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