A European Union funded study shows near-zero emissions on first trial

Applied Tech Review | Saturday, November 13, 2021

Summary: N2 Applied with Arla foods have devised a method that restricts ammonia emissions from cow manure when applied to fields


A large part of agriculture technology is focused on reducing ammonia emissions that seep to the soil from manure. Achieving a prominent milestone, N2 Applied, a Norway headquartered agricultural technology company has  demonstrated that virtually all ammonia emissions were successfully contained in converted cow manure when applied to fields.

The N2 Unit is at the forefront of a European Union-funded study at Arla Foods' new Innovation Farm in the United Kingdom. The N2 Unit accomplishes a plasma conversion that 'locks in' methane and ammonia to the liquid waste material, by using a scientific approach that applies air and electricity to slurry, providing a sustainable fertiliser. The trial is part of Arla UK 360, the company's leading agricultural standards initiative. This initiative aims to measure ammonia emissions and evaluate the feasibility of this novel technique on a commercial farm. Its goal is to gather information on what is necessary in order for more farmers to be able to use the equipment.

ADAS, the UK's leading independent provider of agricultural and environmental consultancy, policy advice, and research and development, tested plasma-treated fertiliser generated from cow slurry by the N2 Unit for ammonia emissions and nitrogen use efficiency. When sprayed on winter wheat and observed over the course of a week, plasma-treated slurry showed a 90% reduction in ammonia emissions when compared to untreated slurry. N2 Applied has conducted many experiments in nine countries, demonstrating the practical eradication of methane and ammonia emissions, better grassland yields, and the capacity to reduce odours caused by ammonia leaks. The N2 Unit's technology ‘locks in' methane and ammonia to the liquid waste material using a scientific approach that adds air and electricity to slurry, resulting in a sustainable, nitrogen-rich fertiliser. On-farm treated slurry has the potential to reduce the requirement for chemical fertiliser, lowering greenhouse gas emissions even more.

According to N2 Applied, one N2 Unit could  reduce and eliminate 183 tonnes of CO2e each year on a farm with 200 cows. N2's technology, if used across the UK dairy herd, has the potential to cut and eliminate 2.42 million tonnes of CO2e per year.

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