Use of process residues as fertilizer

One of the key points of biomass crops as feedstock is to reduce the energy needed for their production as well as the related GHG emissions. Both challenges can be partly met by reducing mineral fertilizer inputs. The use of process residues from biomass pre-treatment and conversion processes provide an opportunity to substitute chemical fertilizers. The use of residues (harvest residues, process residues, etc.) throughout the whole logistics chain is of primary importance in order to improve the overall sustainability of the logistics chain. Therefore, this task aims at analysing a second innovative crop management: the use of Torwash residues and another residual stream from horticultural production as fertilizer to substitute non-renewable inputs.

During this task, the efficiency of the use of Torwash residues and waste water from hydroponic tomato production as fertiliser will be analysed as well as the impacts of new fertilisers’ use in the logistics chain: how to transport the residues from the pre-treatment plants or greenhouses to the fields, how to spread it (fertigation system and dilution rate), what risk in terms of soil properties alteration, drainage water contamination, etc. Through a reduction of chemical inputs (fertilisers), this innovation will also have impacts on the overall sustainability of the logistics chain (decrease of environmental impacts and input costs).