Resource Recovery Projects

Current Projects

Increasing the Economic Value and Sustainability of Washington’s Agriculture Sector Through Industrial Symbiosis

The 2022 Washington State Legislature directed Washington State University (WSU) to partner with organizations with relevant expertise to “develop recommendations for increasing the economic value and sustainability of Washington’s agriculture sector through the use of industrial symbiosis principles.” In response, this Agriculture Symbiosis report has been produced by WSU in partnership with the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure (CSI) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) through research and consultations with stakeholders and experts.

Waste to Fuels Technology

The Washington Department of Ecology has strategically invested in CSANR and WSU through the Waste to Fuels Technology (WTFT) partnership. The WTFT partnership supports research to facilitate the commercialization of a number of second-generation organics processing technologies for integration with aerobic composting by our regional organics recycling industry. Technologies of interest include anaerobic digestion, nutrient recovery, and pyrolysis. This research supports strategic goals listed in the State Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Plan. For more information on the history and motivation behind the WTFT partnership, see the Executive Summary of the 2017-2019 report (pdf).

Specific projects change each biennium. Work underway during the 2019-2021 biennium includes:

  • Air emissions from composting
  • Exploration of whether biochar can enhance the value of compost for high value horticultural crops
  • New/improved pathways for recovery of value from non-edible food waste
  • Estimating climate mitigation benefits of a statewide biomass to biochar strategy
  • Extension and engagement relating to biorefinery concepts for organics, project management

The report from the 2021-2023 biennium is now available. For more information, check out the 2021-2023 project page.

Reports from previous work are available for 2011-2013 (pdf)2013-2015 (pdf),  2015-2017 (pdf), 2017-2019, and 2019-2021.

Beyond the biennial reports, additional work supported by the WTFT partnership includes Odor in Commercial Scale Compost (pdf)Use 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.

Biomass to Biochar: Maximizing the Carbon Value

Funded by the Washington Department of Ecology and the U.S. Forest Service, Region 6.

Biochar technology has potential to mitigate climate change, improve forest and soil health, decrease wildfire risk, and revitalize rural economies in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. A virtual workshop was convened in April 2020 to identify barriers and provide funding recommendations for continued development and appropriate deployment of biochar technology.

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.

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

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 aimed 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 evaluated the use of manure-derived fertilizer products in raspberries and blueberries to improve watershed nutrient balance, soil quality, and horticultural production. The project included on-farm field trials, food safety testing, economic studies of the preferences of those who might purchase dairy-derived nutrients, and outreach activities. Project website.

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.

Anaerobic Digestion Systems Project (pdf)

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.