Washington State University researchers have figured out a way to ‘make lemonade from lemons’ with manure. Over the next two years, WSU scientists will build and operate a mobile system to fully develop a phosphorous-rich fertilizer.
The “Mobile System for Nutrient (Phosphorus) Recovery and Cost Efficient Nutrient Transport” project will build and operate a mobile struvite system, applying fluidized bed technology, to efficiently extract phosphorous from raw manure and anaerobically digested manure. Since 2004 Washington State University researchers have been refining the technology to capture excess phosphorous — one of the key elements in fertilization of crop land, improved production, and soil health — from liquid dairy cow manure in the form of struvite.
“We are actively recruiting dairy farms to participate in the fluidized bed technology project that will efficiently develop a highly transportable phosphorous-rich fertilizer in the form of struvite,” said WSU Nutrient Management Specialist Dr. Joe Harrison and project lead.
A USDA Conservation Innovation Grant of $460, 010, and $150,000 grant from the Dairy Farmers of Washington, for a total of $610, 010 will fund the demonstration project to further develop the efficiency and effectiveness of the mobile technology.
“We take pride in our support for science-based research projects and innovative ideas that reinforce our commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Scott Kinney, General Manager, Dairy Farmers of Washington. “The Washington dairy community is unified in support of research that efficiently improves farm operations, and partnerships that promote nutritious dairy products.”