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Nutrient recycling from bio-digestion waste as chemical fertilizer substitutes

Céline Vaneeckhaute UGent, Erik Meers UGent, Greet Ghekiere, Frederik Accoe and Filip Tack UGent (2012) Proceedings of the 2012 world congress on advances in civil, environmental, and materials research and the 2012 international conference on advances in coupled systems mechanics. p.763-773
abstract
In the transition from a fossil to a bio-based economy, it has become an important challenge to maximally recycle valuable nutrients that currently end up in 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 consequential processing of digestate requires a variety of technologies producing several 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 of using bio-digestion waste instead of chemical fertilizers and/or animal manure on soil and crop production. In a field trial, nutrient balances were assessed and the physicochemical soil quality, including the nitrate residue, leaching, salt content, pH, sodium adsorption ratio, as well as phosphorus and heavy metal accumulation were evaluated. The biogas yield of the harvested energy crops was determined and an economic and ecological evaluation was conducted. In the current field-trial, application of waste water from acidic air scrubbers for ammonia removal, digestates and their liquid fraction caused small, yet insignificant, improvement in crop yield, physico-chemical soil fertility and soil quality compared to current common practices involving the use of animal manure and chemical fertilizers. Moreover, it is observed that the use of bio-digestion waste can stimulate phosphate and potassium mobilization from the soil, thereby increasing the use efficiency of soil nutrients. For all re-use scenarios the energetic potential per hectare of harvested energy maize, as well as the calculated economic and ecological benefits were higher than the reference scenario. It is clear that the reuse of bio-based products as nutrient supply in agriculture should be stimulated in European legislation. Further field research is on-going in order to validate the results and evaluate the impact on soil quality in the longer term.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
conference
publication status
published
subject
keyword
sustainable agriculture, environmental economics, green fertilizers, digestate, bio-digestion waste, nutrient recycling, field experiment
in
Proceedings of the 2012 world congress on advances in civil, environmental, and materials research and the 2012 international conference on advances in coupled systems mechanics
editor
Chang-Koon Choi
article_number
M4F-1
pages
763 - 773
publisher
Techno-Press
place of publication
Daejeon, South Korea
conference name
2012 World congress on Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research (ACSM 2012)
conference location
Seoul, South Korea
conference start
2012-08-26
conference end
2012-08-30
ISBN
9788989693345
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
C1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
2979098
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2979098
date created
2012-09-05 11:45:23
date last changed
2012-09-06 14:23:11
@inproceedings{2979098,
  abstract     = {In the transition from a fossil to a bio-based economy, it has become an important challenge to maximally recycle valuable nutrients that currently end up in 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 consequential processing of digestate requires a variety of technologies producing several 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 of using bio-digestion waste instead of chemical fertilizers and/or animal manure on soil and crop production. In a field trial, nutrient balances were assessed and the physicochemical soil quality, including the nitrate residue, leaching, salt content, pH, sodium adsorption ratio, as well as phosphorus and heavy metal accumulation were evaluated. The biogas yield of the harvested energy crops was determined and an economic and ecological evaluation was conducted. In the current field-trial, application of waste water from acidic air scrubbers for ammonia removal, digestates and their liquid fraction caused small, yet insignificant, improvement in crop yield, physico-chemical soil fertility and soil quality compared to current common practices involving the use of animal manure and chemical fertilizers. Moreover, it is observed that the use of bio-digestion waste can stimulate phosphate and potassium mobilization from the soil, thereby increasing the use efficiency of soil nutrients. For all re-use scenarios the energetic potential per hectare of harvested energy maize, as well as the calculated economic and ecological benefits were higher than the reference scenario. It is clear that the reuse of bio-based products as nutrient supply in agriculture should be stimulated in European legislation. Further field research is on-going in order to validate the results and evaluate the impact on soil quality in the longer term.},
  articleno    = {M4F-1},
  author       = {Vaneeckhaute, C{\'e}line and Meers, Erik and Ghekiere, Greet and Accoe, Frederik and Tack, Filip},
  booktitle    = {Proceedings of the 2012 world congress on advances in civil, environmental, and materials research and the 2012 international conference on advances in coupled systems mechanics},
  editor       = {Choi, Chang-Koon},
  isbn         = {9788989693345},
  keyword      = {sustainable agriculture,environmental economics,green fertilizers,digestate,bio-digestion waste,nutrient recycling,field experiment},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Seoul, South Korea},
  pages        = {M4F-1:763--M4F-1:773},
  publisher    = {Techno-Press},
  title        = {Nutrient recycling from bio-digestion waste as chemical fertilizer substitutes},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Vaneeckhaute, Céline, Erik Meers, Greet Ghekiere, Frederik Accoe, and Filip Tack. 2012. “Nutrient Recycling from Bio-digestion Waste as Chemical Fertilizer Substitutes.” In Proceedings of the 2012 World Congress on Advances in Civil, Environmental, and Materials Research and the 2012 International Conference on Advances in Coupled Systems Mechanics, ed. Chang-Koon Choi, 763–773. Daejeon, South Korea: Techno-Press.
APA
Vaneeckhaute, C., Meers, E., Ghekiere, G., Accoe, F., & Tack, F. (2012). Nutrient recycling from bio-digestion waste as chemical fertilizer substitutes. In C.-K. Choi (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2012 world congress on advances in civil, environmental, and materials research and the 2012 international conference on advances in coupled systems mechanics (pp. 763–773). Presented at the 2012 World congress on Advances in Civil, Environmental and Materials Research (ACSM 2012), Daejeon, South Korea: Techno-Press.
Vancouver
1.
Vaneeckhaute C, Meers E, Ghekiere G, Accoe F, Tack F. Nutrient recycling from bio-digestion waste as chemical fertilizer substitutes. In: Choi C-K, editor. Proceedings of the 2012 world congress on advances in civil, environmental, and materials research and the 2012 international conference on advances in coupled systems mechanics. Daejeon, South Korea: Techno-Press; 2012. p. 763–73.
MLA
Vaneeckhaute, Céline, Erik Meers, Greet Ghekiere, et al. “Nutrient Recycling from Bio-digestion Waste as Chemical Fertilizer Substitutes.” Proceedings of the 2012 World Congress on Advances in Civil, Environmental, and Materials Research and the 2012 International Conference on Advances in Coupled Systems Mechanics. Ed. Chang-Koon Choi. Daejeon, South Korea: Techno-Press, 2012. 763–773. Print.