A draft amendment to the act on fertilizers and fertilization in the context of development of digestate for fertilizing purposes.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development presented a draft amendment to the Act on fertilizers and fertilization for public consultation. The project proposes to regulate the issues of mass transfer for fertilizing purposes, arising after the agricultural biogas production process defined in the Act on renewable energy sources.

Until now, and until the draft amendment to the draft act, the post-fermentation mass, regardless of whether it was created in the process of agricultural biogas production or biogas from sewage sludge or other type, is classified as waste with a waste code respectively:

  • 19 06 05 / Liquids from anaerobic decomposition of animal and vegetable waste
  • 19 06 06 / Digested wastes from anaerobic digestion of animal and vegetable waste.

The consequences of this are that the utilization of the digestate can take place using the R10 recovery method with the full consequences of carrying out tests with a convergent range that is performed as for sewage sludge (without fermentation process) used for fertilization. In addition, as provided in the provisions of the Waste Act and its implementing acts, there is no possibility of transferring the digestate to natural persons, including farmers who do not carry out economic activities and who do not have a permit for waste treatment

Unlike the above, the post-fermentation mass can be considered as a fertilizer or by-product. However, this requires a number of tests and opinions for ready digestate. The decision-making process is usually longer than the operational necessity of extracting the digestate from the storage tanks before the period of non-fertilization.

This draft amendment simplifies the procedure for managing the digestate produced in the agricultural biogas production process. It introduces the term “biogas products” understood as “liquid or solid organic substances resulting from the agricultural biogas production process within the meaning of art. 2 point 2 of the Act of February 2015 on renewable energy sources (Journal of laws item 478 and 2365 and of 2016 item 925); ”

Biogas products may be placed on the market in accordance with sanitary regulations (Regulation 1069/2009) on nutrients declared by the producer. It follows that in order to launch biogas products on the market it will be necessary to conduct qualitative and quantitative tests in a chemical (chemical) station and biological-veterinary (biological) laboratories.

It is also important that biogas products may be sold for direct agricultural use in order to fertilize or improve soil properties only on the basis of a contract concluded in writing under pain of nullity.