An environmentally friendly alternative to peat: The Biogrinder efficiently processes compost

February 2021

The reference at a glance


Mobile Biogrinder (RBG) Plant with Control System for Producing an Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Peat


Mobile plant with the BHS Biogrinder of type RBG 08 and implementation of an intelligent control system based on SIMATIC S7

Operating site

Northern Germany




Processing of surpluses of compost material as a peat substitute for potting soils.


After conducting tests with the surpluses of compost material, a mobile Biogrinder plant with an intelligent control solution was planned, designed, and built.

The Biogrinder from BHS-Sonthofen is successfully used by a cooperative in northern Germany for the production of an alternative to peat. A mobile plant with a control system from BHS Control Systems was implemented. The plant efficiently shreds surpluses of compost material and produces a substance that is suitable for use as an environmentally friendly alternative to peat. For example, the product is added to the production of potting soil to reduce the amount of peat contained in it.

Peat has many useful properties, but it comes at a high cost for the environment. Peat extraction destroys wetlands and has a harmful effect on the climate. Which is why scientists and local authorities urgently recommend that companies seek alternatives to peat when producing potting soils. One environmentally friendly approach is to use compost blends that contain important nutrients for plants, as well.

One BHS customer uses surpluses of compost material that were previously disposed of as waste to produce a substitute that can be added to peat and in turn significantly reduce the amount of peat extracted from wetlands. Intensive shredding and defibration of the material is required to achieve the consistency of peat. To do so, BHS conducted several tests on the BHS Biogrinder of type RBG 08 using the respective material and customized the machine to meet the specific requirements. Since then, the Biogrinder efficiently processes organic waste and homogenizes the material.

In this specific case, a mobile Biogrinder plant with a control system designed by BHS Control Systems was implemented. “A mobile version of the plant was designed because the processing of the compost and peat takes place at different locations within an area of several hectares,” explains Reinhold Jäger, Area Sales Manager at BHS in the Recycling and Environment division. In addition, a mobile version does not require a special foundation.

Another special feature of the plant: Both feed and discharge run based on the machine’s specific load. “Despite the through-feed method, the material must be kept in the machine for a certain amount of time in order to achieve the desired product quality,” says Jäger. “Which is why it is important that all components are optimally coordinated with each other. The parameters can be precisely defined depending on the shredding result and throughput rate thanks to the intuitive and intelligent control system.” Potting soils with a peat substitute are becoming increasingly popular and are already being used by nurseries and gardening stores.