Flemish Nutrient Platform
The Flemish Nutrient Platform connects entrepreneurs, governments and researchers with the objective to close the nutrient cycle on an economically efficient way. Nutrients are essential to ensure global food security, however security of supply is not guaranteed.
Flanders has a large quantity of nutrients (e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) available in manure, organic bio-waste, wastewater, wastewater sludge etc. However, the treatment of these waste streams involves increasing costs. Smartly closing the nutrient value chain decreases treatment costs and makes our economy less dependent on the supply of nutrients from abroad and therefore less vulnerable to trade restrictions or fluctuations in commodity prices. Thus, making our economy more resilient and creating non-delocalisable employment.
Flanders has already taken significant steps in closing the nutrient cycle:
Thanks to stringent legislation, Flanders has built up vast experience with regard to erosion prevention, optimization of fertilizer application, maintaining soil quality, adjusting livestock diets, manure and digestate treatment, etc.
Flanders is European Top when it comes to the selective collection of green waste, garden, fruit and vegetable waste and organic biological waste. From these waste streams soil improvers and organic fertilizers are produced via composting or fermentation.
In addition we have at our disposal Flemish technology based on a crystallization process which allows us to recover phosphorus and nitrogen from wastewater and watery waste streams.
Targeted incineration and controlled algae cultivation are other technologies with the potential to recover large amounts of phosphorus and/or nitrogen.
In Flanders top of the bill research is taking place on innovative technologies to recover nutrients from various waste streams and re-use it for high quality applications in animal feed, the pharmaceutical and life science industry.
Our expertise is very large, but we are not the only region in Europe that has this expertise. That is why all regions and member states with this kind of expertise have to work together in tackling the issue. That is what smart specialization means. It means that the ones with the best assets to tackle an issue, do so across borders and in close cooperation. For this reason the Flemish Nutrient Platform is actively involved in the activities of the European Phosphorus Platform and works in close collaboration with neighboring regions to set up cross national business cases.
The Flemish Nutrient Platform (Belgium)
Dirk Halet, Coordinator Flemish Nutrient Platform
Graaf Karel de Goedelaan 34
T: +32(0)56 24 12 61