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Revised anaerobic digestate quality protocol launched

The Quality Protocol (QP) for anaerobic digestate has been updated to clarify acceptable input materials.

Digestate is a nutrient-rich co-product of anaerobic digestion (AD) that can be used as an organic ‘biofertiliser’.

The Environment Agency worked with support from WRAP and industry representatives to revise the end of waste QP.

Major changes include:

  • removal of the requirement for land managers using digestate to maintain records for the QP
  • clarification of acceptable inputs and associated codes
  • tanning liquor and sludges from leather production have been removed from acceptable inputs
  • inclusion of a good practice section covering storage, handling and use of digestate

The QP is applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on 10 April 2014, with a transition period of two months.

The QP will be hosted on the Biofertiliser Certification Scheme website which is operated by REAL, a subsidiary company for the Renewable Energy Association (REA).

REA head of biogas David Collins said: “Building market confidence in AD outputs, including digestate, can have a real positive impact on the economics of biogas, so this regulatory boost is timely indeed.”

REAL Certification Manager Ciaran Burns said: “The UK has the only national end-of-waste regulatory framework in Europe.   

“Along with the forthcoming update to the PAS110, these updates will provide clarity on the regulations for digestate producers and further build confidence in the market for biofertiliser.”

He added: “This will increase the value of digestate products and boost the overall economics of AD as a source of renewable biogas.”

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