Duckweed Transforms Slurry Into Protein-rich Matter

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The LIFE LEMNA project, co-financed by the European LIFE program, presents the first semi-industrial prototype in Europe based on duckweed cultivation technology for the recovery of nutrients from pig manure.

The facility has 250 m 2 , and produces 17 t of biomass / ha ยท year, vegetable protein 6-7 times greater than that obtained in soybean cultivation.

Duckweed is a small floating green aquatic circular plant, capable of absorbing the nutrients contained in excrement very efficiently, to transform them into protein-rich biomass.

The AINIA technology center , together with the  National Center for Biotechnology  belonging to the CSIC and the companies Porgaporcs and  ECOBIOGAS, have developed the  first pilot plant on a semi-industrial scale  in Europe that allows to recover the nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus) from the slurry, and reuse them in the very area in which they are generated.

To prevent contamination of slurry, European, national and regional legislation is increasingly demanding. Currently there is a surplus of slurry for which sustainable solutions must be sought to avoid environmental pollution.

LIFE LEMNA proposes this nutrient recovery system based on a Lemna cultivation technology.

This system is an example of a circular economy in which the nutrients contained in the surplus slurry generated by the farms are recovered by the Lemna and later reused, either on the farm itself or in the areas close to it.

Alfredo Rodrigo, AINIA environmental technician.

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