Poland is moving towards a circular economy as three new biogas-biofertilizer facilities will be built in the Zachodniopomorskie region about 100 km off the coast of the Baltic Sea. The plants are being built by Ductor, a Finnish-Swiss biotechnology company that creates solutions for global food and agricultural challenges and funded by Esperotia Investments Ltd.
The plants will use 100 percent of poultry waste as feedstock to create two separate products, renewable electricity, and organic nitrogen fertilizer. This circular economy model will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both the energy and agriculture sectors.
Two of the new plants will have an installed capacity of 0.5 MWe and the third will be 1 MWe. All three will be operational in 2021.
We opened our first operational biofertilizer-biogas facilities in Mexico at the end of last year and we are now pleased to announce our next European facilities in Poland. These plants will be close to the Baltic Sea where they will decrease the need for coal-based energy, prevent nutrient runoff into the Baltic Sea, and replace chemical fertilizer with recycled nutrients. Strong support from environmentally-oriented local authorities helped make this project possible, and I’m very grateful for that, said Ari Ketola, Founder, and CEO of Ductor.
Combined, the three facilities will use 50 000 tonnes per annum or about 1 percent of the total poultry manure produced in Poland each year. Ductor currently has similar projects underway via its Poznań-based subsidiary Ductor Polska Sp. z o.o., including five to ten new facilities in Poland and a solid portfolio of projects under development in Europe and the Americas.
Proprietary process addresses ammonia challenge
Ductor says that it’s patented biotechnical innovation represents a “significant advancement” in biogas technology. High concentrations of ammonia in certain organic materials such as poultry manure and fish waste have been a perpetual challenge to biogas production since ammonia is a powerful inhibitor of the process.
Traditional methods of removing ammonia reduced the biogas production rate, used large amounts of freshwater, required costly supplemental feedstock, wasted valuable nutrients, and were operationally unstable.
Ductor’s proprietary process reforms ammonia stripping with a biological approach, which optimizes the operational and economic performance of biogas production. Since patenting its system in 2015, Ductor has completed the development and commercialization of its groundbreaking innovation so it can be deployed all over the world.
An urgent need for healthier agriculture
According to Ductor, over 30 percent of the world’s arable land has become unproductive during the last four decades. Topsoil is being lost from land areas at a rate of 10 to 40 times faster than soil renewal. This imperils future human food security and environmental quality.
Ductor’s products slow down this degradation and return farmland to a healthy, productive state. Ductor’s proprietary fermentation technology converts chicken manure into efficient organic fertilizer useful to large-scale farming and biogas in the form of biomethane to replace fossil fuel energy. Healthier soils and ecological farming also contribute to less polluted waters.
Ductor is committed to increasing agricultural biodiversity, enriching soils, improving watersheds, and enhancing ecosystem services. We need to capture carbon in soil and aboveground biomass, reversing current global trends of atmospheric accumulation. Our job is to help nature do its job better by transforming organic waste into carbon-negative fertilizers and renewable energy, said Ari Ketola.