In the ReFARM project, a novel concept for manure processing is demonstrated at a farm in Grijpskerk, the Netherlands. ReFARM combines mechanical separation, anaerobic digestion and biocrystallization. The anaerobic reactor is designed an operated such that a rich calcium phosphate fraction can be recovered from the bottom and an ammonium and potassium rich fraction from the top.
The project builds on research at Wetsus on anaerobic calcium phosphate biocrystallization. The project will complement the research in the Wetsus research theme Soil. ReFARM is part of EIT Climate-KIC.
- ReFARM concept reaches TRL 7
- Renewable biogas produced during anaerobic digestion replaces non-renewable natural gas
- Remaining fraction returned to the land after manure treatment contains less easily degradable organics, resulting in reduced CO2 emissions from soilion returned to the land after manure treatment contains less easily degradable organics, resulting in reduced CO2 emissions from soil
- Fraction retuned to the land contains less excess nitrogen and phosphorus, resulting in reduced emissions to the environment
- Recovered nitrogen and phosphorus reduce need for phosphorous rock imports and energy-intensive nitrogen fixation (Haber Bosch).
European agriculture currently depends heavily on mineral fertilizers produced from imported ore and energy-intensive processes like Haber Bosch. At the same time, there are carbon, nitrogen and phosphate emission from manure applied on the land, related to local surplus. Wetsus and EIT-Climate KIC aim to mitigate this by enabling circularity in agriculture by upscaling a process in which biogas, minerals and stable organics are recovered from manure for reuse.
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