Company turning lignite into humus says procedure is option for mining regions after coal exit
A new company from Germany’s biggest lignite mining region, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), has developed a procedure that turns the brown coal traditionally used as a fossil fuel into a high-output fertiliser for plants, Brigitte Koch writes in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Conventional humus production - where organic matter slowly decays into fertile soil - may take several years,but the company Novihum converts lignite into humus granulate within just a few hours. “We don’t burn the precious resource that is lignite but rather use it for a new product,” says Novihum founder Horst Ninnemann. He says production of the granulate, which is sold to municipalities, agriculture companies and private customers, could be a viable alternative for large-scale industrial production in the country’s lignite mining areas once Germany has phased out coal-fired power production.