The resulting end product, the digestate, contains a lower content of organic matter (80%) due to the decomposition of volatile organic fatty acids. The fibrous material (lignin, cellulose) remains in the digestate and thus contributes to the soil-improving quality of the digestate. Organically bound nitrogen is released as ammonium and can be immediately absorbed by the plant. The phosphate content, as well as the heavy metals content, remains unchanged.
Anaerobic digestion is therefore not a processing technique, because the digestate still contains all nutrients (N, P, K) that were originally present in the manure. The digestate must undergo further treatment to meet the definition of manure processing. Extensive information about anaerobic fermentation can be found on the website of Biogas-e, the platform for the implementation of anaerobic digestion in Flanders.