European Biosolids and Organic Resources Conference

Jeremy Jacobs attended the European Biosolids and Organic Resources Conference this week and had the following write up......

As a non-sludge man, and non-scientist, one could not fail to be impressed by the array of equipment on display at the annual European Biosolids and Organics Resources Conference this year, held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Looking at the programme, it is immediately clear that this is not a conference for the faint hearted or those that do not have a passion for poo! There is a real desire to add value to a wide range of outputs from waste water treatment facilities and maximise their value both from a commercial position but also in respect to adherence to the circular economy model of value extraction. The first speaker I listened to presented on ‘Biosolids and biogenic fertilisers, converting wishful thinking to reality’. With continued pressure on the use of compound fertilisers both from an environmental perspective as well as a production standpoint, it was fascinating to see how much progress is now being made in replicating bagged NPK to the point that it now has comparable performance characteristics.

The second speaker that attracted my attention was speaking on the subject of phosphate extraction from sewage sludge. Phosphate is a mineral in diminishing supply with much of it coming from North Africa and China, neither the most politically stable environments and yet this essential mineral is one of the foundation growing blocks used in almost all compound fertiliser mixes. The more time I spent listening to speakers throughout the day, it was clear that sewage sludge, bio-solids or whatever else you care to call it, has enormous opportunities to be further utilised. One speaker spoke about the traditional ‘waste water treatment facility’ being referred more accurately now as a ‘Water Resource Recovery Facility’. This is a far more accurate description of a process that is extracting value at every opportunity and reducing the environmental disbenefit of applying this material to land.

The event was well organised and there was a good buzz in between sessions, as delegates networked frenetically. This element of conferences is often overlooked but I believe to be invaluable both for the exhibitor footfall but also for catching up with old and new acquaintances. This venue was ideal for engaging with exhibitors and peers simultaneously.

In summary if you are waste water techie, this is without doubt the place for you as it brings together the leading lights from across the globe to share ideas and disseminate best practice in a friendly but professional environment.

Thank you to Aqua Enviro for giving me the opportunity to experience this first hand and teach me so much!

Posted: 15/11/18


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