UPM and Yara to co-develop recycled fertilisers

Raki2, a nutrient recycling programme from the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, has granted funding for a joint project established by UPM together with the fertiliser and crop nutrition expert Yara Suomi Oy to develop nutrient recycling. Funding has been granted for the years 2017-2018.

“The project by UPM and Yara Suomi is a concrete initiative to develop and test fertilisers with clear-cut targets”, says Senior Officer Anni Karhunen from the Ministry of the Environment.

“I am particularly happy that, for the first time, someone is really looking into the possibilities of reusing nutrients in the side streams of the forest industry. The projects that were chosen for the Raki funding once again include many different companies, so I am confident it will also lead to new business development”, she continues.

“The joint project by UPM and Yara concentrates on the possibilities for the agricultural reuse of nutrients retrieved from the sludge originating from the pulp and paper mill’s effluent treatment plants and the ash from the incineration process”, says Esa Laurinsilta, Director of Strategic Partnerships at UPM.

“Together with UPM’s R&D team, we are developing a nutrient solution that contains the correct ratio of recycled and mineral nutrients”, says Timo Räsänen, Commercial Director at Yara Suomi. The research and development is carried out in UPM’s Research Centre in Lappeenranta and Yara’s Kotkaniemi Research Station in Vihti. “Recycled fertilisers do not automatically contain the correct amount of nutrients, so they need to be supplemented by mineral fertilisers that the plants can utilise without difficulties. This ensures that all nutrients move to the plants during the growing season and do not remain in the fields to then be washed up to waterways”, Timo Räsänen continues.

“The two companies have a shared goal to develop an efficient, industrial-scale nutrient solution including recycled fertiliser that can be used to help produce clean domestic food profitably and with minimum environmental emissions. The joint project is a great example of circular economy, resource efficiency and industrial collaboration”, conclude Laurinsilta and Räsänen.

One of the targets of the Finnish Government Programme is to increase the profitability of food production without compromising environmental protection and to make Finland a model of nutrient recycling. The second phase of the Raki programme was launched as part of Prime Minister Sipilä’s Government’s key project Breakthrough of a circular economy, getting waters into good condition, which aims to also utilise  circular economy to promote the good ecological state of the Baltic Sea and to improve nutrient recycling.

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