The update of the PAS 110 specification – which aims to remove the major barrier to the development of AD and its markets for digestion process outputs – has today (30 July) been published.
It states that operators of anaerobic digestion (AD) plants that meet the criteria can use and trade digestate as “biofertiliser” certified under REAL’s Biofertiliser Certification Scheme (BCS), a change that looks set to increase the volume and quality of biofertliser in the next few years, or even sooner.
The key changes to the PAS 110 specification include a change to the digestate stability criteria, so instead of reflecting equivalence to cow slurry, it instead reflects equivalence to other organic materials commonly spread to land, such as pig slurry… pig poo replaces cow pats, in other words! This will enable a greater number of AD operators to achieve BCS certification without any negative impact on quality or safety.
And there is also a tightening up the limits on physical contaminants (such as plastics) to increase the standards for quality and safety.
Benefit To Environmental Protections
REAL Chief Executive Virginia Graham said: “Everyone involved in AD has learned a lot about digestate as the industry has developed. Working closely with industry, we have used these lessons to improve the PAS 110 for producers, end-users and the environment. The changes announced today mean that more AD operators will be able to use or trade their digestate as certified biofertiliser, whilst environmental protections will be stronger than before.”
The review of PAS 110 was commissioned and funded by WRAP, and its Head of Food Resource Management, Ian Wardle, said: “With the increasing need to deliver sustainable markets for digestate, WRAP has worked closely with the other PAS 110 steering group members to ensure that the revised specification continues to deliver a safe, quality-driven product.”
NFU Environment Policy Advisor, Anna Simpson added: “Digestate from AD is a valuable fertiliser and can help meet the nutrient requirements of crops and offset the environmental and financial cost of manufactured fertiliser. The PAS 110 helps farmers ensure that the digestate they accept and use is of a specified standard and ensure the quality of the end material.”
The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management will be running an updated course reflecting these changes in Northampton on 9 October. If you would like to attend this course, ‘Introduction to PAS110 and the AD Protocol’, please call Elaine Mills on 01604 823341 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.