New WRAP trials seek to develop end markets for digestate

21st May 2012

Trials funded by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) aim to establish new markets for the use of digestate in the landscape and regeneration sectors.

Digestate is a by-product of the anaerobic digestion (AD) process. It can be applied to land as a bio-fertiliser, or with other organic materials to provide a useful source of nutrients and improve soil quality.

The trials will provide users of digestate with practical guidance, based on use of the material and commercially tested methods of application. This will increase the opportunities for producers of digestate by building confidence in the use of the material.

Ian Wardle, Head of Organics and Energy from Waste at WRAP, said: “It is important that we find new markets for this useful, nutrient-rich product. Along with agriculture, the landscape and regeneration sectors are significant potential markets for digestate. These trials will provide evidence to support the use of digestate in landscape and regeneration applications, giving users the information and confidence they need to consider using the material in the future.”

A number of field experiments and demonstration trials will examine the viability of using digestate in a number of ways including:

Sports turf and turf production

Field trials will assess the use of the liquid fraction of digestate as a bio-fertiliser on sports turf such as golf course fairways, football pitches and in commercial turf production. They will compare the use of digestate against standard fertilisers and establish the practical and commercial impacts of using digestate.

Energy crop trials

Field trials will use digestate to establish energy crops such as miscanthus and reed canary grass on brownfield sites across England, Scotland and Wales. The trials will examine the effect on the yield and quality of the harvested crop, as well as the practical and cost impacts of using digestate in this way.

Soil improvement and soil manufacture

These trials will assess whether digestate can be blended with other materials to manufacture or improve in-situ soils. The trials will cover a variety of end uses such as habitat creation, amenity grassland, sports fields, allotments and woodland.

The two-year trials will run until March 2014. Interim results will be published in 2013. For further information on the trials please visit:

The trials will run alongside WRAP’s Digestate & Compost in Agriculture project, a four year research project looking at the use of digestate and compost in agriculture. More information can be found here:

WRAP’s vision is a world without waste, where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency.

Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on


Sophie Dyer

PR Officer
01295 819695