Land Conditioners from Bio-Energy Residues
Developing sustainable soil conditioners and plant fertilisers from the waste streams of anaerobic digestion and biomass thermal conversion
Lancaster Environment Centre, in partnership with Stopford Projects Ltd., is running a NERC funded Resource Recovery from Waste project, seeking to optimise both the environmental and economic value of waste streams derived from biomass energy generation such as anaerobic digestion (AD) and thermal conversion technologies (incineration, gasification and pyrolysis).
Sustainable forms of energy generation using biomass are rapidly growing. The dominant disposal route for ash from gasification plants is to ash lagoons and landfill; whilst digestates, derived from AD, are typically disposed of to land at no cost. However, with rising pressures on environmental resources, rising landfill taxes and accompanying waste-minimisation legislation, alternative options for waste reuse are increasingly being sought.
It is hypothesised that a combination of ash and digestate may be regarded as comprehensive nutrient provider and soil conditioner. On this basis, our primary aim is to develop a suite of soil conditioners and fertilisers derived from mixtures of these waste streams for use within agriculture, with enhanced environmental value relative to presently available commercial products, while maintaining the same level of efficacy with regards to crop yield and health. The environmental benefits will be evaluated, not only from the formation of a closed-loop, circular economy, but also the holistic impact of such a product on broader ecosystems and the services they provide.
To be kept up-to-date with project developments with a monthly newsletter, or to enquire about potential collaborative opportunities, please contact Matt Riding or on 01524 510214