Biogas plants and use of fertilizers

27. Nov 2017

Workshop on new regulations for the use of fertilizers and how they affect biogas plant management / More documentation and higher storage capacities required

A new fertilizer regulation came into force in June. This includes, among other things, a more precise fertilizer determination and a nitrogen upper limit for all organic fertilizers and thus affects operators of biogas plants. To explain how this will affect the industry, the Biogas Association and the network agency Renewable Energies Schleswig-Holstein EE.SH organized an event to highlight the changes. The event, held at the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Applied Sciences Kiel in Osterrönfeld was attended by close to 100 guests.

Dr. Uwe Schleuß from the Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of Agriculture summarized the new regulations. It is a federal law yet individual points must be regulated by the federal states. Among other things, "red areas" are currently being identified where the problem of nitrogen and phosphate surpluses in the soil is particularly severe. This requires the adjustments in operation, he advised the audience.

According to lawyer Dr. Helmut Loibl among other things, the new regulations require the expansion of manure storage. The current requirements demand 6 months storage capacity which will increase to 9 months by 2020.

Prof. Dr. Conrad Wiermann, professor of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science at the University of Applied Sciences Kiel stressed the importance of the soil structure since the soil affected by agricultural vehicles is more compact and absorbs fewer nutrients. Therefore, additional measures are needed to improve fertilizer absorption.

Dr. Udo Müller-Thomsen from IGLU (Ingenieurgemeinschaft für Landwirtschaft und Umwelt) presented calculations showing how the expected upper limits of 170 kg/ha usage of fertilizer can be implemented.

Hans-Ulrich Martensen from the Biomass Association summarized saying that the always growing documentation requirements can lead to an increased barrier in implementing this new regulation.


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