April 1, 2016, Washington, DC — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the winners of Phase I of the Nutrient Recycling Challenge – a competition to develop affordable technologies to recycle nutrients from livestock manure.
The winners received their awards at a ceremony at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, the first day of a two-day summit with innovators.
Every year, livestock producers manage more than a billion tons of animal manure, which contains valuable nutrients – nitrogen and phosphorus – that plants need to grow. Manure can be a resource as a renewable fertilizer, but should be used properly to minimize water pollution and build healthy soils.
In November 2015, EPA launched the Nutrient Recycling Challenge in partnership with pork and dairy producers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and environmental and scientific experts. The goal of the challenge is to find affordable technologies that can help farmers manage nutrients, create valuable products and protect the environment.
“The Nutrient Recycling Challenge is a great example of EPA partnering with farmers to find solutions that benefit everyone,” said Ellen Gilinsky, senior policy advisor for the EPA’s Office of Water. “Through competition, together we are driving innovation to achieve environmental results.”
EPA received 75 concept papers from around the world and selected 34 submissions to continue on to Phase II of the challenge. EPA is awarding a total of $30,000 in cash prizes to the top 10 submissions (four Winners and six Honorable Mentions).
The following are descriptions of the winning concepts:
- Slurry Separation with Coanda Effect Separator (by Ahimbisibwe Micheal of Bravespec Systems Ltd.) – Using centrifuge technology to separate smaller nutrient particles from manure, with fewer energy inputs and lower costs.
- Manure Convertor (by Ilan Levy of Paulee Cleantec Ltd.) – Using chemical processes to rapidly turn manure into a non-toxic, fertile ash fertilizer.
- Producing Nutrients Concentrated Bio-solids via AnSBEARs (by Bo Hu, Hongjian Lin, and Xin Zhang of the University of Minnesota) – Creating a dry biosolids fertilizer by using a novel anaerobic digestion and solid-liquid separation system.
- Removal of Dissolved N and P from Livestock Manure by Air Stripping (by Hiroko Yoshida of Centrisys Corporation) – Using CO2 stripping and other processes to create a range of fertilizers from anaerobically digested manure.
The 34 selected submissions were also invited to the Nutrient Recycling Challenge DC Summit, in Washington, DC on March 30-31, 2016. The summit will provide a forum for innovators to meet experts and other innovators, as well as learn about resources to develop their ideas into real-life technologies. EPA seeks to create a “brain trust” that can design nutrient recovery technologies that can achieve what both farmers and the environment need.
Partners in the Nutrient Recycling Challenge are:
- American Biogas Council
- American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
- Ben & Jerry’s
- Cabot Creamery Cooperative
- Cooper Farms
- Dairy Farmers of America
- Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy
- Iowa State University
- Marquette University
- National Milk Producers Federation
- National Pork Producers Council
- Newtrient, LLC
- Smithfield Foods
- Tyson Foods
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Washington State University
- Water Environment Research Federation
- World Wildlife Fund
For more information, visit www.nutrientrecyclingchallenge.org.