Nutragy presents a disruptive approach to crop nutrition, presenting an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable alterative to mineral based fertilisers, through the valorisation of process residues from the bioenergy industry.
In the face of finite sources of phosphorus and highly energy-intensive and price-sensitive nitrogen, agriculture is challenged to increase food production whilst reducing its environmental impact. However, in the waste management and bio-energy industries select process residues (e.g. sludges, digestates and ash) offer a significant source of nutrients, but their economic value is largely overlooked with these materials typically disposed of to either land or landfill at a cost to the plant operator.
With the global biorefineries market forecast to double from £220Bn to £440Bn by 2030, coupled with the global fertiliser market projected to be worth $127Bn by 2022 (Compound Annual Growth Rate of 2.33% from 2016), development of a process that can realise the value of these currently undervalued nutrient sources presents a significant opportunity.
Stopford has developed the Nutragy process, a novel technology that enables the upgrade of low-value anaerobic digestate into a high-value fertiliser products. With a chemical and physical specification akin to that of conventional fertilisers, Nutragy has been proven to perform akin to that of mineral based equivalents.
Furthermore, in keeping with the principles of the circular economy, the technology serves to; reduce operating costs for bio-energy operators; whilst enabling growers to enhance crop productivity, soil quality and sustainability, whilst ensuring the effective retention and reuse of nutrients. Each 14,000 tpa Nutragy module has been designed to enable stand-alone operation or for siting alongside existing biogas plants, enabling the in situ upgrading of digestate.
By formulating crop nutrition products from sustainable sources, the Nutragy technology aligns with the NFU’s three pillars to achieve net zero by 2040, by enabling a reduction in carbon emissions associated with fertiliser use, by enhancing soil carbon storage and stimulating additional bioenergy generation by enhancing demand for ash and digestate residues. Furthermore, by facilitating recovery and recycling of finite nutrients and promoting the use of organic materials and wastes in fertilisers, Nutragy is also consistent with the EU Circular Economy Strategy and as well as the amended European Fertiliser Directive (EC2003/2003)).
In summary the Nutragy technology presents a disruptive approach to crop nutrition, presenting an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable alterative to mineral based fertilisers.