Improving the Sustainability of Farming Practices through the Use of a Symbiotic Approach for Anaerobic Digestion and Digestate Processing

Frank Pierie, Austin Dsouza, Christian E. J. van Someren, René M.J. Benders, Wim J. Th. van Gemert, Henri C. Moll

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

    10 Citaten (Scopus)
    297 Downloads (Pure)


    The dairy sector in the Netherlands aims for a 30% increase in efficiency and 30% carbon dioxide emission reduction compared to the reference year of 1990, and a 20% share of renewable energy, all by the year 2020. Anaerobic Digestion (AD) can play a substantial role in achieving these aims. However, results from this study indicate that the AD system is not fully optimized in combination with farming practices regarding sustainability. Therefore, the Industrial Symbiosis concept, combined with energy and environmental system analysis, Life Cycle Analysis and modeling is used to optimize a farm-scale AD system on four indicators of sustainability (i.e., energy efficiency, carbon footprint, environmental impacts and costs). Implemented in a theoretical case, where a cooperation of farms share biomass feedstocks, a symbiotic AD system can significantly lower external energy consumption by 72 to 92%, carbon footprint by 71 to 91%, environmental impacts by 68 to 89%, and yearly expenditures by 56 to 66% compared to a reference cooperation. The largest reductions and economic gains can be achieved when a surplus of manure is available for upgrading into organic fertilizer to replace fossil fertilizers. Applying the aforementioned symbiotic concept to the Dutch farming sector can help to achieve the stated goals indicated by the Dutch agricultural sector for the year 2020.
    Originele taal-2English
    Aantal pagina's23
    Nummer van het tijdschrift4
    StatusPublished - 2017

    Citeer dit