Manure must be part of the optimization of the total value

Meeting the needs of people today is not always good for tomorrow

In many ways manure is richer in vital substances than the crude oil used by petrochemical industry. This was said by Henny Swinkels, director of the VanDrie Group. He continued saying ‘This offers great opportunities. We need to approach the manure problem not only from the idea of ‘realising cheaper sales now’ but so we can determine the true value of manure.”

What do you suggest?

‘I want to bring all the parties together: agriculture, the petrochemical industry, the chemical industry, knowledge centres and the waste processing industry. First we need to map the chemical composition of the manure to see what we can obtain from it, i.e. artificial fertilizer, valuable proteins, amino acids, fatty acids and other ‘chemical specialties’. From there we will follow the processing steps to analyze the manure so that the raw material can be used as a substitute for crude oil in the industry, as a source of substitutes for artificial fertilizers and even as a source of raw materials for fodder’.

That sounds like a time consuming project?

‘Yes, it starts with scientific research, then moves on to the development and construction of an experimental factory. It will take 4 to 5 years before we have a working, profitable factory. We do not expect to have all the results from the new factory by the end of the year. These results cannot prevent a decrease in livestock, but that is not our intention. The aim of VanDrie Group is to permanently remove the high costs of manure in Holland in order to strengthen our market position.

Is it an expensive project?

‘It will be expensive to build an experimental factory. Before we reach that point, we have to bring people together and research the project. Then you are talking in millions’.

Will you appoint a project manager?

‘No, initially I will do this working with director Martin Scholten of the Animal Sciences Group of Wageningen UR. A project manager will only be appointed when we start to build the experimental factory’.

Is VanDrie Group doing this on its own?

‘No, there are other interested parties’.

Is VanDrie Group putting money into the project?

‘Yes, as we always do with winning chain projects but I’m not prepared to give you exact amounts’.

Why do VanDrie Group want to do this? The veal sector has very few problems with manure as they are using liquid manure processors?

‘Meeting the needs of people today is not always good for tomorrow. The veal sector has grown by making profits from residuals and we believe we can do the same with the residue of manure. This needs to be done responsibly so that no social and/or environmental arguments can be raised.

Source: Boerderij 15-02-2013

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