Successful Pilot Recovery Nutrients and Energy from Agricultural Wastes

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Successful Pilot Recovery Nutrients and Energy from Agricultural Wastes03 August 2012

Crestone, Colorado based agricultural waste remediation and energy recovery specialist, Bion Environmental Technologies (OTC BB/QB: BNET), has reported positive initial results of the advanced separation technology that it's is piloting at its livestock waste treatment facility at Kreider Farms in Manheim, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The company said that the pilot is the last step in its 'separate and aggregate' strategy.

Under this strategy Bion focuses not only on treating the waste stream to mitigate environmental impacts, but also isolating and capturing the various value-components in the stream so that they can be recaptured and then converted into assets instead of being lost to contaminate local and downstream waters.

The company added that the on-going pilot is demonstrating its ability to separate a substantially greater amount of particulates from the bioreactor's discharge stream, allowing the capture of more nutrient solids for reuse, as well as production of a high-value, liquid soluble nutrient stream.

Increased capture of nutrients will also result in an increase in the number of verified nitrogen and phosphorus credits produced by the system, according to Bion.

The process

Bion explained that its patented micro-aerobic livestock waste treatment system accomplishes this strategy through a multi-stage process:
  • Stage one produces a cellulosic biomass that can be used to produce renewable energy
  • Stage two the bioreactor, produces inert nitrogen gas in lieu of detrimental ammonia emissions to the atmosphere, greatly reduces a wide range of environmental problems including greenhouse gases, hydrogen sulfide and VOC emissions, and converts nitrogen and phosphorus into a more stable form
  • Stage three separates the nutrients to produce both an energy-rich soluble stream of nutrients that can be used as a feedstock for an onsite greenhouse or hydroponic growing facility, as well as a particulate nutrient stream that can be dried and used as an organic fertilizer or as a single-cell protein livestock feed component.
According to the company the final discharge will be water from the greenhouse facility that can be land-applied to recharge the aquifer or be treated and reused by the livestock facility.

Economic sense

The company said that at the existing livestock facility current practices dictate that the economic costs of treating its environmental impacts exceeds the economic value of the existing business enterprise.

This facility is now converted into an integrated producer of protein products, a renewable energy feedstock, feedstock for an on-site greenhouse or hydroponic growing facility, a single cell protein livestock feed component, and water that can be used in a variety of ways, according to Bion.

Bion said that it anticipates concluding its advanced separation technology pilot at Kreider Farms in September of this year, and implementing a full scale separation technology installation in late 2012 to early 2013.

The company added that a full scale installation would be coupled with greenhouse growing trials utilizing the soluble nutrient stream and feed trials using the single-cell protein from the recovered particulate nutrients.

Bion believes that its integrated approach to livestock agriculture will enable the production of livestock proteins using the least amount of water and energy possible per unit of livestock protein produced. Eco Sustainable Solutions

"Over the past several years, Bion has adapted and improved its technology in response to changing demands - and opportunities. The livestock industry's expansion post WWII has been based on cheap and abundant energy and water - the industry now needs to restructure itself in order to survive in today's world where energy and water are no longer cheap and abundant," Dominic Bassani, Bion's CEO explained.

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