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Lancaster Environment Centre

Address
Lancaster University Lancaster
LA1 4YQ
Tel
01524 10214
Website
www.lancaster.ac.uk

Primary Category

Universities, Colleges or Research Institutes

Products & Services

Lancaster Environment Centre is running a NERC funded project seeking to develop a suite of novel soil conditioners and plant fertilisers from the waste streams originating from biomass energy generation.

Commercial scale energy generation from biomass, using anaerobic digestion and gasification technology is a rapidly growing sector, forecast to generate 15% of the UK’s energy demand by 2020. As a result, a significant mass of process waste streams are being generated, estimated at 3M tonnes of anaerobic digestate waste, with a further 0.5M tonnes of ash being produced per annum in the UK (WRAP, 2011). With rising pressures on environmental resources, rising landfill taxes and accompanying waste-minimisation legislation, alternative options for waste reuse are increasingly being sought.

Previous studies have demonstrated that biomass-ash and digestate can be useful nutrient sources for crop plants in nutrient limited conditions.Combined mixtures of ash and digestate may therefore be regarded as sustainable and effective nutrient providers and soil conditioners.

Our land conditioning products aim to deliver:

  • Diversion of waste derived from bio-energy generation from landfill
  • Provide a market for bio-energy by-products, which will increase the viability of bio-energy schemes
  • Enable the recovery of resources from waste
  • Address issues relating to resource scarcity in relation to macro- and micro-nutrients
  • Relieve the pressure on extraction of virgin minerals for fertilizer production
  • Provide a source of organic matter to soils, improving soil structure
  • Facilitating carbon sequestration
  • Develop a sustainable and low-cost alternative to mineral based land conditioners, which in turn will promote improved food security and competitive food pricing

We are looking to engage with strategic industry partners, and operating both academically and commercially throughout the energy from biomass and agrochemical space.

If you are interested in being involved in this project or would like more information, please get in touch via the details at the top of the page.

Overview

The Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) is the largest single academic department within Lancaster University and spans the physical, biological and social environmental sciences. A total of £35M in capital investment since 2004 has provided LEC with state-of-the-art controlled environment facilities, specialised laboratories and cutting-edge equipment to allow integrative studies of terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric systems.

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