Development Of An Integrated System For Nitrogen And Phosphorus Removal From Animal Manure

Manure treatment: Research Aims to Take the P and N out of Livestock Waste

Principal Investigator

Yebo Li, Ohio State University


A new technology under development at The Ohio State University is designed to use manure in a more environmentally friendly way.

Applying manure to farmland is a time-proven management practice that turns a waste product into a valuable soil amendment and fertilizer. But sometimes manure might have too much of a good thing – it may contain more nitrogen or phosphorus than a growing crop could absorb. Too much phosphorus in our lakes can lead to harmful algal blooms.
A research team led by Yebo Li, an agricultural engineer in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, is creating a system that takes the nitrogen and phosphorus out of cow or swine manure. A series of steps, that include spinning the water out and mixing it with lime or gypsum, results in both a solid cake fertilizer and concentrated liquid nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers.
The team will identify the best conditions for the process—minimizing cost and energy use—and will construct a pilot-scale mobile processing unit.

The End Result

Clean water that is safe to use for irrigation, and less phosphorus running into drinking water sources.

Full Project Information

Read about the project at the Ohio Sea Grant website.