The opportunities of the new European Fertilizer Regulation for the agricultural and waste sectors

The theme of the future of agricultural biogas plants is closely linked to the enhancement of by-products and waste of agri-food origin. The biogas plants built in the last 10 years and partly financed with public money, to encourage the progressive replacement of fossil sources, they are a technological asset and an important source of economic sustainability for farms, that, without substantial changes, they would be able to be fed with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (FORSU), reducing the management costs of separate waste collection.

On the other side, the recovery of organic waste and the return of nutrients to the soil is a very important issue for the Circular Economy.

The new European Regulation on Fertilizers was moved precisely by the objective of limiting or, in perspective eliminate, the use of non-renewable fertilizers.

In the webinar of Thursday 14 January we will talk about the important changes introduced by the new regulation, which will be operational by half 2022 and the opportunities that open up for both the agricultural sector, than for that of waste.

The state of biomethane plants in Italy: some considerations in view of a new decree

This article aims to examine the state of development of biomethane in Italy, object of 3 seminari on line, between October and November 2020, taking up some arguments made with Snam and Federmetano, on this occasion. More than two years after the second decree came into force and seven years after the first, the effects of which had been virtually nil.

Of course, all this time, the market has become fully aware of the reality of biomethane as an important and sustainable energy source, and there are many new economic entities that have entered this sector, whose importance has been fully enhanced by Snam, the largest national operator of the gas network.

With the second decree on biomethane, the legislator has treasured the lessons learned with the former, starting from the method. The decree was in fact born after six months of consultation with the operators concerned and has a coherent and well-articulated approach, concentrated, according to a shared logic, on the priority to the transport destination, in light of the delay in this sector, compared to other renewable energy sectors, and without forgetting the strength of the national industrial chain in natural gas transportation.

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FORSU and agricultural biomethane plants

In most European countries, there has always been a clear and strong separation in biogas / biomethane plants between those fueled by agricultural biomass and those fueled by waste, although, from the chemical point of view, the composition of the digestate in the fermenter has little difference between the two.  Agricultural biogas is produced, as well as a share of cultivated biomass (being phased out, in homage to the guidelines of the ILUC directive, concerning raw materials to be used for biofuels, and is concerned about the potential competition of energy crops against food crops), especially from agricultural by-products and waste .  

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