Valuable Products from Manure: Technology Development for new market outlets outside agriculture

Manure is a rich and abundant source for all kinds of products, but is currently not used to its full potential for large part leading to costs for discharge instead of an additional income for farmers and companies. Several efforts are being done to upgrade manure as a fertilizer itself, leading to a more circular agriculture. In addition, there is a need to also use manure as a raw material for products outside the agriculture therewith finding outlets for the excess of manure and bringing additional value. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (WFBR) is looking for partners to co-develop technologies for the production of products from manure for use outside agriculture, based on the three key components of manure: the fibrous C fraction, and N and P fractions resulting in a total use of the raw material.

Why manure based products?

Both soil-bound and non-soil-bound agriculture must produce within the constraints of existing environmental regulations and has to operate in an ecologically neutral manner. Soil-bound agriculture is inextricably linked to the Netherlands because of the agro-ecological conditions present here, while non-soil-bound agriculture plays an important role in closing regional cycles by adding value to by-products from the food processing industry. The surplus of mineral rest streams that is created causes problems, but is ideally processed into intermediate products that can be used outside agriculture. Together with partners, we will develop the required technologies.

Product and technology development based on 3 fractions of manure

The project will develop technologies for the production of intermediate and end products from manure for use outside agriculture based on the three key fractions available: a) raw material for (fiber-rich) building materials, ceramics and biopolymer PHA (the organic C fraction). b) a phosphorus-rich intermediate from manure and digestate suitable for processing into phosphoric acid (the P fraction), and c) ammonia water from manure for use in industrial applications such as deNOX units (the N fraction).

This projects build on recent findings in adjacent projects as ‘Beter dan Vergisten’ and ‘Next Level Mestverwaarden’.

This will lead to concrete innovative value chains leading to sustainable products. This will offer new sources of income for both farmers and companies partnering in this project.

From Farm to Fossil Free Chemistry

We are looking for industrial partners from the whole value chain, from manure producing farms to intermediate processing industries, to co-develop this technology with us in a public private sponsored consortium. In return for your investment in this project you will get the opportunity to co-decide on the research agenda and you will get access to the research results for application in your field of use.