From value chain to value loop with… – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

Squander is only squander if you are unable to place it to fantastic use! EU-funded

Squander is only squander if you are unable to place it to fantastic use! EU-funded scientists have produced a circular price chain deriving earnings sustainably from damp straw, biogas digestate and related residues, via products this sort of as fertiliser, gas pellets and mushroom substrate – and boosting electrical power era in the approach.


Photo

© gerasimov174 #262946677, supply:stock.adobe.com 2020

The EU-funded circular financial state task MUBIC centered on the transformation of minimal-price agricultural squander into significant-price products – 1 of which is applied to expand mushrooms, whose cultivation the partners established out to revolutionise.

Far more particularly, this products is a new variety of mushroom substrate, the product on which the mushrooms are grown. ‘Along with other outputs, this sort of as gas pellets, fertiliser, and pre-handled feedstock for more quickly biogas creation, the approach shaped in MUBIC also provides substantial sustainability gains,’ suggests task coordinator Peter Damgaard Nielsen of Danish SME State-of-the-art Substrate Technologies (AST).

It notably improves the biogas produce from agricultural wastes like straw or horse bedding by about 30 %, through the prior slicing and grinding of this biomass. The potential to approach damp straw, meadow grass and related product is a specific in addition issue: the MUBIC approach for these demanding varieties of feedstock also involves pretreatment with nitrogen to break down the lignin in the stalks, Nielsen points out.

Financially rewarding, circular, eco-friendly

‘Using this approach, you get more biogas and you get it more quickly, since the micro organism in the biogas plant can also use the lignin as feed,’ suggests Nielsen. The nitrogen applied for this pre-treatment is recovered from the biogas plant, through the treatment of the digestate – the residues of the feedstock.

The nitrogen is extracted from the digestate in facilities built as annexes to the biogas vegetation themselves. As of July 2020, functions have begun at the to start with this sort of add-on plant built as a industrial facility, in accordance to Nielsen.

In the MUBIC product, the digestate may possibly, in simple fact, have started out as biomass supplied by the partners. ‘Our lorries get feedstock to the biogas plant and digestate back to the add-on plant, wherever we dry it,’ Nielsen carries on.

The handled digestate is then transformed into a assortment of products. Together with the mushroom substrate, these outputs involve gas pellets that are appreciably more sustainable than competing products since they are derived from a variety of squander and since this squander is a residue of domestically sourced biomass.

The MUBIC approach provides a pelletised substrate whose dry matter information, at 85 %, is significantly higher than that of standard substrates, which typically normal about 30 %. Therefore, MUBIC substrate presents far more mushroom feed for every cubic metre than competing products, Nielsen points out. Owing to its significant dry-matter information, it can be saved and does not involve cooling in the course of transportation about extended distances – contrary to standard substrates, which may possibly start out to rot.

MUBIC’s substrate enhances one more innovation produced in the task: a process by which mushrooms grown on trays move earlier pickers on a conveyor belt, as opposed to pickers obtaining to move through the cabinets in mushroom farms. This specific innovation was perfected by Dutch SME Panbo Methods, the second partner involved in the task, as a way to decrease harvesting expenses.

Rooted in damp straw

MUBIC, which ended in January 2020, was funded via a Horizon 2020 programme particularly built to help SMEs get ready their innovations for commercialisation. With no this guidance, the straw-to-substrate concept would have been shelved, suggests Nielsen, who emphasises that the funding enabled the partners to convey their plan to daily life.

AST had initially deemed advertising full add-on vegetation, but ultimately decided to aim on the products created through the approach alternatively: earnings is created at many techniques, from raw product that is mainly obtainable for no cost.

Put in substrate from mushroom creation is 1 this sort of residue, and a best illustration of the proposed circular method. In MUBIC, it is recovered as feedstock for the creation of biogas, and the digestate still left about from this approach is applied to make clean substrate.

Equally the new mushroom cultivation process and the various products from MUBIC’s circular price chain have been fulfilled with fascination, with new partnerships enabling the task partners to get these developments forward, Nielsen concludes.