Bion Environmental Technologies has filed a new patent application for a process that recovers a nitrogen-rich, non-synthetic fertilizer product from a livestock waste stream.
The fertilizer contains 12 percent to 15 percent nitrogen in a solid crystalline form that is water-soluble and provides readily available nitrogen. It contains none of the other salt, iron and mineral constituents of the livestock waste stream, and it is in an industry-standard form that can be applied more precisely and efficiently to crops than broadcasting manure, the company says.
The technology could prove to be particularly important to US watersheds, where land-application of livestock waste contributes to excess nutrient runoff and harmful algal blooms. According to the EPA, runoff of excess nutrients is the greatest water quality problem in the US today.
Bion’s process provides comprehensive environmental treatment of livestock waste and recovers valuable nutrients, energy and clean water from the waste stream, the company explains on its website. Treating livestock waste at its source creates dramatic savings in downstream compliance costs and produces local economic and environmental benefits that cannot be achieved through downstream treatment options.
According to a MarketWatch report, such a solution is sorely needed in the livestock industry, which until recently has had less regulation than other industries under the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.