Circular economy in the fertilizer industry - Horticultural symbiosis

Round economic system within the fertilizer business – Horticultural symbiosis

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Greenhouse horticulture is the pillar of agricultural economic system of the Netherlands. Dutch greenhouses are acknowledged worldwide for his or her innovation, useful resource effectivity, and their capability to provide premium horticultural merchandise all yr spherical. Vitality use, nonetheless, is a serious problem and accounts for some 30% of whole working prices.

Residual warmth and carbon dioxide from ammonia operations from fertilizer manufacturing have been as soon as thought-about as waste. Nonetheless, using out there
residual warmth from neighbouring industries is a promising possibility to cut back power prices. Such a industrial symbiosis could be realized utilizing a pipeline community that provides residual warmth and carbon dioxide and by-products from an adjoining ammonia manufacturing plant to the neighbouring greenhouses.

Within the Netherlands


  • 60 kilotons (kT) of carbon dioxide from fertilizer manufacturing are used yearly in horticulture

  • residual warmth from fertilizers crops avoids the emission of 135 kT of carbon dioxide yearly.

It’s a profitable instance of commercial symbiosis on a big scale that implements advantages to the setting, horticulture, and the fertilizer business despite vital challenges and prices.



For Europe to attain climate-neutrality by 2050,  manufacturing programs must transition from linear to round. Whereas the European fertilizer business is already recycling a variety of by-products and makes use of surplus power and uncooked supplies deriving from different manufacturing processes, the complete potential of the round economic system and industrial symbiosis is much from being reached. New insurance policies and R&D&I programmes ought to incentivize round considering to make sure additional optimisation of useful resource use, closing materials loops, and minimizing environmental impacts.

Greenhouse within the Netherlands utilizing CO2 from a neighboring ammonia plant.


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