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AD digestate trials look to wider use

A series of trials is underway to try to establish new markets for the use of digestate, the by-product of the anaerobic digestion (AD) process.

The research is funded by WRAP with the aim of assessing how far digestate could be used as a bio-fertiliser or as a source of nutrients in the landscape and regeneration sectors.

Trials include:

  • Sports turf and turf production - the use of the liquid fraction of digestate as a bio-fertiliser on sports turf such as golf course fairways, football pitches and in commercial turf production.
  • Energy crop trials - using digestate to establish energy crops such as miscanthus and reed canary grass on brownfield sites across England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Soil improvement and soil manufacture - assesing whether digestate can be blended with other materials for amenity grassland, sports fields, allotments and woodland.

WRAP head of organics and energy-from-waste Ian Wardle said it was important to find new markets for the nutrient-rich product.

“Along with agriculture, the landscape and regeneration sectors are significant potential markets for digestate. These trials will provide evidence to support the use of digestate in landscape and regeneration applications, giving users the information and confidence they need to consider using the material in the future.” 

The two-year trials will run until March 2014 but interim results will be published in 2013.

Further information on the trials.

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