Developing circular economy solutions using algae to reduce agricultural nitrate pollution and develop feed products
9am to 5pm - 11th October 2017, Principality Stadium, Cardiff.
Tue 10th Oct
Food and farm waste is increasingly being converted via anaerobic digestion (AD) to biomethane which can be used as a source of energy. AD also produces a nutrient (nitrate and phosphate) rich digestate. Some of this can be returned to land as a biofertiliser. However, the amount of nutrient that can be returned to land is restricted according to the EC Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) and Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) legislation. And, farmers and the AD industry are under pressure to reduce pollution from agricultural sources of nitrate. Strict regulatory limits are being imposed hindering the viability and utilization of AD. The Welsh Government has recently undertaken a consultation of NVZs to address the reducing water pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources.
A solution to this problem is to use microalgae. Microalgae, are increasingly being researched and used globally to remediate nutrient waste and as a source of biomass, products and energy. Microalgae need a source of nutrients to grow and can therefore be used to remediate unwanted nutrient. AD digestate can therefore be used to provide a free source of these nutrients. The process is made circular by the use of the resultant microalgal biomass being used to generate feed products.
The workshop will bring together academics, business and policy stakeholders to spearhead a coordinated network across and out of Wales to promote awareness and research opportunities associated with the nutrient waste and increasing legislation on nitrate vulnerable zones and on the development of algae for animal and aquaculture feed products.
Speakers currently include:
Prof. Erik Meers, Ghent University
Tom Chaloner, Langage AD
Dr Bob Lovitt, Swansea University
Dr Andrew Davey, WRc