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High Added Value Ecofertilizers from Anaerobic Digestion Effluent Wastes (WAVALUE)

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Digestate is the fermented organic matter that comes out of the biogas plants. Normally, its spread by the biogas operators in the agricultural fields near the biogas plants, using tanker trucks and big storage ponds. But, besides its good agronomic properties, the digestate management is typically a cost for the biogas plant operators, and a serious limiting factor for new biogas projects. WAVALUE PROJECT has demonstrated a semi-industrial scale process (located in Arkaute, Spain) where digestate is first mixed with other organic wastes and/or other fertilizers to balance its NPK value, and then, the mixture is granulated in a spouted bed dryer. The resulting granules are tailored commercial fertilizers, that have been commercialy and agronomcaly tested with success. Economic sinergies between biogas production, digestate treatment and digestate granulation have been analyzed, showing that fertilizer production based in this process can increase the profitability of biogas projects. Life cycle analysis have shown that fertilizers made with WAVALUE Process save more than 50% CO2 equivalent emissions, compared to the equivalent mineral fertilizers. www.wavalueproject.eu

Benefits

A way to convert digestate into high added value fertilizers, will benefit biogas plant operators and organic waste managers.Transforming digestate into easily transportable fertilizers, will benefit the environment in areas where the agrifood waste is excesive regarding the agricultural land.Producing commercial fertilizers from digestate, benefits the sustainability of agriculture, as mineral fertilizers are actually fossil fuel dependent and/or based in non renewable resources.  
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Results

A semi-industrial 100 kW thermal capacity plant is been designed, built and operated, that involves the dosing/mixing of digestate with other materials, and the granulation in a spouted bed dryer.8 new fertilizers have been developed and produced, based in digestate, and the by-products of its treatment. 4 of them have been agronomically tested, showing better performance than the equivalent mineral fertilizer treatments.A technical and economical calculation tool, to deeply analyze the feasibility of any biogas production-digestate treatment-digestate granulation project.A business strategy to implement the developped solution allong the EU.   
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EKONEK Inovacion en Valorizacion de Subproductos S.L.
Calle Arturo Campion 31
20303 Irun País Vasco
Spain
Contact point: 
Name: 
Aritz Lecuona

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In brief

Sector:
Water
Duration:
01/07/2012 to 31/12/2014
Contract number: 
ECO/11/304435

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