July 22, 2024


Make Every Business

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

Squander is only waste if you are not able to place it to great use! EU-funded researchers have formulated a circular value chain deriving money sustainably from soaked straw, biogas digestate and comparable residues, by means of merchandise such as fertiliser, gas pellets and mushroom substrate – and boosting power era in the approach.


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The EU-funded circular overall economy challenge MUBIC centered on the transformation of minimal-value agricultural waste into superior-value products – a single of which is utilised to improve mushrooms, whose cultivation the companions established out to revolutionise.

Additional specially, this product is a new form of mushroom substrate, the product on which the mushrooms are developed. ‘Along with other outputs, such as gas pellets, fertiliser, and pre-handled feedstock for faster biogas creation, the approach formed in MUBIC also provides sizeable sustainability gains,’ states challenge coordinator Peter Damgaard Nielsen of Danish SME State-of-the-art Substrate Systems (AST).

It notably boosts the biogas generate from agricultural wastes like straw or horse bedding by about 30 {79e59ee6e2f5cf570628ed7ac4055bef3419265de010b59461d891d43fac5627}, by way of the prior slicing and grinding of this biomass. The potential to approach soaked straw, meadow grass and comparable product is a unique in addition place: the MUBIC approach for these difficult forms of feedstock also consists of pretreatment with nitrogen to split down the lignin in the stalks, Nielsen describes.

Successful, circular, environmentally friendly

‘Using this approach, you get much more biogas and you get it faster, since the bacteria in the biogas plant can also use the lignin as feed,’ states Nielsen. The nitrogen utilised for this pre-procedure is recovered from the biogas plant, by way of the procedure of the digestate – the residues of the feedstock.

The nitrogen is extracted from the digestate in amenities made as annexes to the biogas crops on their own. As of July 2020, operations have started at the 1st such incorporate-on plant made as a professional facility, in accordance to Nielsen.

In the MUBIC design, the digestate may possibly, in point, have started out out as biomass equipped by the companions. ‘Our lorries consider feedstock to the biogas plant and digestate back to the incorporate-on plant, in which we dry it,’ Nielsen continues.

The handled digestate is then converted into a range of merchandise. Alongside with the mushroom substrate, these outputs involve gas pellets that are appreciably much more sustainable than competing merchandise since they are derived from a form of waste and since this waste is a residue of domestically sourced biomass.

The MUBIC approach provides a pelletised substrate whose dry issue information, at 85 {79e59ee6e2f5cf570628ed7ac4055bef3419265de010b59461d891d43fac5627}, is considerably greater than that of standard substrates, which typically typical about 30 {79e59ee6e2f5cf570628ed7ac4055bef3419265de010b59461d891d43fac5627}. As a result, MUBIC substrate delivers much much more mushroom feed for each cubic metre than competing merchandise, Nielsen describes. Due to its superior dry-issue information, it can be saved and does not need cooling for the duration of transportation about more time distances – contrary to standard substrates, which may possibly begin to rot.

MUBIC’s substrate complements another innovation formulated in the challenge: a system by which mushrooms developed on trays go past pickers on a conveyor belt, as opposed to pickers getting to go by way of the cabinets in mushroom farms. This unique innovation was perfected by Dutch SME Panbo Devices, the 2nd companion concerned in the challenge, as a way to lower harvesting costs.

Rooted in soaked straw

MUBIC, which ended in January 2020, was funded by means of a Horizon 2020 programme specially made to support SMEs get ready their innovations for commercialisation. Without the need of this assistance, the straw-to-substrate idea would have been shelved, states Nielsen, who emphasises that the funding enabled the companions to carry their thought to existence.

AST experienced originally regarded as advertising complete incorporate-on crops, but sooner or later resolved to focus on the merchandise generated during the approach rather: money is generated at many steps, from uncooked product that is mainly available for free.

Put in substrate from mushroom creation is a single such residue, and a ideal case in point of the proposed circular method. In MUBIC, it is recovered as feedstock for the creation of biogas, and the digestate remaining about from this approach is utilised to make refreshing substrate.

The two the new mushroom cultivation system and the several merchandise from MUBIC’s circular value chain have been met with desire, with new partnerships enabling the challenge companions to consider these developments ahead, Nielsen concludes.