Programme area: Europe, digestate valorization
Project coordinator: BIOGAS-E, Bélgica, Jonathan de Mey (, Tel: +32 (0)56 24 12 63
Partners: AINIA (Spain), Detricon (Belgium), Biogas-E (Belgium), University of Turin (Italy), SATA (Italy)
Keywords: Digestate, fertilizers, Drying
Type of solution: Recycling and upgrading process of anaerobic digestion effluent (digestate
Duration:  01/09/2013 – 31/08/2016
Budget: 1 076 416 € (EU contribution: 50 %)
Contract number: ECO/12/332882


Although biogas production is efficient at reducing agricultural emission by converting the biomass into electricity and thermal energy (cogeneration), or biomethane, its major weakness is that it produces a digestate with high a concentration of nutrients (N, P, K) and the volume is around 90-95% of what was fed into the digester. This means that large agricultural areas are required for the application of the fermentation residues (because of nitrates regulation), which often results in long transport routes.

In this project we set out to bring together all stakeholders for the installation of a new process to minimize spreading digestate flows and to economically valorize the minerals (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, among others). By using digestate instead of synthetic fertilizers, it is possible to save energy, limit consumption of fossil fuels and reduce our carbon footprint.

DETRICON, a Belgian SME, is proposing innovative low-cost solutions to produce green fertilizers with stripping technology and an optional module of solar drying. These nutrient recovery technologies will allow for solutions adapted to the farmers needs in terms of capacity, available spreading surface and treatment costs.

In the current context of worrying pollution of water and soil in many parts of Europe, the DIGESMART project will allow farmers to transform their waste into energy and fertilizer. DIGESMART solution aims to reduce the environmental impact of European farms by facilitating the market uptake of innovative solutions for the treatment, recycling and valorization of digestate.

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Co-funded by the Eco-innovation Initiative of the European Union