At five large-scale demonstration plants, SYSTEMIC demonstrates new approaches for the valorisation of bio waste into green energy, fertilisers and organic soil improvers.

Existing biogas plants located in different EU-counties will be enhanced with nutrient recovery technologies to act as pioneers and play an important role in the evaluation of the technical, economic and environmental performance of the newly proposed circular solutions.

SYSTEMIC’s large scale demonstration plants: Overview of the current technologies and planned investments
Plant Feedstock Current technologies Investments Products (full scale)
Groot-Zevert Beltrum, The
Pig manure,
agro-industrial waste
(100 000 ton)
Anaerobic Digester
N-stripping from liquid fraction (TRL 5)
P-stripping from solid fraction (TRL 5)
EU’s first manure treatment plant equipped with an integrated N+P stripper (TRL 7)
Own investment of 1 M€
Ammonium sulphate
Calcium phosphate
P-poor soil improver
AM Power
Pittem, Belgium
Food waste
(180 000 ton)
Nutrient recovery by reverse osmosis (RO) (TRL 5)
Innovative combination of RO and a vaporizer to produce mineral N,K concentrates (TRL 7) Biogas
Pavia, Italy
Sewage sludge,
agro-industrial waste,
food waste
(120 000 ton)
Anaerobic Digester
N-stripping from liquid fraction (TRL 7)
Improved N absorber for the existing N-stripper (TRL 7) Biogas
Ammonium Sulphate
Organic fertilizers
Soil improvers
Kent, UK
Poultry manure
(50 000 ton)
In process of constructionEU’s first AD plant equipped with a DVO digestion system including a N stripper (TRL 8)
Own investment of 12,8 M€ (no EU budget requested for investment)
Ammonium Sulphate
Liquid CO2
Organic P and NPK fertilizers
Ottersberg, Germany
Corn silage (60 000 ton), poultry manure (18 000 ton) Anaerobic digester, N stripper + carbonate recovery (TRL 7)
P recovery (TRL 5)
Lignocellulose recovery (TRL5)
Enhanced N stripper (no use of chemicals) (TRL 8)
Investments already made
Bio methane
Ammonium sulphate
Calcium carbonate

Groot Zevert, The Netherlands

Plant description: Groot Zevert has a state-of-the-art digested and treats yearly about 100 000 ton of pig manure. Groot Zevert is located in a region where farmers are in an urgent need to find sustainable solutions for their surplus of manure produced which cannot be applied on land nearby due to the excess of minerals available in their region (mainly P surplus and partly N surplus). Current manure disposal practices are unsustainable considering the fact that huge volumes of manure (water and organic matter) are transported over large distances (couple of hundreds km) to regions with demand of nutrients.

Innovation: Pig slurry will be processed in such way that only the surplus of available minerals is recovered from the manure in a mineral form. Phosphorus will be recovered from the solid fraction of manure as calcium phosphate by means of an innovative new P stripping technology which has been intensively tested on different scales. Nitrogen will be recovered from the liquid fraction of the manure. ICL will perform test with the recovered materials to (i) define minimal product criteria and (ii) to adjust their production process.

Products & Benefits: The nutrient-depleted manure can be applied as an organic soil improve in the nearby region without exceeding P- and N-application limits. The recovered calcium-phosphate and ammonia sulphate can be used by the fertiliser industries as secondary resource to produce high-grade mineral phosphate and nitrogen fertiliser.

AMPower, Flanders, Belgium

Plant description: AM-Power is the largest bio gas plant in Belgium and has a treatment capacity of 180 000 ton. The organic waste streams originate from the intensive aggro-industrial activities (manure) and associated food industry. Am Power is located in the northern part of Belgium and this region is characterised by an excess of animal manure and yet a high market demand for formulated synthetic fertilisers. This implies that within the same region (as is illustrative for many similar aggro-industrial regions throughout Europe) nutrients present in raw slurries, have a negative value, whereas synthetic fertilisers are in high demand enjoying a positive value.

Innovation: Am Power will implement a vaporiser and reverse osmosis system for the production of mineral concentrates from bio waste. Empower will demonstrate that the production of concentrated liquid fertilisers by NRR technologies is economically profitable.

Products & Benefits: The process produces liquid mineral concentrates, rich in N and K, that can be used to replace synthetic mineral N,K fertilisers.

Acqua&Sole, Italy

Plant description: Acqua & Sole treats more than 120 000 ton of sewage sludge and aggro-industrial waste per year. Besides bio gas, Acqua&Sole produces various ammonium sulphate, organic fertilisers and organic soil improves with a range of nutrient contents. Ammonium sulphate is used as a feed stock for the production of N fertiliser. The organic soil improves are applied in the nearby region. Soil improves have many beneficial effects on soil quality and contribute to the sequestration of carbon in soils. Low carbon contents are problem in Italy, especially in the southern regions of Italy are soils are prone to the loss of organic matter. The produced soil improves are valuable resources to overcome this problem however, despite its positive agronomic effects, disposal of sewage sludge on land has a negative image and is considered as a disposal action rather than as a useful application. Besides, the high N-content of the organic soil improves limits the amount of organic matter that can be applied because of restrictions on N-fertiliser application to soils.

Innovation: Acqua&Sole will, in close collaboration with UMIL, implement and demonstrate a novel N recovery absorber which enables Acqua&Sole to recover N in a mineral form and to reduce the N content of the organic fraction. Two enhanced organic products will be tested: (i) a soil fertiliser with adjusted nutrient contents in order to meet criteria of rice producers and (ii) a soil amendment enriched with rhizobacteria that promote plant health.

Products & Benefits: The N-reduced organic soil improve can be used by farmers in the nearby region as a resource of organic carbon without exceeding limits for N-application. Acqua&Sole will also improve the image of bio waste by demonstrating that its products are free of undesired contaminants and pathogens and by demonstrating the agronomic performance of the products in large-scale field trials.

Detailed information on Acqua & Sole (pdf factsheet)

Fridays Eggs, UK

Plant description and innovation: At the UK location Fridays, an AD+NRR plant for processing 50.000 m³ of poultry manure is under construction with own investment costs of 12.8 M€, without requesting funding of the EU. The plant will be operational in 2018. Rika Bio fuels, as a project development and engineering company, will implement, demonstrate and evaluate the newly constructed AD plant and NRR system. The plant will be equipped with a fully integrated system for the anaerobic digestion and nutrient recovery based on an advanced second-stage Mesolithic dig ester which allows for a better control of the pH during the digestion process and consequently a higher recovery of N from the dig estate (Moreover, Oaklands will implement a novel technology for the recovery of CO2 (released in the CO2 stripper) as liquid CO2 which has the potential to be used in horticulture or in the packaging industry.

Products & Benefits: Oaklands will offering a feasible and sustainable solution for poultry manure by demonstrating the production of a range of mineral and organic products to be used in agriculture as well as in other sectors including biogas, liquid CO2, ammonium sulphate, phosphorus rich bio solids, and dried dig estate fertiliser.

Detailed information on Rika Biofuels (pdf factsheet)

BENAS, Germany

Plant description: GNS has recently implemented a novel ammonia recovery unit at the AD plant BENAS, located near Bremen. BENAS yearly treats more than 80 000 ton of food waste and poultry manure and produced bio gas, mineral N, calcium-carbonate and organic soil fertilisers. Poultry manure is very rich in nitrogen and GNS has developed a new and novel approach for ammonia recovery without the use of acids. In this approach, ammonia and carbon dioxide are brought into contact with gypsum to form ammonium sulphate and calcium carbonate. Both recovered products are valuable mineral sources for the agricultural sector. GNS has a long experience in testing these products in field trials. Besides GNS has several pilot scale test installations running for testing new NRR technologies. These include a test facility for P extraction and recovery and a test facility for recovery of lignocellulose fibres from bio waste (TRL5) to be used for the production of cardboard.

Innovation: GNS will optimise and demonstrate its novel ammonia recovery unit (TRL 8) and will provide technical and economic data on the performance of the full-scale and pilot scale NRR technologies. GNS, being a true innovator, will share experiences and lessons-learned on the up scaling of NRR technologies and the vaporisation of recovered products.

Products & Benefits: A new sustainable technology for nitrogen recovery from bio-waste without using chemicals.

Detailed information on GNS (pdf factsheet)