UK National Pig Centre aims to reduce slurry emissions

Source: Vincent ter Beek, Pig Progress, 14 February 2022, photo credit N2 Applied/Pig Progress

The UK’s National Pig Centre will cooperate with Norwegian agricultural technology company N2 Applied business to reduce its slurry emissions.

N2 Applied will be supplying a unit, using plasma technology to treat livestock slurry principally to capture ammonia and methane emissions within the material. Using a scientific technique that applies just air and electricity to slurry, the technology “locks in” both ammonia and methane to the liquid waste material, producing a nitrogen-rich fertiliser. Treated slurry produced on-farm has the potential to reduce the need for chemical fertiliser, and therefore further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The assessment of N2 Applied’s plasma technology at the National Pig Centre will explore animal health benefits, soil health improvements and optimising nutrient use efficiency in pig production, with testing mainly focused on the centre’s 440 sow indoor unit. Beyond reduced ammonia and methane emissions, which contribute to greenhouse gases and are harmful for air quality, methods that improve soil health and recycling of organic waste can facilitate a more circular economy for farmers and food producers.

The £11 million (€ 13 million) National Pig Centre in Yorkshire was opened in late 2019 as a joint venture between the University of Leeds and the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL). It is a facility for research and innovation on commercial pig production, focusing on sustainability, nutrition, animal behaviour, health and welfare, with the overall ambition of reducing emissions to support more sustainable farming methods.
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