The aim of this project is to research and publish an annotated bibliography to summarise and signpost existing research on the characteristics and use of different digestates in the UK.
With the increase in processing of organic materials via Anaerobic Digestion (AD), WRAP is working to fully understand and evaluate the opportunities and markets available for the resulting digestates. This will ensure that each digestate market sector has the necessary evidence and understanding of benefits to make informed decisions on selecting the most appropriate organic-based materials for their individual needs.
The Government’s Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan focused on removing the barriers to increasing the energy from waste produced from AD. This was based on the recognition that AD is the best technology currently available for treating source-segregated food waste in particular. One of the barriers identified in the Strategy was the need for markets for the quality digestate produced from such plants.
Other types of digestate include those that arise from the anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge (biosolids) and mechanically-sorted biodegradable wastes (as part of an MBT-AD process), where the outputs are often separated into a solid fraction described as CLO (compost-like output).
The aim of this project is to address Action KUD 1.2 (from the AD Strategy and Action Plan): To obtain and publish empirical evidence from the UK for the benefits of different kinds of digestate in different markets such as landscape and regeneration or horticulture. This is expected to be achieved through the publication of an annotated bibliography (or similar structured approach) that effectively summarizes and signposts existing research on the characteristics and use of different digestates in the UK. This project will not require further evidence gathering, but is expected to highlight gaps where further evidence could be beneficial to support market development.