“From waste to VALUE…”

07-11-2011 | |
Harrij Schmeitz Agri & Food chains

Twentysix years ago I left the University of Applied Sciences for Horticulture in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and was expert in calculating how much natural gas a grower needs to grow his tomatoes. Today growers in Holland are introducing themselves as: “Hello, I’m Janssen , producer of electricity. Oh, by the way, I also produce glasshouse tomatoes”. And it’s true.

Something similar is happening in animal farming. Animal faeces are a perfect basis for producing Green Gas. This gas can be brought directly into the Dutch gas network and complete villages can use it for their energy. But other products can also be distilled, for instance phosphate. A complete Cradle to Cradle concept for faeces is fast approaching.

This gives a complete new perspective on the chain of meat and egg-production. An element of waste has now become a element of value. You can compare this with the grower who uses his steam first to make electricity and than heats his glasshouse. This means also new business models.

Why? Faeces will soon be in short supply in European countries. Instead of to much we become short on biomass needed for our energy production. Faeces help and are now becoming of VALUE instead of waste.

But the same is happening with other types of biomass. For instance waste of horticultural-production. I’m convinced this can be used for animal feeding. But than you should not put this in a bio-fermentor.

Thinking about this I have one question. Today I’m fifty-minus years old. How will our world look when I’m seventyfive-minus?

Happy to hear your reflection on this ……..