I’m Harry and currently a student studying the International Baccalaureate with one year left at school. I was luckily provided with the opportunity to gather some work experience at Future Biogas for a week. This Blog provides an insight into some of the work that I did at Future Biogas and briefly touches on what I learned during the week, whilst sharing my impressions of the company.
Although I spent a full week at Future Biogas doing work experience, I feel as though I have only scraped the surface of the intricacy of the company. The work that is put in and the standards that come out certainly met my original expectations. Although there was a lot of information, which at various points became difficult to digest (no pun intended), I was fascinated by the content which was given to me.
On Monday morning I felt that the presentation, which aimed to introduce me to Future Biogas, gave a great basic of understanding, which I could always refer to later in the week. Subsequent presentations giving an insight into Operations, Biology and Planning struck me because they showed the further complexity of Future Biogas and the rest of the Biogas industry.
Day two was mainly occupied by my attempt to analyse and understand the CO2 emissions model. Having spent many hours understanding where the figures came from and how they all corresponded to the overall emissions output, I met with David to discuss the findings. David explained how the whole model worked and I found out that I had only managed to grasp a fraction of the calculation. The task fascinated me because it demonstrated the high level of detail put into calculating an estimate of the total carbon emissions and it also provided me with some much-needed Excel practice.
Wednesday began with a day in the in-house laboratory. It started with a short tour of the lab and an explanation into the complex biological analysis which take place there. To begin, I sorted samples from all the different digesters and post digesters and recorded their codes and their PH. Having completed these tasks I proceeded to help with the ammonia analysis, which is a standard procedure to look at the nitrogen levels throughout the AD process. I enjoyed the positive and relaxed feel in the lab, so besides the somewhat questionable odour it was an enjoyable day.
On Thursday I was invited to shadow the Sustainability meeting, where I learned more about the interactions between biogas companies, the EA and OFGEM. This was followed by an introduction and conversation about policies and renewables with Alex. Extended work with the sustainability models and spreadsheets was my afternoon activity.
On Friday I was introduced to the accounting team and their jobs. After getting an understanding of the accounting part of the company I helped with some invoices and filing. After my morning task I helped the Future Biogas team to victory in their 5 a-side football match, during the lunch break. In the afternoon I was tasked with writing this blog, where I sat exhausted in the reclining office chair following the hard-earned victory.
The team were very welcoming and kept me busy doing interesting things for the duration of my stay. The work was beneficial to me as it helped with my ideas for the future – it not only increased my interest in the world of renewables and the prospect of a sustainable future, but it also allowed me to sense the feeling within an office workplace and a vibrant company. From entering with a modest knowledge of the biogas process and industry, I have finished with a wide concept not only of how biogas production works but also how this company has adapted to the surrounding dynamic world.