Technology Report shows only Bion has a Comprehensive Solution
Bion’s “microaerobic” process among only 4 technologies found to have sufficient evidence of effectiveness, out of 44 studied – and the only one to address both air and water pollution.
A new report by a cross-section of dairy experts finds only four out of 44 technologies evaluated for controlling dairy manure pollution in the San Joaquin Valley supplied sufficient evidence that they are effective – including Bion Environmental Technologies’ patented “microaerobic” process, which was the only one of the four to address all air and water pollutants.
The multidisciplinary group included dairy industry experts, representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency, various California regulatory agencies, environmental groups, and the University of California. Its 212-page report, “Assessment of Technologies for Management and Treatment of Dairy Manure in California’s San Joaquin Valley,” was based on information submitted by technology companies throughout the United States, and is now available at http://www.arb.ca.gov/ag/caf/dairypnl/dairypanel.htm.
The issue is critically important to the state’s future because, as the report states, “The California dairy industry is facing rapidly increasing state and federal regulation over its role in the pollution of air and water, and there is a critical need to improve the management and treatment of dairy manure to reduce environmental problems, while ensuring the economic viability of this essential agricultural industry.”
The report found that “sufficient data were provided to demonstrate effectiveness of technology” for only four of the 44 technologies presented in time to be evaluated. Of those four, only the “Microaerobic Biological Waste Treatment Process” developed by Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc., provided peer-reviewed data which demonstrates it can control all forms of releases to water and emissions to air.
Bion’s patented microaerobic process reduces polluting releases to water of phosphorus and nitrogen by 75% to 80% on a whole-farm basis, while significantly reducing the polluting emissions to air from dairy operations. All of the information on Bion’s system performance data, peer review team and test protocols is available at http://www.biontech.com/technology/.
According to the new report, the remaining three technologies that did provide sufficient data that they could control releases each only dealt with a single aspect of the dairy waste problem. The others were:
1) an aerated static pile, which composts the solid portion of the waste stream;
2) a centrifuge, which removes the solids from the liquid waste stream; and,
3) an artificial wetland, which controls nitrogen releases to water.
Only Bion’s patented and proprietary technology controls releases to water of nitrogen, phosphorous and pathogens, and emissions to air of volatile organic compounds (VOCs, an ozone precursor), methane (a greenhouse warming gas), nitrogen oxides (NOx, a precursor to PM10 particle pollution), hydrogen sulfide (H2S, an acid rain-causing gas), and ammonia, rated as the top livestock pollutant of all by the National Academy of Science.
None of the vendors of “anaerobic digestion” systems (AD), a common present-day effort at manure control, provided sufficient data to support their claims for specific reduction of adverse environmental effects. To date, millions in private and taxpayer dollars have been used to subsidize such installations based upon the erroneous belief that AD systems mitigate polluting releases to water and emissions to air, and would become the designated Best Available Control Technology (BACT).
AD systems recover the energy content of manure by biologically converting it into methane gas. In the process of making methane, AD systems, according to an EPA AgStar report 1, “mineralize” the polluting nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients, which actually increases the prospects of surface and groundwater pollution from the effluents. AD has been demonstrated to control some of the VOC emissions, but it does not control the emissions of ammonia. Ammonia emissions, according to the National Academy of Science report, “Air Emissions from Animal Farming Operations” 2 are the No. 1 global, regional and state air pollution problem from livestock.
In July 2005, a USDA-funded report entitled, “Biomethane from Dairy Waste: A Sourcebook for the Production and Use of Renewable Natural Gas in California,”discussed the environmental challenges associated with making electricity via AD. It explained why on-farm electricity production from AD would produce high levels of NOx emissions, did not solve the environmental problems and was not cost-effective.
Bion’s waste treatment technology biologically encapsulates most of the pollutants so they can no longer escape into the air and water, addressing most of dairies’ environmental impacts. It can even incorporate AD where it is economically advantageous. For new large-scale dairy projects, or in areas with high concentrations of dairy cows, such as in Kern County, Calif., Bion’s solution is both more cost-effective than present methods and offers significantly more environmental benefits.
Bion’s process is eligible for grant funding under the USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Plan. Additionally, it has been approved by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) in California, and has preliminary approval from the San Joaquin Unified Air Pollution Control District.
1 - A Comparison of Dairy Cattle Manure Management With and Without Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Utilization, EPA AgStar, by John H. Martin, Jr. Ph.D. March 17. 2003.
2 - AIR EMISSIONS From Animal Feeding Operations: Current Knowledge, Future Needs, National Research Council, National Academies Press, 2003.
|Mark A. Smith
Vice President-Capital Markets/IR