July 13, 2024

Paull Ank Ford

Business Think different

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

Squander is only squander if you are not able to place it to superior use! EU-funded scientists have made a circular price chain deriving earnings sustainably from damp straw, biogas digestate and identical residues, by means of products these types of as fertiliser, fuel pellets and mushroom substrate – and boosting power generation in the system.


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

The EU-funded circular economy job MUBIC focused on the transformation of minimal-price agricultural squander into substantial-price products – a single of which is used to expand mushrooms, whose cultivation the partners set out to revolutionise.

Additional particularly, this item is a new sort of mushroom substrate, the substance on which the mushrooms are developed. ‘Along with other outputs, these types of as fuel pellets, fertiliser, and pre-taken care of feedstock for a lot quicker biogas creation, the system formed in MUBIC also delivers substantial sustainability gains,’ claims job coordinator Peter Damgaard Nielsen of Danish SME Superior Substrate Systems (AST).

It notably boosts the biogas produce from agricultural wastes like straw or horse bedding by about 30 %, via the prior slicing and grinding of this biomass. The ability to system damp straw, meadow grass and identical substance is a certain additionally place: the MUBIC system for these challenging varieties of feedstock also consists of pretreatment with nitrogen to split down the lignin in the stalks, Nielsen points out.

Financially rewarding, circular, green

‘Using this system, you get much more biogas and you get it a lot quicker, mainly because the microbes in the biogas plant can also use the lignin as feed,’ claims Nielsen. The nitrogen used for this pre-therapy is recovered from the biogas plant, via the therapy of the digestate – the residues of the feedstock.

The nitrogen is extracted from the digestate in services made as annexes to the biogas plants on their own. As of July 2020, functions have started at the 1st these types of incorporate-on plant made as a professional facility, according to Nielsen.

In the MUBIC design, the digestate could possibly, in fact, have begun out as biomass equipped by the partners. ‘Our lorries take feedstock to the biogas plant and digestate back to the incorporate-on plant, where we dry it,’ Nielsen carries on.

The taken care of digestate is then converted into a assortment of products. Alongside with the mushroom substrate, these outputs contain fuel pellets that are noticeably much more sustainable than competing products mainly because they are derived from a sort of squander and mainly because this squander is a residue of domestically sourced biomass.

The MUBIC system delivers a pelletised substrate whose dry make any difference articles, at 85 %, is significantly bigger than that of conventional substrates, which ordinarily common about 30 %. Hence, MUBIC substrate offers significantly much more mushroom feed for every cubic metre than competing products, Nielsen points out. Because of to its substantial dry-make any difference articles, it can be stored and does not involve cooling all through transport about more time distances – contrary to conventional substrates, which could possibly get started to rot.

MUBIC’s substrate enhances another innovation made in the job: a technique by which mushrooms developed on trays shift past pickers on a conveyor belt, as opposed to pickers acquiring to shift via the cabinets in mushroom farms. This certain innovation was perfected by Dutch SME Panbo Methods, the 2nd associate associated in the job, as a way to cut down harvesting prices.

Rooted in damp straw

MUBIC, which ended in January 2020, was funded by means of a Horizon 2020 programme particularly made to assistance SMEs prepare their innovations for commercialisation. Without having this aid, the straw-to-substrate strategy would have been shelved, claims Nielsen, who emphasises that the funding enabled the partners to bring their concept to daily life.

AST experienced originally considered promoting overall incorporate-on plants, but inevitably decided to focus on the products created in the course of the system as an alternative: earnings is created at a number of actions, from uncooked substance that is mainly readily available for no cost.

Expended substrate from mushroom creation is a single these types of residue, and a best instance of the proposed circular tactic. In MUBIC, it is recovered as feedstock for the creation of biogas, and the digestate remaining about from this system is used to make fresh substrate.

Both the new mushroom cultivation technique and the numerous products from MUBIC’s circular price chain have been fulfilled with fascination, with new partnerships enabling the job partners to take these developments ahead, Nielsen concludes.