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Artificial lightning tech moo-ves UK farms to cleaner days

Artificial lighting technology that fires a bolt of plasma at slurry might reduce drastically methane emissions of British livestock farming.

The novel technology follows a technique called plasma conversion. In a plasma, electrons have been stripped away from their atoms.

The plasma is used to break apart nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the air. The conversion traps ammonia and methane in the slurry, producing a sustainable fertiliser.

The technology has the potential to further decrease the need for chemical fertiliser.

Nick Humphries, Chief Agronomist at N2 Applied, the company which developed the technology, spoke to ELN about the trials they are now running on farms across the UK: “There are three pilot sites in the UK at the moment. We have got one on a dairy farm in Buckinghamshire, one in Scotland, near Glasgow and one in the National Pig Centre at the University of Leeds.

“We are focusing on dairy and pigs really. We wanted to make sure that it practically worked on farm.”

Mr Humphries said the technology is in development for 11 years. Asked about how easy it is for the technology to be deployed on a larger scale he said: “It can be scaled up at the moment. We are all focusing on these units at the moment, which are suited towards farms like 200 cow dairy or 750 pigs.

“And we just see that as the best way to source and decentralise fertiliser production and also to support farmers on a practical scale.”

He explained why this technology is a “big step” towards cutting farm pollution: “Livestock has an initial problem. We know that ammonia is really difficult to reduce. With this technology, we have seen 95% of ammonia emission reduction and 99% of methane reduction.”

Mr Humphries expects commercial units of the technology will be available soon, no later than 2022.

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This article first appeared on ENERGY LIVE NEWS. Energy Live News (ELN) is a multi award winning independent publishing and events company. We are the UK’s leading dedicated daily news site covering energy. We make energy issues easy to understand and appeal to both the b2b sector and general consumer. We are independent, fair and outspoken in our coverage and we aim to be the place to come to for easy to understand energy news. We have won awards for our journalism. ELN also has an events arm which is also multi-award winning with industry leading conferences and awards. Our flagship conference is ENERGY LIVE EXPO, which is the must-attend event of the year and is regularly headlined by Energy Ministers and CEOs from across the sector. And our ENERGY LIVE CONSULTANCY AWARDS which won Best New Awards Event 2017, is now the gold standard accolade for UK energy broker market. Hit the web and social links below to visit Energy Live News across the web.
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