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Digestate from Biogas Plants is an Attractive Alternative to Mineral Fertilisation of Kohlrabi

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 2, Issue 4, December 2014, pp 309-318
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.2014.02.0025
Tomas Losak1 , Jaroslav Hlusek11, Andrea Zatloukalova2, Ludmila Musilova2, Monika Vitezova2, Petr Skarpa2, Tereza Zlamalova2, Jiri Fryc3, Tomas Vitez3, Jan Marecek3, Anna Martensson4
1 Department of Environmentalistics and Natural Resources, Faculty of Regional Development and International Studies, Mendel University in Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
2 Department of Agrochemistry, Soil Science, Microbiology and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of Agronomy, Mendel University in Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
3 Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Agronomy, Mendel University in Brno, Brno, Czech Republic
4 Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden


This study examined the potential for the use of digestate from biogas plants for the fertilisation of kohlrabi. Kohlrabi was grown in two pot experiments in consecutive years using digestate, mineral fertiliser (urea) with a nitrogen (N) content equivalent to that in the digestate, mineral fertiliser with N, phosphate (P), potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) contents equivalent to the digestate, and an unfertilised control. At harvest, the soil receiving the digestate application had higher P, K and Mg contents than the control and the urea treatment. The soil Nmin content was balanced in all fertilised treatments. Soil pH was unaffected by all treatments. Kohlrabi bulbs from the unfertilised control had the lowest weight, nitrate content and ascorbic acid content. Digestate and NPKMg fertiliser treatments increased bulb weight compared with the N-only urea treatment. Ascorbic acid content did not differ between fertilised treatments. There were no differences in bulb nitrate content between the mineral fertiliser treatments, but digestate application gave a low nitrate content. Bulb macroelement contents varied irregularly among treatments.

Keywords: Biogas plant, Digestate, Fertilisation, Soil, Kohlrabi, Yields, Quality

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