Project Proposal DIGEST-AID
Developing, testing and demonstrating high-quality bio-fertilizers from digestate from decentralized small-scale digesters
There is a growing awareness of the need to have a more circular, resource-efficient agro-food sector, which at the same time produces adequate amounts of safe and nutritious food for an increasing global population. This awareness arises from the fact that primary resources (e.g., land, freshwater, fossil energy, phosphorus) are finite and often scarce, and that the current global agro-food sector has an enormous environmental impact. The concept of a circular, resource-efficient agro-food sector aims at reducing the use of primary resources and emissions to the environment through recycling and cascading of materials and residues.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) of organic wastes and by-products fits within the concept of a more circular, resource-efficient agro-food sector. The process produces biogas, which can be used to replace fossil energy. It creates economic value to wastes and by-products and decreases the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). AD also produces digestate as a by-product. The amounts of biogas produced and the quality of the digestate depend on the substrates composition and operation conditions of the digesters.
DIGEST-AID wants to achieve the following objectives:
DIGEST-AID addresses the challenges and demands related to the call for CE-SFS-39-2019 "High-quality organic fertilizers from digestate biogas plants". This call emphasizes co-operation between the EU and China, following the agreement between the European Commission and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences on research and cooperation in the field of innovation in food, agriculture, and biotechnology.
The DIGEST-AID consortium includes a multidisciplinary team consisting of representatives of research institutes and universities, agribusinesses and non-profit organizations across the EU and China. The consortium is a proof of very strong links between leading research institutions in both continental regions. The anticipated shared experience and sharing of technical knowledge will contribute to improved understanding and research of the cycle of production, processing, and commercialization of bio-fertilizers.