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Ductor in Biogas Journal 1_2018

Orginal artikel name: Klima-Kapriolen, Biogas und Kreislaufwirtschaft. (Biogas Journal)

Fermentation Residue Processing: A Solution by Ductor

Political circles are placing great hopes on the young Finnish start-up company Ductor, which has broken into the biogas processing arena with some patents of its own, targeting both special bacterial strains and microbiological nitrogen and phosphate separation processes. As Managing Director Ari Ketola explained at a presentation given on the experimental facility close to the southern Finnish city of Turku, this is a great opportunity for those operators of biogas processing facilities who, up until now, have been struggling with a latent nutrient overload, to use the biotechnology developed by his company. Thanks to this new technology, nitrogen and phosphates can be separated at low cost. This has two advantages.

On the one hand, nitrogen-depleted fermentation residues can be taken to the fields without any issues, and on the other hand, the separated part can be used as agricultural fertilizer in a profitable and targeted way. However, it remains to be seen whether it will live up to the statement printed on its flyer proclaiming; “The groundbreaking innovation by Ductor will change the world”, because a commercial livestock farming system not bound to an extension of land is completely at odds with a recycling economy, and instead represents an industrial economy in which the natural capacities of cultivated land are already significantly exceeded.

On the other hand, there actually doesn’t seem to be such an extreme nutrient overload in many regions. The fact that Ductor only offers a profitable solution for this kind of meat production with connected biogas facilities is noble, but in the end, it is still just an error correction in the wrong place. Nevertheless, Ductor’s procedure is highly interesting and this is not only due to the new regulation on fertilizer use. It is an intelligent method for sustainably managing nutrients.

According to a statement by Aarre Viiala, Managing Director of Ductor’s German subsidiary, there are already four orders from German biogas companies on the desk of his Düsseldorf office. Only a few final permits from the authorities involved are necessary, and then, after launching an experimental reactor in Haren (Emsland, Lower Saxony), it will be time for the Finnish start-up to enter its next round of operations. When it comes to the recycling economy, Ductor’s political backing from Helsinki is definitely guaranteed.

Under Virkajärvi’s leadership microbiological experiments are conducted in the laboratories of the Helsinki Science Park

Technical Director IIkka Virkajärvi, in front of the experimental biogas processor that separates nitrogen (N) using microbiological methods.