Home About Browse Search

Utilizing Anaerobic Digestates as Nutrient Solutions in Hydroponic Production Systems

Bergstrand, Karl-Johan and Asp, Håkan and Hultberg, Malin (2020). Utilizing Anaerobic Digestates as Nutrient Solutions in Hydroponic Production Systems. Sustainability. 12 , 10076
[Research article]

[img] PDF


Moving food production into the urban and peri-urban areas is one way of facilitating a closed-loop approach, integrating waste handling with food production in order to recirculate nutrients and at the same time reduce the use of mined and fossil resources in the production. Using anaerobic digestion as a way of converting urban wastes to an energy source (methane) and a nutrient-rich biodigestate with subsequent use as fertilizer for food production seems like a feasible approach. However, utilizing urban wastes in plant production systems implies some challenges, such as high salinity of the waste, imbalanced composition of nutrients, and abundance of less favorable forms of nitrogen. In a series of experiments, these problems were addressed. Vegetables (Pak Choi) were cultivated hydroponically in a controlled climate. Experiments included increased salinity, elevated levels of nitrite, and different concentrations of the biogas digestate-based nutrient solution, with mineral based solutions as controls. In general, the mineral controls yielded around 50% higher fresh biomass than the organic solutions. However, the quality of the produce with respect to content of secondary metabolites such as vitamins was enhanced when the plants were cultivated with organic nutrient solutions. Increasing the concentration of NaCl to 241 mg Cl L−1 did not negatively affect plant performance. Increasing the concentration of nitrite negatively affected plant growth, with reductions in biomass production by up to 50%. Given this well-functioning nitrification process that did not result in high nitrite concentrations, the use of anaerobic digestates seems feasible for hydroponic production of vegetables.

Authors/Creators:Bergstrand, Karl-Johan and Asp, Håkan and Hultberg, Malin
Title:Utilizing Anaerobic Digestates as Nutrient Solutions in Hydroponic Production Systems
Series Name/Journal:Sustainability
Year of publishing :2020
Article number:10076
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:Z - SLU - Library > Odla mera
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Horticulture
Keywords:biogas digestates, circular systems, hydroponic cultivation, nitrite, urban farming
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
ID Code:19445
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:14 Dec 2020 13:03
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 19:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics