Nutrients, energy and livelihood for the countryside from a biogas plant (BioRaEE)

Project description

The Finnish government is aiming at increasing nutrient recycling. The aim is that in 2025 half of the farm animals’ manure and wastewater treatment plant sludge is recycled. Biogas production can be a sustainable part in achieving these targets. At the same time, new recycled fertilizers are produced. Recycled fertilizers can be produced using one or several processing technologies. The use of recycled fertilizers can increase the energy self-sufficiency of agriculture and improve security of supply. In order to meet the needs of sustainability, it is important to use both nutrients and energy efficiently.

Farmers and gardeners are eager to use recycled fertilizers as long as they are operational, safe to use and easy to transport. In order to become established in the fertilizer markets, a product needs to meet the needs of the end-users. Fertilizers should be tested, and there should be clear instructions how to use them before market penetration. Fertilizers need to be suitable for farms’ current production chains. Also cost-effectiveness should be ensured from both producers’ and end-users’ perspective. At the same time, positive environmental impacts should be verified. Processing organic biomass into recycled fertilizers can become a part of agricultural business opportunities.

In this project we bring farmers, biogas producers and research closer together to assess what kind of recycled fertilizers are needed and how to respond to this need. Processed biogas digestate fertilizers are demonstrated in field tests. In cooperation we create examples of resource efficient, technically feasible, cost-efficient and environmentally sound biogas processing systems.


The main aim of this project is to develop, in collaboration with farmers, recycled fertilizers which are efficient, safe to use and meet the requirements of end-users. We test at least two recycled fertilizers to ensure that they meet the criteria of fertilizer products such as homogenous quality, usability and feasible spreading techniques. The aim is to ensure that the recycled fertilizers are environmentally friendly and cost-effective compared to fertilizers currently in use and unprocessed digestate.

Concentrated, transportable recycled fertilizers are processed from biogas digestate, and their usability is tested in fields and greenhouses. Digestate processing is currently under active development, also internationally. Testing new processing techniques and giving guidance for new fertilizers are in a key role.

One of the aims is to advance Finnish nutrient recycling knowledge and share it with other European countries. A network of biogas and nutrient recycling experts is created, and the visibility of Finnish knowledge and skills is improved in Europe

In this project, the following questions will be answered:

  • What kind of expectations do farmers have on recycled fertilizers when it comes to quality and usability?
  • How do these new recycled fertilizers work?
  • What are the environmental and economic impacts of biogas digestate processing compared to mineral fertilizers and/or unprocessed digestate and slurry?


Published 2018-07-05 at 14:07, updated 2020-07-20 at 10:22