Using microalgae in the circular economy to valorise anaerobic digestate: challenges and opportunities

Stiles, William A.V. and Styles, David and Chapman, Stephen P. and Esteves, Sandra and Bywater, Angela and Melville, L. and Silkina, Alla and Lupatsch, Ingrid and Grunewald, Claudio Fuentes and Lovitt, Robert and Chaloner, Tom and Bull, Andy and Morris, Chris and Llewellyn, Carole A. (2018) Using microalgae in the circular economy to valorise anaerobic digestate: challenges and opportunities. Bioresource Technology. ISSN 0960-8524

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Managing organic waste streams is a major challenge for the agricultural industry. Anaerobic digestion (AD) of organicwastes is a preferred option in the waste management hierarchy, as this processcangenerate renewableenergy, reduce emissions from wastestorage, andproduce fertiliser material.However, Nitrate Vulnerable Zone legislation and seasonal restrictions can limit the use of digestate on agricultural land. In this paper we demonstrate the potential of cultivating microalgae on digestate as a feedstock, either directlyafter dilution, or indirectlyfromeffluent remaining after biofertiliser extraction. Resultant microalgal biomass can then be used to produce livestock feed, biofuel or for higher value bio-products. The approach could mitigate for possible regional excesses, and substitute conventional high-impactproducts with bio-resources, enhancing sustainability withinacircular economy. Recycling nutrients from digestate with algal technology is at an early stage. We present and discuss challenges and opportunities associated with developing this new technology.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
Date: 21 July 2018
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anaerobic digestion, Algae, Nutrient recycling, Livestock feed, Circular economy
Subjects: D400 Agriculture
D700 Agricultural Sciences
H100 General Engineering
J700 Industrial Biotechnology
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Lynsey Melville
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2018 15:04
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2020 15:40

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