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Nutrient recycling from bio-digestion waste as chemical fertilizer substitutes

Céline Vaneeckhaute UGent, Erik Meers UGent, Greet Ghekiere, Frederik Accoe, Evi Michels UGent and Filip Tack UGent (2012) Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research, World congress, Abstracts.
abstract
In the transition from a fossil to a bio-based economy, it has become an important challenge to maximally recuperate valuable nutrients coming from waste streams. Nutrient resources are rapidly depleting, significant amounts of fossil energy are used for the production of chemical fertilizers, whereas costs for energy and fertilizers are increasing. In the meantime, biogas production through anaerobic digestion produces nutrient-rich digestates as a waste stream. In high-nutrient regions this product cannot or only sparingly be returned to agricultural land in its crude unprocessed form. The consequent processing of digestate requires a variety of technologies producing lots of different derivatives, which could potentially be re-used as green fertilizers in agriculture. As such, a sustainable alternative for fossil-based mineral fertilizers could be provided. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact on soil and crop production by means of a field trial, in which artificial fertilizers and/or animal manure are substituted by biodigestion waste in eight different cultivation scenarios. Nutrient balances were assessed and the physico-chemical soil quality, including the nitrate residue, salt content, pH, sodium adsorption ratio, as well as phosphorus and heavy metal accumulation was evaluated. Finally, the biogas yield of the harvested energy crops was determined by means of an anaerobic digestion batch test. As such, the nutrients coming from the digestate are again recycled to the anaerobic digestion plant and nutrient cycles are maximally closed. Results show that one-year application of waste water from acidic air scrubbers for ammonia removal, digestates and their liquid fraction does not cause significant differences in crop yield, physico-chemical soil fertility and soil quality compared to the common practice (animal manure + artificial fertilizers). Moreover, it is observed that the use of biodigestion waste can stimulate phosphate and potassium mobilization from the soil, thereby providing a potential path to recycle these valuable, but depleting, nutrients in a sustainable way. In addition, the energetic potential per hectare of harvested energy maize was slightly higher when digestate derivatives were used, as compared to animal manure. It is therefore clear that the use of these bio-based products should be stimulated in European legislation and that the results obtained in this study should be widely spread. Further field research is on-going in order to validate the results and evaluate the impact on soil quality in the longer term. A challenge exists in developing environmental technical solutions to neutralize the pH of the air scrubber water and to practically apply this product to the field.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
conference
publication status
published
subject
keyword
digestate processing, field experiment, green fertilizers, sustainable agriculture, nutrient recycling, anaerobic digestion
in
Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research, World congress, Abstracts
conference name
2012 World congress on Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research (ACSM 2012)
conference location
Seoul, South Korea
conference start
2012-08-25
conference end
2012-08-31
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
C3
additional info
uploaded document is presentation version
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
2978398
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2978398
date created
2012-09-04 14:19:44
date last changed
2012-09-06 14:27:15
@inproceedings{2978398,
  abstract     = {In the transition from a fossil to a bio-based economy, it has become an important challenge to maximally recuperate valuable nutrients coming from waste streams. Nutrient resources are rapidly depleting, significant amounts of fossil energy are used for the production of chemical fertilizers, whereas costs for energy and fertilizers are increasing. In the meantime, biogas production through anaerobic digestion produces nutrient-rich digestates as a waste stream. In high-nutrient regions this product cannot or only sparingly be returned to agricultural land in its crude unprocessed form. The consequent processing of digestate requires a variety of technologies producing lots of different derivatives, which could potentially be re-used as green fertilizers in agriculture. As such, a sustainable alternative for fossil-based mineral fertilizers could be provided. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact on soil and crop production by means of a field trial, in which artificial fertilizers and/or animal manure are substituted by biodigestion waste in eight different cultivation scenarios. Nutrient balances were assessed and the physico-chemical soil quality, including the nitrate residue, salt content, pH, sodium adsorption ratio, as well as phosphorus and heavy metal accumulation was evaluated. Finally, the biogas yield of the harvested energy crops was determined by means of an anaerobic digestion batch test. As such, the nutrients coming from the digestate are again recycled to the anaerobic digestion plant and nutrient cycles are maximally closed. Results show that one-year application of waste water from acidic air scrubbers for ammonia removal, digestates and their liquid fraction does not cause significant differences in crop yield, physico-chemical soil fertility and soil quality compared to the common practice (animal manure + artificial fertilizers). Moreover, it is observed that the use of biodigestion waste can stimulate phosphate and potassium mobilization from the soil, thereby providing a potential path to recycle these valuable, but depleting, nutrients in a sustainable way. In addition, the energetic potential per hectare of harvested energy maize was slightly higher when digestate derivatives were used, as compared to animal manure. It is therefore clear that the use of these bio-based products should be stimulated in European legislation and that the results obtained in this study should be widely spread. Further field research is on-going in order to validate the results and evaluate the impact on soil quality in the longer term. A challenge exists in developing environmental technical solutions to neutralize the pH of the air scrubber water and to practically apply this product to the field.},
  author       = {Vaneeckhaute, C{\'e}line and Meers, Erik and Ghekiere, Greet  and Accoe, Frederik and Michels, Evi and Tack, Filip},
  booktitle    = {Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research, World congress, Abstracts},
  keyword      = {digestate processing,field experiment,green fertilizers,sustainable agriculture,nutrient recycling,anaerobic digestion},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Seoul, South Korea},
  title        = {Nutrient recycling from bio-digestion waste as chemical fertilizer substitutes},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Vaneeckhaute, Céline, Erik Meers, Greet Ghekiere, Frederik Accoe, Evi Michels, and Filip Tack. 2012. “Nutrient Recycling from Bio-digestion Waste as Chemical Fertilizer Substitutes.” In Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research, World Congress, Abstracts.
APA
Vaneeckhaute, C., Meers, E., Ghekiere, G., Accoe, F., Michels, E., & Tack, F. (2012). Nutrient recycling from bio-digestion waste as chemical fertilizer substitutes. Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research, World congress, Abstracts. Presented at the 2012 World congress on Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research (ACSM 2012).
Vancouver
1.
Vaneeckhaute C, Meers E, Ghekiere G, Accoe F, Michels E, Tack F. Nutrient recycling from bio-digestion waste as chemical fertilizer substitutes. Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research, World congress, Abstracts. 2012.
MLA
Vaneeckhaute, Céline, Erik Meers, Greet Ghekiere, et al. “Nutrient Recycling from Bio-digestion Waste as Chemical Fertilizer Substitutes.” Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research, World Congress, Abstracts. 2012. Print.