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Techniques for nutrient recovery from digestate: inventory

(2013)
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Abstract
Because of the historic presence of intensive livestock production and the limited amount of arable land for manure disposal, nitrate pollution in certain European areas is considerable. The European Nitrate Directive, implemented in 1991, is intended to improve water quality in Europe by preventing pollution of ground- and surface water by leaching of nitrates from agriculture. Through the Directive member states were obliged to set up an action programme and define vulnerable zones. The Flemish action plan, for example, consists of an obligation to process manure. Manure processing is defined as treating manure in such a way that the nitrogen present is not brought back on Flemish soil after treatment, so that it is either exported or converted to nitrogen gas or a mineral fertiliser. The restrictions on nutrient application on the fields combined with the presence of intensive livestock, implies that anaerobic digestion plants in Flanders and other nutrient rich areas, who are often obliged to co-digest manure, have no other choice than to invest in expensive digestate processing techniques. More recently, the focus in the development of manure and digestate processing techniques has switched from mere processing towards techniques that recover a maximal amount of nutrients (N, P, K) and produce dischargeable or re-useable water. This development is i.a. triggered by the increasing worldwide awareness of the depletion of phosphorus and potassium, which are nowadays extracted through mining. Another incentive is the volatile price of fossil-based mineral fertilizers. Estimates of the current phosphorus and potassium reserves are highly uncertain, but based on population growth and future nutrient demand, it is predicted that depletion will occur within 93 to 291 years for P and 235 to 510 years for K (Fixen and Johnston, 2012; Van Vuuren et al., 2010; Villalba et al., 2008; Smit et al.,2009). Geopolitical moves can however shift this date forward, making nutrient scarcity an imminent threat. These findings have generated awareness. The challenge for anaerobic digestion plants now is to achieve optimal recovery and recycling of nutrients from the digestate in a sustainable way. ARBOR is an Interreg IVb-project that focusses on the acceleration of bio-energy development in North-West Europe. The goal of action 9 in work package 2 of the project is to make an inventory of existing nutrient recovery techniques from digestate in North-West Europe and to stimulate marketing of the end-products by means of i.a. physicochemical characterisations and field trials. This report gives an overview of the inventory made in the framework of the ARBOR project. It shows how digestate can be used as a sustainable source of nutrients. A distinction has been made between currently used digestate processing techniques and nutrient recovery techniques, the latter being in an earlier phase of development, but very promising with respect to the demand for more sustainability in agriculture.
Keywords
digestate, nutrient recovery, Bio-energy, renewable energy, biogas

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Chicago
Lebuf, Viooltje, Frederic Accoe, Sara Van Elsacker, Céline Vaneeckhaute, Evi Michels, Erik Meers, Greet Ghekiere, and Bart Ryckaert. 2013. “Techniques for Nutrient Recovery from Digestate: Inventory”. Brugge, Belgium: INTERREG IV.B NWE ARBOR.
APA
Lebuf, V., Accoe, F., Van Elsacker, S., Vaneeckhaute, C., Michels, E., Meers, E., Ghekiere, G., et al. (2013). Techniques for nutrient recovery from digestate: inventory. Brugge, Belgium: INTERREG IV.B NWE ARBOR.
Vancouver
1.
Lebuf V, Accoe F, Van Elsacker S, Vaneeckhaute C, Michels E, Meers E, et al. Techniques for nutrient recovery from digestate: inventory. Brugge, Belgium: INTERREG IV.B NWE ARBOR; 2013.
MLA
Lebuf, Viooltje, Frederic Accoe, Sara Van Elsacker, et al. “Techniques for Nutrient Recovery from Digestate: Inventory.” 2013 : n. pag. Print.
@misc{7010573,
  abstract     = {Because of the historic presence of intensive livestock production and the limited amount of arable land for manure disposal, nitrate pollution in certain European areas is considerable. The European Nitrate Directive, implemented in 1991, is intended to improve water quality in Europe by preventing pollution of ground- and surface water by leaching of nitrates from agriculture. Through the Directive member states were obliged to set up an action programme and define vulnerable zones. The Flemish action plan, for example, consists of an obligation to process manure. Manure processing is defined as treating manure in such a way that the nitrogen present is not brought back on Flemish soil after treatment, so that it is either exported or converted to nitrogen gas or a mineral fertiliser. The restrictions on nutrient application on the fields combined with the presence of intensive livestock, implies that anaerobic digestion plants in Flanders and other nutrient rich areas, who are often obliged to co-digest manure, have no other choice than to invest in expensive digestate processing techniques. More recently, the focus in the development of
manure and digestate processing techniques has switched from mere processing towards techniques that recover a maximal amount of nutrients (N, P, K) and produce dischargeable or re-useable water. This development is i.a. triggered by the increasing worldwide awareness of the depletion of phosphorus and potassium, which are nowadays extracted through mining. Another incentive is the volatile price of fossil-based mineral fertilizers. Estimates of the current phosphorus and potassium reserves are highly uncertain, but based on population growth and future nutrient demand, it is predicted that depletion will occur within 93 to 291 years for P and 235 to 510 years for K (Fixen and Johnston, 2012; Van Vuuren et al., 2010; Villalba et al., 2008; Smit et al.,2009). Geopolitical moves can however shift this date forward, making nutrient scarcity an imminent threat. These findings have generated awareness. The challenge for anaerobic digestion plants now is to achieve optimal recovery and recycling of nutrients from the digestate in a sustainable way.
ARBOR is an Interreg IVb-project that focusses on the acceleration of bio-energy development in North-West Europe. The goal of action 9 in work package 2 of the project is to make an inventory of existing nutrient recovery techniques from digestate in North-West Europe and to stimulate marketing of the end-products by means of i.a. physicochemical characterisations and field trials. This report gives an overview of the inventory made in the framework of the ARBOR project. It shows how digestate can be used as a sustainable source of nutrients. A distinction has been made between currently used digestate processing techniques and nutrient recovery techniques, the latter being in an earlier phase of development, but very promising with respect to the demand for more sustainability in agriculture.},
  author       = {Lebuf, Viooltje and Accoe, Frederic and Van Elsacker, Sara and Vaneeckhaute, C{\'e}line and Michels, Evi and Meers, Erik and Ghekiere, Greet and Ryckaert, Bart},
  keyword      = {digestate,nutrient recovery,Bio-energy,renewable energy,biogas},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {26},
  publisher    = {INTERREG IV.B NWE ARBOR},
  title        = {Techniques for nutrient recovery from digestate: inventory},
  year         = {2013},
}