EPA challenge aims to recycle nutrients from manure

By Erin Voegele | December 04, 2015

The U.S. EPA has opened a competition for technologies to recycle nutrients from livestock manure on Challenge.gov. The competition is being held in partnership with the USDA. The American Biogas Council is among the project’s partners.

According to the EPA, it is partnering with pork and dairy producers, the USDA, and environmental and scientific experts to host a competition to find technologies that can recycle nutrients from livestock waste and create valuable products.

Known as the Nutrient Recycling Challenge, the initiative sees ideas for cost-effective technologies that extract nutrients from cow or hog manure and concentrate them into a usable and potentially marketable form. The EPA said it is looking for how an idea either improves upon some aspect of current technologies or achieves these goals in an entirely new way.

According to the EPA, Phase I calls for papers outlining ideas for these technologies, which are being accepted through Jan. 15. Phase I prizes will be announced in March and include up to $20,000 cash to be split between up to four semi-finalists; invitation to a two-day partnering and investor summit in Washington, DC; and entry into subsequent phases of the challenge with larger awards. Final awards will be announced January 2017, with farm demonstration pilots to follow.

“Scientists and engineers are already building technologies that can recover nutrients, but further development is needed to make them more effective and affordable,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The Nutrient Recycling Challenge will harness the power of competition to find solutions that are a win-win for farmers, the environment, and the economy.”

Additional information is available on the Challege.gov website