US – Washington state-based Sedron Technologies is eyeing to strengthen sustainability in US dairy farms using the Varcor system that converts dairy manure into high-value components in a continuous closed loop.
Using Varcor system, the tech company said farmers can achieve compliance with environmental regulation while accruing significant cost savings as well as additional revenue streams.
According to its developers, the Varcor can process any liquid waste stream with suspended or dissolved solids efficiently without the help of tractors, manure spreaders, or waste lagoons into three components.
The value components include concentrated aqueous ammonia, dry-pathogen-free weed-free NPK fertilizer, and Clearwater suitable for irrigation or cattle drinking water.
Sedron noted that the technology ultimately enables the farm to become a zero-discharge dairy.
In addition to dairies, Varcor systems are being used in municipal wastewater treatment plants in the US.
Natural Prairie Dairy, based in Texas, said it has been utilizing the Varcor system for four consecutive years at both its Texas Panhandle dairy and a satellite facility near Lake Village, Indiana.
The company revealed that both of which its units are certified organic, make use of the components processed by Varcor in cropping systems.
The adoption of the completely closed-loop system has been timely in helping Natural Prairie Dairy adapt to current market conditions, a spokesperson of the Texas dairy said.
The company added that recycling wastewater makes its dairies less vulnerable to drought challenges, while the liquid and dry fertilizer products are helping mitigate the shocks of skyrocketing fertilizer prices and short supplies.
According to Sedron Technologies, the Varcor system is based on a well-proven process of mechanical vapor recompression.
Liquid manure slurry enters the system, and the solid and liquid fractions are separated through thermal evaporation.
The dry solids are heated and removed, while the vapor portion is sent to a compressor, where it undergoes mechanical recompression.
The product of that step, a compressed vapor, is then used as the heat source to fuel the evaporation that processes the dry fertilizer.
Meanwhile, the low-boiling-point components, such as ammonia, are concentrated and extracted separately, and the clean water is distilled and harvested from the saturated liquid.
The process is very similar to the creation of solid and liquid fractions that occurs in milk powder manufacturing plants.
On dairy farms, the Varcor has a similar purpose to on-farm methane digesters to capture and utilize dairy manure in a sustainable and value-added fashion.
But Sedron pointed out that the Varcor system has multiple benefits compared to digesters.
Specifically, the company noted that Varcor kills 100% of bacterial pathogens from start to finish, compared to about 90% for most digesters.
The tech company added that the Varcor also eliminates the risk of nutrient and bacteria leaching or run-off, and has the ability to separate nitrogen into concentrated fertilizer, while a digester system does not.
Sedron Technologies intends to install six additional Varcor systems this year, on dairies in Indiana, Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin, with longer-term plans for a nationwide presence that could expand into other livestock sectors as well.
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