role at ADBA, Morton is now Chief Executive of the World Biogas Association (WBA), an organisation that works to drive global adoption of biogas, in addition to supporting the growth of the anaerobic digestion (AD) sector. 

Considered by many as an essential component in achieving the decarbonisation of industry, AD could also reduce the gas industry’s reliance on Russian fuel, safeguarding energy supplies. 

AD is a process that involves organic matter – such as food waste, sewage, and manure – being recycled into either biogas or its upgraded form biomethane, biofertilizer (digestate), bioCO2 and other bioproducts. 

According to ADBA, AD could reduce the UK’s total annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 6% by 2030, providing the right government support is granted. 

Commenting on the work that needs to be done, Morton said, “It is critical that we develop the biogas industry to its full potential as fast as possible, not just to mitigate climate change but also for our food and energy security.” 

“Over the years, many people have worked very hard alongside me to support this objective and so this is very much their award too.” 

A qualified solicitor, Morton moved into entrepreneurship when she set up one of the UK’s first pay-by-the-hour car club schemes, WhizzGo, in 2004. 

Following her involvement with the launch of ADBA in 2009, she established the WBA seven years later, taking on the role of Chief Executive. 

The value of AD as a solution to climate change was brought to the fore last year when Morton was invited to address the COP26 conference in Glasgow last year. 

Investing in biomethane could give industry the time to scale-up hydrogen infrastructure, which – in many industries – requires wholesale and expensive changes before adoption can occur. 

“It is unlikely that hydrogen will play a significant role within the energy mix within the next 10-15 years, and we have been warned that we only have 10 years to meet the Paris Agreement targets,” added Morton.

The challenges and possibilities represented by the burgeoning AD and biogas industry is set to take centre stage at the upcoming World Biogas Summit & Expo 2022, due to take place at the NEC, Birmingham from 15th - 16th June.