The second project to be commissioned by the Research Hub is titled 'To develop a 'data pack' on the properties, characteristics, and content of digestate that will provide context for the development of new uses of outputs from Anaerobic Digesters'. The project commenced in May '21, and will be carried out over a period of approx. six months, completing in November '21.
Following a competitive tender period, the contract for the project work was awarded to Solidsense Ltd. Solidsense are subcontracting Aqua Enviro and Cambridge Eco Ltd to assist with elements of the work. The three organisations form a Consortium.
Motivation(s) for the research being undertaken:
- Plans to increase the recovery of household food waste in England and Wales will lead to increased feedstock for the anaerobic digestion process, and in turn an increase in the production of digestate
- Currently, the majority of digestate in the U.K. is applied directly to agricultural land; however, there are limits on the land available and restrictions on application timings and quantities
- The project is designed to investigate alternative markets for digestates and technologies to develop new products from digestates
The project will build on the work of the first project of the Research Hub, and will consist of three phases:
- ‘Data pack’ on digestate characteristics - This will include analysis of data from the BCS database and other databases/sources on key digestate characteristics (positive and negative). E.g. Macronutrient content (N, P, K), dry matter content and physical contaminants. The results will be analysed and compiled in a ‘data pack’ document for direct use by BCS participants and key stakeholder
- Identifying alternative digestate uses - To understand the landscape of digestate-derived products and other alternative digestate uses, a Rapid Evidence Assessment of technologies will be conducted. The TRL of a number of technologies for further processing digestate will be considered as well as End of Waste rules and regulatory controls. A structured survey will be undertaken with stakeholders, focussing on understanding whether they are aware of, have implemented or are interested in implementing the specific digestate valorisation options identified
- Roadmap to market - This work package will overlay the identified options onto the UK regulatory and financial landscape to understand which options are most commercially promising to market
The total cost of the second project of the Research Hub is £57,910.
The Project Brief for the second project of the Hub, which surmises the research and provides justification for its selection, can be found here.
More details on the second project of the Research Hub to follow.