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Science in action to improve the sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and food systems
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Resource Recovery Projects

Current Projects

Washington State Department of Ecology – Waste to Fuels Technology

The Washington Department of Ecology’s Waste to Fuels Technology (WTFT) program has strategically invested in CSANR and WSU to support research that will facilitate the commercialization of a number of second-generation organics processing technologies that can be integrated with aerobic composting by our regional organics recycling industry. Technologies of interest include anaerobic digestion, nutrient recovery, and pyrolysis.

Specific projects change each biennium, but current projects include:

  • An analysis of policies that could be used to increase compost use in agriculture.
  • A review of volatile organic compound (VOC) date from Washington compost facilities.
  • An investigation of the impacts of co-composting biochar and organics during composting, and when applied to basil, strawberries, and potatoes,
  • The development of a biochar module within an existing cropping systems model (CropSyst).
  • An assessment of Washington technical potentials for carbon dioxide drawdown through biochar.
  • Work to develop a test to assess plant-available water-holding capacity of soil-biochar mixtures.
  • A techno-economic and supply chain analysis for biochar.
  • Extension and outreach to the organics management industry

Reports from previous work are available for 2011-2013 (pdf), 2013-2015 (pdf) and 2015-2017 (pdf).

Beyond the biennial reports, additional work supported by the WTFT Partnership includes Odor in Commercial Scale CompostUse of Biochar from the Pyrolysis of Waste Organic Material as a Soil Amendment, and a series of four literature reviews covering Methods for Producing Biochar and Advanced Biofuels in Washington State: Pyrolysis Reactors; The Biomass Supply Chain and Preprocessing Technologies From Field to Pyrolysis Reactor; Technologies for Product Collection and Refining; and Sustainability Issues, Business Models, and Financial Analyses.

Dairy Manure-Derived Fertilizers for Use in Raspberry and Blueberry Cropping Systems

Funded by NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants with complementary support from Washington State Department of Agriculture

This project aims to support to the commercialization of new technologies that recover nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients in a concentrated form that can be easily transported off dairies to places in the food system that need nutrients. We are evaluating the use of manure-derived fertilizer products in raspberries and blueberries to improve watershed nutrient balance, soil quality, and horticultural production. The project includes on-farm field trials, food safety testing, economic studies of the preferences of those who might purchase dairy-derived nutrients, and outreach activities.

Demonstration of an Advanced Distillation and Nutrient Separation Processor for Dairy Wastewater

Funded by NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants

In this project, we are collaborating to provide a third-party evaluation of a dairy manure processor developed by Janicki Bioenergy, and installed on Natural Milk Dairy in Snohomish County, WA. The project also provides funds for installation of the system at commercial scale, as well as support for educational efforts.

Integrated Management of Animal Manure Wastes

Funded by the Water Research Foundation

This study assessed the use of pilot- and commercial-scale ammonia stripping systems within the context of a proposed sequential manure treatment system of anaerobic digestion, coarse fiber separation, fine solids separation, and ammonia stripping. It also included work on a video about nutrient recovery, support for Approaches to Nutrient Recovery for Dairy Manure, webinars, and a field day. You can learn more about this effort in the final report, Evaluation of Low-impact Ammonia Stripping with Bio-Fertilizer Recovery and Support for Technology Decision Making.

Washington State Department of Agriculture – WSU Agricultural Research Center, Appendix A

In partnership with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, WSU has conducted targeted applied research and extension related to anaerobic digestion and other energy conversion technologies for dairy, animal and organic waste for much of the past decade.

During the 2017-2019 biennium, CSANR is collaborating on projects to evaluate a dissolved air flotation (DAF) system for recovery of phosphorus, fine solids, and associated nitrogen from dairy manure, as well as extension to improve decision-making about nutrient recovery technologies on dairies, and ongoing support of Washington State Department of Agriculture’s efforts relating to Dairy Nutrient Management. A complete list of current Appendix A projects is also available from CAHNRS Office of Research.

Reports from past work are available for the following periods:

2011-2013 (pdf), 2013-2015 (pdf), 2015-2017 (pdf)

Past Projects

Anaerobic Digestion Systems Project

Funded by the United State Department of Agriculture: National Institute of Food and Agriculture

This project aimed to quantify the climate, air, water, nutrient and economic impacts of integrating emerging, nutrient recovery, pyrolysis, and water recovery within anaerobic digestion systems on U.S. dairies. The project resulted in a variety of new resources relevant to anaerobic digestion and nutrient recovery.


Waste to Fuels (W2F)