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    nutrient recycling
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    site rehabilitation
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    risk management

LIFE No_Waste - MANAGEMENT OF BIOMASS ASH AND ORGANIC WASTE 

IN THE RECOVERY OF DEGRADED SOILS: A PILOT PROJECT SET IN PORTUGAL

LIFE 14 ENV/PT/000369

Neutralisation of soil acidity


The project aims to:

develop soil improvers using ash from residual forest biomass combustion that are effective in the neutralisation of soil acidity (expected increased pH from 2.5-3.5 to 5.5-6.5)

​​​​​​​Increase in soil organic carbon stock

The project aims to:

prepare mixtures of ash from residual forest biomass combustion and biological sludge from wastewater treatment and/ or organic compost that can be used to increase soil organic carbon stock.

Recovery of soil functions


The project aims to:

increase the available pool of plants nutrients (Ca, Mg and K), reduce soil erosion rates, increase soil water-retaining capacity, increase microbial and plant biomass production.

​​​​​​​Supporting the Circular Economy

The project aims to:

contribute to the reduction of the consumption of expensive soil ameliorants (fertilizers, lime); accomplish the “end-of-waste” criteria for biomass ash; contribute to the sustainability of important economic sectors in Portugal (pulp and paper industry, energy production, waste management and mining).

Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection

Mining operations are a cause of soil degradation. They are associated with a legacy of abandoned metalliferous mine wastes and acid mine drainage, which contributes to around 2% of soil contamination in Europe.

Better soil management

Need for sustainable site re-development strategies and remediation technologies that are effective, both in decontaminating and in preserving soil functions, at affordable costs.

Towards Circular and Green Economy

Between 150,000 and 200,000 tons of ash from residual forest biomass combustion are generated in Portugal, annually. Ash management is a critical issue. It’s use as raw material for soil improvers can help to correct soil acidity and nutrient deficiencies, save non-renewable sources of minerals and reduce waste landfill needs.

Soil function degradation

A total of 175 degraded mining areas (including 114 metallic sulphide mines) were identified throughout Portugal. Several sites present extremely acidic soil pH values (pH < 3.0).

Resource Efficiency

Low-cost technologies for the recovery of degraded mining areas increasingly use ash from combustion processes as a resource for the remediation of contaminated soils.

End-of-Waste Criteria

A regulatory and technical framework (including risk assessment protocols) for guiding the recycling of ash materials to soils is necessary.