The Interreg NWE ReNu2Farm project aims at increasing the recycling rates of plant nutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). P and K are limited and finite resources, and production of N fertilisers is energy intensive. Despite a number of recovery technologies been at a mature stage, the use of recycling-derived fertiliser (RDF) products by farmers has been limited to date. The aim of ReNu2Farm is to put the farming community at the heart of the research, therefore stakeholder engagement is essential to the success of this project. As part of this stakeholder engagement, the ReNu2Farm team was involved with the anaerobic digestion and digestate demonstration, which took place on March 12th in Cork, Ireland.
The anaerobic digestion demonstration was co-hosted by Agrigen Ltd. and NRGE Consultants in Cork, Ireland. The demonstration was open to the farming and local community alike. The demonstration showcased the new anaerobic digestion facility, which has just completed the commissioning phase. The anaerobic digester is a 1MW facility and accepts pig slurry and other agri-food business waste. The facility accepts waste from a verity of sources, including a local yogurt factory, a butter factory, a cheese factory and wastewater sludge from a local slaughtering facility. By taking this agri-food waste from local companies, it in turn is supporting the local economy. To complete the circular economy, the final step in the process is the use of the digestate. The digestate at this facility is treated to a very high standard and undergoes a pasteurisation process for a minimum of 1 hr at 70 oC, as required by the Department of Agriculture in the Republic of Ireland. The digestate is produced to a high standard and is therefore a valuable fertiliser for the farming community. It has a known NPK ratio and therefore it can fit into a nutrient management plan.