LIFE-OPTIMAL2012 - OPTImised nutrients MAnagement from Livestock production in Alto Adige

LIFE12 ENV/IT/000671

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Helmut DHOLER

Project description:


Spreading of manure on land is a main source of ammonia emissions in the atmosphere. This issue is addressed by Directive 2001/81/EC (“National Emissions Ceiling for certain pollutants” - NEC Directive), which aims to ensure greater protection of the environment and human health from the harmful effects caused by the phenomena of acidification, eutrophication and formation of ozone at ground level.

Following the introduction of the Nitrates Directive (Directive 91/676/EEC), the disposal of manure became an economic challenge for farmers as the amount of waste produced is often greater than the limit allowed by the Directive for its distribution on the land. Hence farmers now have to find economically viable ways of disposing of their excess manure.


The LIFE-OPTIMAL2012 project aims to demonstrate an innovative approach for managing manure produced by livestock farming. The approach will be based on:

  • Minimising regional nutrient surpluses caused by intensive dairy cattle rearing and agricultural land shortages;
  • Producing natural, high quality forms of both solid and liquid fertiliser to be used in vineyards and orchard growing areas; and Reducing land abandonment pressures among livestock farmers in upland areas.
  • These objectives will be achieved by actions focused on:

  • Implementing an environmentally sound system for the treatment of solid and liquid manure from an anaerobic digestion plant;
  • Reducing the nitrogen/nitrates load per hectare of agricultural land;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by replacing industrial fertiliser with organic-mineral fertiliser in vineyards and orchards; and
  • Decreasing emissions of ammonia.
  • The transformation of NH3 in manure to high quality liquid fertiliser and the development of a high precision and low emission spreading system for digestate, will improve farmers’ ability to comply with the NEC Directive.

    Expected results: General results anticipated from the project include:

  • A 50% reduction in the nutrient load in the target area;
  • An increase in the quality and variety of eco-friendly fertilisers available to South Tyrolean farmers (Considering the 30 500 tonnes of digestate that are handled annually, it should be possible to produce 2 250 tonnes of solid and 130 tonnes of liquid fertilisers); and
  • Maintaining farm incomes for the project’s target group of mountain holdings.

Specific results relate to the setting up and proper functioning of the demonstration plant and decreasing of nitrate loads equal to 50 kg per LU per year, as well as decreasing ammonia and related greenhouse gas emissions.



Environmental issues addressed:


Waste - Agricultural waste
Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry


manure‚  agricultural waste‚  animal husbandry‚  waste treatment

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Biogas Wipptal s.r.l.
Type of organisation SME Small and medium sized enterprise
Description Biogas Wipptal s.r.l. is a quasi-private organisation representing a group of 48 dairy farms from Italy’s Isarco Upper Valley. The organisation has taken a proactive role since 2004 in identifying solutions for tackling challenges associated with sustainable approaches to manure management.
Partners Cantina Tramin-Società Agricola Cooperativa, Italy N-Free Service s.r.l.,Italy Libera Università di Bolzano, Italy Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy Zunhammer GmbH, Germany


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/IT/000671
Duration 01-JUL-2013 to 31-DEC -2018
Total budget 5,189,977.00 €
EU contribution 1,920,120.00 €
Project location Trentino-Alto Adige(Italia)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Slides Presentation "Innovative Manure Treatment Plant in Northern Ita ...


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version