A Low Cost Method of Creating Liquid Organic Fertilizer from Animal Manure.

Period of Performance: 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

La Mesa, CA 91941
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Biogas & Electric LLCs proposed Phase I research will strive to demonstrate the existing opportunities for resource recovery and recycling at dairies and other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Current recovery efforts are limited to energy from biogas combustion and a few struvite recovery operations. Additional opportunities exist to greatly expand resource recovery at CAFOs. Biogas & Electric LLC intends to identify and monetize these untapped opportunities. Californias central valley is home to over 1700 dairies and other CAFOs. The proximity of these animal facilities has resulted in both nitrification of the ground water and over fertilization of the land throughout much of the Central Valley. Coincidentally, Californias central valley is also the Nations leader in total organic acreage planted with over 200,000 acres of organic fruits and vegetables planted each year. A typical organic grower in this region operating on 550 acres purchases approximately 9,000 gallons of nitrogen rich fish emulsion annually for use as a liquid fertilizer paying $2.50 per gallon. Additionally, nitrogen rich organic fish emulsion is available to consumers for $37.80 per gallon. An opportunity exists to simultaneously reduce the amount of nitrogen being spread on cropland surrounding CAFOs in Californias central valley and create a low cost nitrogen rich organic fertilizer for use by both commercial growers and consumer horticulturists. The goal of this Phase I research is to design a lab-scale prototype and establish proof-of-concept using an innovative new method to concentrate nutrient rich wastewater from CAFOs. If successful in this proposed research, Biogas & Electric LLC intends to expand development and implement farm-scale operations. At farm-scale the concentrated nutrients will trucked off site and sold as concentrated organic fertilizer. The proposed research will simultaneously address the problem of over application of N, P, K salts on land surrounding dairies while generating a marketable low cost concentrated organic liquid fertilizer from animal waste.