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JRC published 2nd report on “Technical proposals for by-products as component materials for EU Fertilising Products”

Second JRC report on “Technical proposals for by-products as component materials for EU Fertilising Products” open for commenting
open commenting period

By 16 July 2022, criteria for CMC 11 materials shall be established by delegated acts according to the EU Fertilising Products Regulation (FPR) 1009/2019. The Joint Research Institute (JRC) has provided the 2nd version of its report “Technical proposals for by-products as component materials for EU Fertilising Products” on CIRCABC and has opened the consultation phase for feedback on this report by 25 January 2021.

Background

By-products of production processes are widely used as fertilisers, liming materials or biostimulants. Actually, these materials are regulated under the Waste Framework Directive (WFD, 2008/98/EC) and have to comply with national legislation. They may only be used as component materials in EU fertilising products if they comply with the criteria as set out in Article 5(1) of the WFD. The FPR however allows such products to be contained in a compliant EU fertilising product especially through Component Material Category (CMC) 11. CMC 11 includes only by-products that are directly used as component materials. That means that the production of CMC 11 material has to be an integral part of the production process of the primary product without any further processing. Polymers, compost, digestate and derived products from animal by-products are excluded from CMC 11 as other CMCs may be applicable. Moreover, some low-risk by-products with low criteria are already covered by CMC 6 – Food industry by-products, which will be complemented by CMC 11.
 

PROPOSAL FOR A DIRECTIONAL FRAMEWORK

That report takes into account the agronomic value as well as impurities of candidate products and proposes materials in four groups with further subgroups that should be prioritized in the assessment. For such priority materials, general risks are outlined mainly based on contaminants, production residues, pathogens or physical properties. Consequently, the report names also materials, which should be excluded from further assessment. Now additional information is requested to stakeholders, which will enter into the assessment and subsequent proposal of criteria.

The groups included in the report are:

  • Group A – By-products primarily obtained through the refining of fossil fuels (for chemical industry), e.g. ammonium sulphate from caprolactam or hydrocyanic acid production;
  • Group B – By-products primarily obtained from the refining of minerals, ores, and metals, e.g. Carbide lime from acetylene production;
  • Group C – By-products from gas cleaning systems, other than those from the chemical industry and waste management, e.g. ammonium sulphate from coke production;
  • Group D – By-products from the processing of biomass and water for food, drink and biorefinery industries, e.g. Biomass residues as by-products from chemical and enzymatic refining processes; and
  • Group E – By-products as fertilising product components added for technical reasons (empty group, for further candidate materials).

The report includes a questionnaire on each of the groups of priority materials. The objective of the gathered information is to complement the information database on ‘priority materials’ for CMC 11. Members and observers of the Commission Expert Group on Fertilising Products may provide input by the deadline of 25 January 2021. A proposal for draft criteria is scheduled for consultation in Spring 2021. By Autumn 2021, the JRC expects to deliver the final proposals to DG GROW.

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