A large fraction of horticulture production in Dutch greenhouses uses hydroponics systems. These hydroponics systems allow for unprecedented productivity per unit of surface area, but are highly dependent on purified mineral fertilizers for providing nutrients to the plants. Phosphorous, one of these mineral fertilizers, is becoming an increasingly scarce and costly resource as mining reserves located in predominantly Marokka and China are decreasing. At the same time there is a large excess of nutrient rich waste streams from the livestock sector, food industry and municipal foodwaste, for which high costs need to be made for treatment and export.
In this project we are working on a “Digeponics” system, an alternative hydrponics system that allows digestate from anarbobic ferminantion of these waste streams, to be used as the main nutrient source for vegetable production. This digeponics system should provide growers with a more circular and sustainable alternative for greenhouse horticulture production, while maintaining high productivity.
This project is partly funded by