Monitoring of the impact
C1 Sludge and biomass ashes quality, soil impact and water impact monitoring
Agriculture is the major source of the pressure on water bodies eutrophication in the Baltic Sea region due to losses of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers from farming. Nutrient recycling and changing mineral fertilizers with bio-solids are the effective means to contribute to eutrophication reduction. Investment into the most modern municipal water sewerage treatment facilities in Vilnius city, provides possibility to use the most environmentally friendly form municipal water treatment sludge.
The main objectives of long term monitoring of quality of nutrient rich waste streams, soil impact and water impact are:
- to ensure compliance to legislative requirements on waste quality and nutrient recycling from waste streams;
- to monitor compliance to nutrient recycling from dried municipal water treatment sludge digestate and biomass ashes management / fertilization plans;
- to perform basic and comprehensive soil and water impact (both positive and negative) monitoring while using nutrient rich waste streams;
- to provide soil and water monitoring impact assessment while promoting transfer of circular economy demonstration model;
- to provide recommendations on legislation and business practices improvement related to nutrient recycling from municipal water treatment sludge and biomass ashes in biomass plantations.
All nutrient rich waste streams, soil impact and water impact monitoring will be performed and recommendations will be developed independently by Agrochemical research center of Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry.
During the project over 800 of ex ante and ex post representative samples of soil and over 160 of ex ante and ex post representative samples of water will be sampled and analysed. In addition to that 24 special soil and water monitoring sites within representatives types of soils in the region will be established.
C2 Biomass yield improvement assessment
The main objectives of this action are:
- To evaluate impact of nutrient rich waste recycling on biomass yield improvement based on various parameters;
- To provide carbon accumulation data for life cycle analysis;
- To develop model for biomass accumulation under different nutrient rich waste recycling scenarios to provide data for business plan development and recommendations of fertilization rates.
During the project three types of biomass will be measured and evaluated: aboveground woody biomass, belowground woody biomass and stump and foliage.
Aboveground woody biomass will be determined using allometric relationships between stem diameter at breast height, tree height and woody biomass of the destructively sampled trees. Coarse root woody biomass will be determined by excavation of the root system for a representative samples. Foliage biomass estimations will be done through direct sampling methods based on litter collection and individual tree biomass sampling.
Biomass yield improvement assessment will be performed by Swedish university of agricultural sciences, which will establish 25 biomass yield monitoring sites established within circular economy demonstration model.
C3 Life cycle assessment (LCA)
The objectives of this action are to estimate long term effect in soil carbon stock while applying nutrient rich waste and to estimate green house gasses balance of the whole Circular economy demonstration model.
The life cycle assessment (LCA) approach is a methodology for the comprehensive valuation of the impact that a product brings on the environment throughout its whole life cycle. LCA is an objective process to evaluate the environmental burdens associated with a product by measuring the consumption of natural resources and the emissions to environmental compartments, and to identify and implement opportunities to achieve environmental improvements. Replacement of chemical fertilizers with nutrient rich bio-wastes is likely to have major environmental improvement on biomass growing activities through circular economy model, which have to be estimated.
A dynamic model approach (ICBM) will be used to estimate the effects of nutrient rich waste application on soil carbon stocks. While performing life cycle assessment (LCA) recycling of municipal water treatment sludge and biomass ashes will be monitored in this project where dried municipal water treatment sludge digestate pellets will be used to fertilize poplar plantations harvested in short rotations and used for heat and energy production in Vilnius city. The main goal of the LCA is to analyze the energy consumption and environmental impact of the suggested circular economy demonstration model which will extend from municipal water treatment sludge processing related to drying, disinfection and pelleting to biomass growing and to renewable energy production from biomass grown using municipal water treatment sludge and biomass ashes.
LCA activities will be performed by Swedish university of agricultural sciences.
C4 Biomass quality assessment
The main objectives of this action are to evaluate impact of nutrient rich waste recycling on biomass quality parameters and to track flows of contaminants form nutrient rich waste into different forms of biomass.
During this action the flows of potential contaminants form nutrient rich waste into different forms of biomass will be tracked. According scientific literature contaminants differently accumulate in different parts of the trees. Therefore biomass quality analysis will be performed over time in all types of biomass: bark, stem, leaves and roots.
In addition to that impact of nutrient rich waste recycling on chemical and mechanical parameters of biomass will be analysed as well.
Biomass quality assessment will be performed by Agrochemical research center of Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry.
C5 Performance monitoring and socio-economic impact assessment
The objectives of this action is to monitor and report LIFE performance indicators and to develop socio-economic impact assessment of Circular economy demonstration model.
Lithuanian forest and land owners association will collect the required information from all the beneficiaries to monitor and report project indicator achievement to Management Committee and Supervisory Board throughout all the project period.
The project indicators will be verified during various actions of the project, to large extent during monitoring actions.
Social impact assessment will cover the major areas of: employment and labor market, job quality, social inclusion and protection of particular groups, equality and non-discrimination, social security, public health and safety. Economic impact assessment will consist of micro and macro economic impact assessment.