Manure is the new brown gold

On December 20, 2017

Manure is the new brown gold. Manure management is moving from a problem-solving situation towards an opportunities-driven approach.
Rune Ingels explains N2 Agri’s working principle behind fixing nitrogen from air

Here is Rune Ingels on stage explaining N2 Agri’s working principle behind fixing nitrogen from air.

The transition in manure management was the central theme of the ManuResource conference on manure management and valorization in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, on November 27th and 28th 2017. Manure management is moving from a problem-solving situation towards an opportunities-driven approach. The possibilities to create value from manure are plenty and some even call it the new brown gold. N2 Agri was present as conference sponsor and contributor. Rune Ingels gave a presentation and explained the working principle behind fixing nitrogen from air using our plasma reactor technology, reducing ammonia emissions and enriching manure with nitrogen.

The conference is truly an exchange of experiences between business, research, technology providers and policy makers about the transition towards a circular economy in manure management. Besides presentations from agri-food companies like Friesland Campina and Danone, there was plenty of room to enter round table discussions on various themes, being updated on the latest research and newest innovations and discuss possibilities, challenges and bottlenecks related to the transition.

It was interesting to experience that many technologies are typical end of pipe solutions. These are generally targeted to ‘crack manure’ by stripping minerals to make alternatives to chemical fertilizers, to produce other materials like proteins and fibers or processing manure to make transport to other regions economic feasible. N2 Agri believes that the real solution lies into making the transition to a closed-on-farm-nitrogen-cycle by enabling livestock farmers to recycle and produce low cost nitrogen fertilizer on the farm, with lower greenhouse gas emissions, improved resource efficiency and reduced cost. Stopping the current loss of nitrogen through emission into air and leaching into water on the farm and turn manure into a high-quality fertilizer while removing the bad odor is the transition the livestock sector needs.

The organizing partners drafted a Position Paper to stress the needs to set in motion the transition of manure processing towards a Circular Economy, whilst ensuring economic viability and environmental protection. The key message in the paper: ‘It is necessary that innovation is stimulated, by creating room to experiment, and by eliminating legislative obstacles to create viable business cases. A long term policy vision is crucial to make this transition happen. By removing legal obstructions and a continued commitment to invest in research and practical implementation, Europe can become a front runner in the implementation of circular economy solutions for recovery of nutrients from manure which will close the nutrient cycle of agriculture.

The Position Paper was signed by the conference attendees and will send to relevant European (DG ENVI, DG GROW, DG AGRI and DG SANTE), national policy makers and the international press. This Circular Economy mindset and the willingness for transition will be favorable for further roll-out of the N2 solution for sustainable livestock farming.

Rune Ingels and Henk Aarts from N2, in inspiring discussions at ManuResource 2017.

 

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