Ivan Tolpe Award 2017
German total concept for manure valorization wins Ivan Tolpe Award 2017
The German research institute Fraunhofer IGB has won the Ivan Tolpe Award 2017. With this award, the Flemish Coordination Centre for Manure processing (VCM vzw) wants to pay tribute to the late Ivan Tolpe, a West-Flemish pioneer in manure. In this 2nd edition, VCM searched again for innovative ideas that respond to a demand-driven problem in the sector. This time, proposals from outside Flanders were welcome, but the concept should obviously be useable in the Flemish context. The goal of the Ivan Tolpe Award is indeed to develop and support innovative, promising technologies in order to give the manure processing in Flanders a permanent leadership.
For the second edition, there were entries from Flanders, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain. A jury composed of Flemish manure processing experts selected four nominees: Fraunhofer IGB, Kamplan, Nijhuis Water Technology and University of Ghent / Antwerp University.
The German research institute Fraunhofer IGB sent a solution for the recovery of nitrogen (ammonium sulfate) and phosphorus (phosphate salts), in addition to a potassium liquid from pig manure. This technique allows to generate a thick fraction low in phosphorus content, which can be deposited on Flemish soil in order to address the carbon problem of the Flemish soil. The module for phosphorus recovery has already been tested during the ARBOR project using Flemish manure and digestate with promising results. This concept was developed and demonstrated during the European project BioEcoSim. Currently there is a pilot plant in Kupferzell (Germany), and built the first large-scale installation.
The Dutch company Kamplan sent in the Total Circular Farm Concept. Also, this concept has already been tested in practice, and is composed of a membrane bioreactor (MBR) for biological nitrogen removal. The effluent can be further treated with electrodialysis for potassium recuperation. The obtained potassium poor effluent can be used to rinse the stables or can be discharged in surface water after an additional reverse osmosis step.
Another Dutch entry came from Nijhuis Water Technologies who brought forward the GENIAAL concept. It is a concept in which digestate from a co-digester is separated in a phosphate-rich solid fraction and a liquid fraction. The thin fraction is processed here with a DAF (Dissolved Air Flotation) unit, an ammonia stripper-scrubber and a membrane filtration. This process results in ammonium sulphate and dischargeable water, in addition to a potassium fertilizer after evaporation of the concentrate from the membrane filtration. A large-scale plant is being built in the Netherlands.
Ghent University, in collaboration with the University of Antwerp sent the results from a European project, ManureEcoMine, in which research was carried out on the adjustment of the current biological manure treatment process (biology). It was investigated how nitrification / denitrification can be replaced by nitritation / denitritatie and what the advantages are. Instead of converting the ammonia to nitrate (nitrification) and then convert the nitrate via nitrite to nitrogen gas, the nitrate step would be skipped in a nitritation / denitritation process. This results in several savings: reduction of the aeration energy by 25% and the elimination of the need for external carbon dosing. All this also results in the reduction of the carbon footprint.
By means of the 'Ivan Tolpe Award', VCM wants to highlight the importance of such ideas and developments and hopes that such ambitious realisations appear on the market.
Members of VCM elected ultimately the submission of Fraunhofer IGB as the winner of the Ivan Tolpe Price. On Thursday, February 9th Jennifer Bilbao Fraunhofer IGB accepted the award and cash prize, which were handed over by the son of the late Ivan Tolpe, Gianni Tolpe.