Developing circular economy solutions using algae to reduce agricultural nitrate pollution and develop feed products
A workshop and conference funded by the NRN-LCEE Research Development Fund to bring together academics, business and policy stakeholders and 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..
11 October 2017, 09:00 to 17:00
Principality Stadium, Cardiff
- Create a network to develop algal research and solutions to reduce agricultural nitrate pollution.
- Write a position paper to be published in an international, peer-reviewed journal.
- Prof. Erik Meers, Ghent University
- Tom Chaloner, Langage AD
- Andrew Chambers, Welsh Government
- Dr. Tristan Hatton-Ellis, Natural Resources Wales
- Dr Bob Lovitt, Swansea University
- Tina Schmieder-Gaite, WRAP
Other speakers TBC
Bethan Kultschar and Carole Llewellyn (School of Biosciences, Swansea University), Will Stiles (IBERS, Aberystwyth University), David Styles (SENRGy, Bangor University).
For further information and registration please contact Dr Carole Llewellyn
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.