AgroCycle – developing a circular economy in agriculture
Authors: Toop T.A. , Ward S. , Oldfield T. , Hull M. , Kirby M.E. , Theodorou M.K.
Terms of Re-use: CC-BY-NC-ND Content Provider: Harper Adams University Repository (CREST)
Continuing population growth and increasing consumption are driving global food demand, with agricultural activity expanding to keep pace. The modern agricultural system is wasteful, with Europe generating some 700 million tonnes of agrifood (agricultural and food) waste each year. The Agricultural Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems (ACSES) at Harper Adams University is involved in a major research and innovation project (AgroCycle) on the application of the ‘circular economy’ across the agri-food sector. In the context of the agrifood chain, the ‘circular economy’ aims to reduce waste while also making best use of the ‘wastes’ produced by using economically viable processes and procedures to increase their value . Led by University College Dublin, AgroCycle is a Horizon 2020 collaborative project with 26 partners. AgroCycle will address such opportunities directly by implementation of the ‘circular economy’ across the agri-food sector. The authors will present (a) a summary of the AgroCycle project and (b) the role played by Harper Adams in the project in evaluating the potential for small-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) technology that can be applied on farm to provide local heat, energy and nutrient recovery from mixed agricultural wastes.
Illustration Photo: The waste litter from poultry production is one area that has been identified for potential benefit from the development of a novel anaerobic digestion system (CC0 Creative Commons from Pixabay.com)