April 21, 2024


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

Waste is only squander if you are not able to set it to very good use! EU-funded scientists have designed a circular worth chain deriving revenue sustainably from damp straw, biogas digestate and comparable residues, by way of merchandise this kind of as fertiliser, gas pellets and mushroom substrate – and boosting electrical power era in the system.


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

The EU-funded circular overall economy task MUBIC targeted on the transformation of reduced-worth agricultural squander into higher-worth products – just one of which is applied to expand mushrooms, whose cultivation the companions established out to revolutionise.

More specially, this solution is a new form of mushroom substrate, the content on which the mushrooms are grown. ‘Along with other outputs, this kind of as gas pellets, fertiliser, and pre-dealt with feedstock for quicker biogas output, the system shaped in MUBIC also delivers substantial sustainability gains,’ says task coordinator Peter Damgaard Nielsen of Danish SME Innovative Substrate Technologies (AST).

It notably will increase the biogas generate from agricultural wastes like straw or horse bedding by about thirty %, as a result of the prior slicing and grinding of this biomass. The capacity to system damp straw, meadow grass and comparable content is a distinct as well as point: the MUBIC system for these tough sorts of feedstock also will involve pretreatment with nitrogen to split down the lignin in the stalks, Nielsen explains.

Worthwhile, circular, eco-friendly

‘Using this system, you get more biogas and you get it quicker, for the reason that the germs in the biogas plant can also use the lignin as feed,’ says Nielsen. The nitrogen applied for this pre-procedure is recovered from the biogas plant, as a result of the procedure of the digestate – the residues of the feedstock.

The nitrogen is extracted from the digestate in amenities designed as annexes to the biogas vegetation them selves. As of July 2020, functions have begun at the initially this kind of include-on plant designed as a business facility, in accordance to Nielsen.

In the MUBIC model, the digestate might, in truth, have begun out as biomass equipped by the companions. ‘Our lorries consider feedstock to the biogas plant and digestate back to the include-on plant, in which we dry it,’ Nielsen carries on.

The dealt with digestate is then transformed into a wide variety of merchandise. Together with the mushroom substrate, these outputs consist of gas pellets that are noticeably more sustainable than competing merchandise for the reason that they are derived from a form of squander and for the reason that this squander is a residue of locally sourced biomass.

The MUBIC system delivers a pelletised substrate whose dry subject written content, at 85 %, is substantially greater than that of typical substrates, which normally common about 30 %. Thus, MUBIC substrate gives significantly more mushroom feed per cubic metre than competing merchandise, Nielsen explains. Due to its higher dry-subject written content, it can be saved and does not call for cooling in the course of transportation in excess of more time distances – as opposed to typical substrates, which might get started to rot.

MUBIC’s substrate enhances a further innovation designed in the task: a process by which mushrooms grown on trays move past pickers on a conveyor belt, as opposed to pickers obtaining to move as a result of the shelves in mushroom farms. This distinct innovation was perfected by Dutch SME Panbo Methods, the second spouse included in the task, as a way to lessen harvesting prices.

Rooted in damp straw

MUBIC, which ended in January 2020, was funded by way of a Horizon 2020 programme specially designed to support SMEs get ready their improvements for commercialisation. Devoid of this assistance, the straw-to-substrate notion would have been shelved, says Nielsen, who emphasises that the funding enabled the companions to carry their plan to life.

AST experienced originally regarded advertising whole include-on vegetation, but finally determined to concentration on the merchandise produced in the course of the system as an alternative: revenue is produced at several methods, from raw content that is mainly readily available for cost-free.

Used substrate from mushroom output is just one this kind of residue, and a fantastic instance of the proposed circular method. In MUBIC, it is recovered as feedstock for the output of biogas, and the digestate still left in excess of from this system is applied to make refreshing substrate.

Each the new mushroom cultivation process and the a variety of merchandise from MUBIC’s circular worth chain have been achieved with fascination, with new partnerships enabling the task companions to consider these developments forward, Nielsen concludes.