Digestate Management

How we can help?

Digestate management is a great within the whole anaerobic digestion industry, especially for waste-to-energy plants. At New AD we have devoted considerable resources to finding the solution to this potential issue and after a significant amount of research we have discovered a number of avenues for the digestate.
 
Utilising these avenues we can save AD operators a considerable amount of money, especially if they currently have no feasible destination for the digestate.

Industry Concerns

For waste plants, without the waste being source segregated it is inordinately difficult to be approved for PAS110 allowing the digestate to be spread on land as a fertilizer. This means that without the PAS110 certification its only current domestically viable destination in the quantities that the AD industry produces and is anticipated to produce is quantities is landfill.
 
With the constantly increasing landfill prices and rising haulage costs this has a significant effect on the profitability of the plant, even if a generous gate fee is obtained. Naturally, not all will need to go to landfill as farm based models utilise a proportion of this fertiliser however; in respect to the total amount produced this is not the solution to the problem.
 
Additionally, unless the destination for the digestate is relatively close to the plant, the transportation costs associated are far too high due to the quantities involved and the form of the product.
 
At New AD we focus upon being able to utilise the digestate in its natural form as the majority of plants do not have drying or pelletizing facilities and to ask all operators and developers to invest in additional equipment is unfeasible. Our methods can provide a cost effective solution to this problem and can alleviate significant problems for our customers and in the process make their plants more effective environmentally, and crucially, more profitable.

Applications

Digestate can be used as a replacement for mineral fertilisers, reducing costs to farmers and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from cultivation.
 
The utilisation of digestate is an area of great interest to a number of industries who wish to reduce their reliance upon expensive mineral and chemical fertilisers. What we look to do is find these industries and where possible to educate them about the potential of digestate as an alternative.
 
Organic-based fertilizers ensure natural release and determinant result effective use of nutrients (lower leaching rate). The supply of organic matter stimulates biological soil activity and improves soil structure. This ensures an excellent air and water balance, promoting root development and increasing resistance against drought and diseases.
 

Agriculture & Horticulture

Digestate, and in particular the solids part of the digestate has slowly been making its way into the horticultural market over the past few years. It has been used as a lightweight soil amendment, as well as a nursery media component to replace peat, coir and bark.
 

Liquid digestate is primarily being land applied onto farmland as a replacement to chemical fertilisation. This liquid contains substantial amounts of ammonia-based nitrogen, which allows for fast vegetative growth.
 

Sports Turf

The sports turf industry is one of the most demanding customers in the fertiliser industry. As a consequence a number of investigations into the use of digestate as an alternative.
 
With respect to turf on golf courses, current studies demonstrated that for the fairway and green turf types, the liquid digestate produced a greater grass response following application where the treatments were soil injected. The treatment plots where liquid digestate was injected resulted in a comparable grass response rate as seen in the application of chemical fertiliser.
 
Initial indicative cost analysis indicates that for an equally effective turf fertiliser, the liquid digestate offers a cheaper alternative to the industry standard inorganic chemical based product.

For more information on digestate management please contact our procurement team