The Top Benefits of Using Digestate For Dewatered Fertiliser

Using digestate as a fertiliser is one of the many ways we can move towards a zero-waste future and reduce our carbon footprint. Digestate is produced as a byproduct of processing agricultural, food, or beverage industry wastewater following anaerobic digestion, and is rich in nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphates, and minerals. This can help promote healthy plant and crop growth and reduce the need for artificial or synthetic fertilisers which are known to be harmful to the environment. 

While standard fertilisers have increased in cost by as much as 154% compared to previous years, LAT Water’s dewatered fertiliser helps to keep costs down, as well as reduce storage requirements for farmers, growers, and agriculturists. As the name suggests, dewatered fertiliser simply means liquid has been removed from the fertiliser to leave a drier fertiliser that is easier to spread onto the land. This helps lower transportation costs as well as operational costs of caring for land without any loss of nutrients as values of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are not compromised during the dewatering process. 

What are the differences between digestate and compost?

While digestate and compost may serve similar functions, they aren’t direct substitutes. Digestate is produced through anaerobic digestion – a process that takes in domestic, commercial / food industry waste, and agricultural waste and decomposes organic matter without the use of oxygen. Digestate can be used to enrich the soil with more nutrients to help crops grow which is why it’s the preferred option for LAT Water’s dewatered fertilisers.

Compost, on the other hand, uses oxygen throughout the decomposition process as the input waste is broken down by aerobic microorganisms. Inputs include green waste (such as garden waste) and food waste (domestic and commercial). The resulting fertiliser is a slower-release biofertiliser compared to digestate and it also contains more potash which supports plant growth as well as the water-retentive properties of the soil.

Why is digestate a good fertiliser?

  1. Digestate stimulates crop growth 

Due to its nutrient-rich nature, digestate can improve the quality of soil to promote plant and crop growth and improve yield. As it contains balanced levels of naturally-occurring compounds, it also has a positive effect on the land’s ecosystems and is less disruptive than synthetic alternatives. 

In an article by AWSM Farming, Audrey Litterick of Earthcare Technical Ltd. commented on the effectiveness of using fibre digestate on spring barley crops and noted “excellent yields with no impact on crop quality”. 

  1. It is better than slurry and manure 

On their own, slurry and manure can have a limited range of minerals that are required for optimal crop growth, and the amount of each mineral can also vary in concentration; whereas digestate can also include additional organic minerals which makes it a much richer source of nutrients. The process of anaerobic digestion can also reduce the odour of the fertiliser (especially compared to manure-based fertilisers), and dewatering the fertiliser also reduces storage requirements.

  1. Digestate is more economical 

As the food and beverage industry continues to grow, waste and industrial wastewater from manufacturing activities provide a steady input steam for anaerobic digestors to produce digestate for fertiliser. With plentiful supply, costs are usually lower than other types of fertiliser and as it contains a rich concentration of nutrients smaller quantities can last longer. 

With LAT Water’s process of dewatering digestate, costs are reduced even further across production, transportation, storage, and even tankering. Dewatering is also fully-compliant with landspreading regulations, making it an ideal choice for many across the country.  

  1. Acquiring digestate is more eco-friendly

Using digestate can create a more circular and sustainable production process as waste products can be used for nutrients for new crops. Alongside this, during the process of anaerobic digestion, harmful gases such as methane can be contained rather than being released into the atmosphere which helps reduce the effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gases. Anaerobic digestion can also help remove disease-causing microorganisms from digestate and protect humans, animals, and crops.

Contact The LAT Water Team

Find out more about our wastewater and digestate treatment solutions as well as our dewatered fertiliser products by contacting our team at +44 (0)1635 635900 or emailing info@latwater.com. You can also download our corporate brochure.

Elias Elia
09th Nov 2022