Politicians and representatives of non-governmental organizations from all over the world will meet in Bonn from November 6 to 17 to discuss climate protection. As an industrial corporation, Evonik of course leaves an ecological footprint as well – but the company is demonstrating how to minimize this footprint with innovative research at the same time.
Challenges for agriculture
Take the example of agriculture: As the world’s population grows, so does the demand for meat and dairy products. That means an increase in greenhouse gas emissions associated with feed crops, transport, and animal excretions–a seemingly impossible challenge.
Manure is recycled
Are higher emission values for a growing agriculture really inevitable? Evonik has a different perspective and is therefore involved in a research consortium to develop a strategy entitled “Circular Farming 2030". Over the next five years, this consortium, consisting of universities, research institutes and other companies, plans to work to make agriculture more sustainable and residue-free. Evonik's Nutrition & Care Segment is a member of the consortium to step up its research of circular agriculture in the future, which means that residue from livestock farming is to be turned into high-quality fertilizers and raw materials for animal feed. In addition, energy is to be generated for internal farm processes and for sale to third parties. Overall, the vision of a circular economy is to avoid unnecessary contamination of air, water and soil based on closed energy and material cycles.
System prototype in development
The development of the concept by the consortium is funded by the Federal German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) within the “National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030” in the “Agricultural Systems of the Future” category. The consortium aims to create the necessary scientific, technical and economic foundations together with the partners and to set up a system prototype, preferably in a region of Germany that is affected by over-fertilization. In a next step, these experiences will be adapted to conditions in other countries and will then result in global circular-farming partnerships. The implementation will depend on a positive evaluation of the concept by the BMBF.