Demonstration of the potential of slurry treatment technologies to remove antibiotics

Demonstrative Project funded by the Government of Catalonia under the Rural Development Plan 2014-2020

Cover of the technical guide
  • Total project budget: 29,983.75 €

  • Start Date: 01/01/2019

    End Date: 01/06/2020

Project Summary: 

The valorisation of slurry as biofertilizer is both ecologically and economically interesting due to its high content in organic matter and nutrients. Unfortunately, the intensification of livestock activity has contributed to the generation of large volumes of concentrated slurry in very specific areas, which complicates its management. This situation has favoured the development of new technologies for slurry treatment with the aim of stabilizing the organic matter, concentrating and/or removing nutrients and producing energy. Until now, the technologies applied for slurry treatment have been selected based on their efficiency to remove/concentrate nutrients, to export the products obtained outside the surplus areas. However, the presence of antibiotics of veterinary origin in these products applied as biofertilizers in soils is an issue of growing concern due to the possible effects that these compounds may have on the environment and human health. Since antibiotics are not completely adsorbed or metabolized by animals, most of them are excreted in the urine or faeces, unchanged or as metabolites. These antibiotics can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in manure, crops, and groundwater, and therefore, being ultimately transmitted to humans and animals. These bacteria, at the same time, are carriers of antibiotic resistance genes which can be easily transferred to bacterial pathogens, compromising the efficiency of antibiotics during the treatment of infections in both humans and animals. Consequently, the main objective of this project is the elaboration of a technical guide to advice the livestock sector which includes the results obtained in previous studies focused on evaluating the potential of slurry treatment technologies to reduce the concentration of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes. 

Our role in the project: 

BETA Tech Center was the main beneficiary of the grant and, in collaboration with the Institut Català de Recerca de l’Aigüa (ICRA), has led the tasks of: ireview and standardizing of the results obtained in previous studies, ii) elaboration of the technical guide and iii) dissemination of the project. 

Download the technical guideline:

Demostración de la capacidad de reducción de antibióticos en tecnologías de tratamiento de purines. Guía técnica de asesoramiento para el sector ganadero.

» Spanish version

Demostració de la capacitat de reducció d’antibiòtics en tecnologies de tractament de purins. Guia tècnica d’assessorament per al sector ramader.

» Catalan version




Activity financed through Operation 01.02.01 of Technology Transfer of the Rural Development Program of Catalonia 2014-2020