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Developing soil conditioners and fertilisers from digestate

I recently visited the Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University, which in partnership with Stopford Projects is working on a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) funded project seeking to facilitate resource recovery from biomass energy generation schemes such as anaerobic digestion (AD) and thermal conversion technologies (incineration, gasification and pyrolysis).

The project aims to develop a suite of novel soil conditioners and plant fertilisers derived from these waste streams that demonstrate an improved performance over traditional fertiliser products, thus enhancing their commercial value, and crucially their environmental benefits, through adopting a whole ecosystems services approach.

Obviously things are still in the early stages but the discussions at this workshop were promising with a clear focus from both the academics as well as industry partners that attended that a key outcome of this project should be a commercially viable product with a potential market.

As the project is still in the scoping stage the academic team leading on this are keen to bring together a broad network of interested partners – covering policy issues, operator issues, scientists and end users – to identify challenges relating to designing a product, performance and market acceptability, and to develop metrics to assess the impact of application of this material to land.

If you are interested in being involved in this project please contact Matt Riding at Lancaster Environment Centre by email or phone +44 (0)1524 510 214.

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