Green fertilizer upcycling from manure: Technological, economic and environmental sustainability demonstration (ManureEcoMine)

About

Date: 2013 - 2016

Funding source: European Commission FP7 Specific Programme "Cooperation: Food, Agriculture & Biotechnology"

Project title: Green fertilizer upcycling from manure: Technological, economic and environmental sustainability demonstration (ManureEcoMine)

Website: https://www.manureecomine.ugent.be/project-concept

Project summary

European pigs and cows jointly produce about 1.27 billion tonnes of manure per year, a largely unexploited resource of organic carbon and nutrients, and therefore an exquisite 'mining' opportunity. ManureEcoMine proposed an integrated approach to the treatment and reuse of animal husbandry waste in nitrate vulnerable and sensitive areas and beyond. The project innovated by applying the eco-innovative principles of sustainability, resource recovery and energy efficiency. Technologies of proven efficacy in the wastewater treatment field were combined in several process configurations to demonstrate their technological and environmental potential at pilot scale for cow and pig manure. Anaerobic digestion (mesophilic/thermophilic), ammonia stripping, struvite precipitation and partial nitritation/anammox will be key technologies. To render the cradle-to-cradle approach complete, the fertilizer and potential trace contaminants effects of recovered nutrients on plant growth and soil health and emissions were established, and safety will be managed. Life cycle analyses determined the sustainability of the concept as such and identify the most environmentally friendly technology and most effective and safe reuse strategy. Finally, the boundaries of economic viability were determined.