The company said the results are a breakthrough for circular agriculture as they offer a pathway for food production to no longer be dependent on chemical fertilizers, which have soared in cost by more than 250% over the past year and create greenhouse gasses when manufactured.
Using a scientific technique that applies air and electricity to slurry, the technology within the N2 Unit performs a plasma conversion that ‘locks in’ both methane and ammonia to the liquid waste material, producing a sustainable fertilizer.
Data from several trials announced by N2 Applied in its annual performance report show strong yields when used as a fertilizer, and practical elimination of methane and ammonia emissions from the material. In one assessment by Oxford Agricultural Trials (OAT) in Goole in the UK, the wheat crop utilized the equivalent of 85% of the crop-available nitrogen applied to the fields via N2 Applied’s NEO, compared to 58% for an ammonium nitrate chemical fertilizer and 53% for untreated dairy slurry.
N2 Applied worked with independent test sites in Denmark, Norway and the UK in an annual exercise to assess methane and ammonia emissions from treated slurry, and this year looked more closely at grassland yields. N2 Units are powered by electricity, with most of that energy being consumed by the plasma torch that is central to the conversion process.
“These yield results are a dramatic breakthrough for food production, with the potential to vastly diminish farmers’ reliance on chemical fertilizers, at a time when the cost of them has become crippling for some and the war in Ukraine has restricted supply,” said Carl Hansson, N2 Applied CEO.
“The ability to outperform the yields of chemical fertilizers and maintain soil health while doing so really does offer the best of both worlds for the food industry and for the planet. Alongside further positive tests that showed near-zero emissions of methane and ammonia, the data is the most cohesive and compelling evidence yet that N2 Units are a viable pathway to sustainable circular farming.”
To assess the potential of N2 Unit’s technology effectively, N2 Applied annual field trials are carried out by independent, established research partners in diverse locations with a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. The trials have been ongoing for five years.