Replacing manure for a better environment – the benefits of digestate

When we think of biogas plants, we usually associate them with the production of biogas or biomethane, which is used to generate energy. However, there’s another product that is often not immediately thought of – the digestate. This by-product is also very valuable. Let’s take a look at the benefits of digestate.

The problem with manure

Currently, many farmers spread cow manure or pig slurry directly on their farming fields, using it as a natural fertilizer to improve soil fertility and crop yields. However, there are also some disadvantages associated with this practice. These include soil and climate pollution, as methane and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from manure are released directly into the atmosphere, as well as groundwater contamination and unpleasant odours in the surrounding area.

Benefits of digestate

In contrast, the recycling and reuse of organic material in the form of digestate offers huge environmental and economic opportunities. According to a paper from the European Biogas association digestate contains all the nutrients and micronutrients needed for agriculture, improves the soil structure and provides a habitat for fauna and microbes. Instead of polluting soil and water, it reduces pollutants, improves water retention and conservation, and reduces or even eliminates the need for mineral fertilizers.

However, in light of the climate emergency, the greatest benefit of digestate is that it significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, using digestate as fertilizer or compost returns organic matter to the soil without releasing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

Digestate as fertilizer

Digestate from biogas production contains concentrated nutrients and organic matter and is commonly used as a high quality biofertilizer and spread on agricultural fields.

Biogas plants are more than just energy producers, they are also a source of sustainable agricultural solutions. Using digestate instead of manure improves our soil health, reduces costs and helps to protect the environment.

So, the next time you think about biogas, remember that it’s not just about energy – it’s also about cultivating healthier soils and a greener future through the power of digestate.