FO2 Enhancing the value of digestate
Digestate (all material that remains after biogas production) has a great value for agriculture as an organic fertilizer. Nevertheless, the management of the nutrient-rich digestate is still a major economic challenge for the biogas industry, and a significant part of the total costs of biogas production. Emissions of methane from the storage of digestate can also impair the climate performance of biogas plants, and the spread of plastics, trace metals and disease-causing organisms are potential problems. At the same time, biogas plants can contribute to the redistribution of organic nutrients to agricultural areas where a high proportion of imported mineral fertilizers are used today, and thus contribute to a more sustainable and less import-dependent agriculture.
With this as a background, the research in the area of FO2 is focused on both systems, technology evaluation and process and technology research, where the latter is clearly coordinated with the research in FO1 (Figure 1). The technology evaluation takes place in collaboration with BRC's partners. Dewatering, polymer use and nutrient separation via various process steps for improved utilization of nutrients in digestate are an important part of this research area. Alternative process paths and products from the digestate that involve system integration with other sectors are also included. New solutions are evaluated in a broad system perspective.
The research area's main actors and customers are technology suppliers and plant owners, as well as those who mediate / refine and use the digestate as biofertilizer or in other functions in horticulture, agriculture, forestry and industrial applications.
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