Jos Cenens, PhD
Product acquisition, proof of concept leading
to scale-up to manufacturing, supplier agreement
Phase 1 – Proof of concept in 6-12 months
Phase 2 – Implementation (early 2018)
All financials are to be negotiated
SOLUTION PROVIDER HELP DESK:
NineSigma, representing a European food company, invites proposals for a technology that can determine the total concentration of nitrogen and other macronutrients (phosphorus and potassium) in liquid swine manure. Among nitrogen, ammonium (NH4+) is the most important form but also nitrate (NO3-), nitrite (NO2-) and organic nitrogen compounds should be determined. The preferred method is fast, in line and must not rely on taking samples for lab evaluation.
Nitrogen concentration of swine slurry varies with a number of factors like age of the slurry, storage and handling methods, environmental conditions, animal nutrition management, and treatments. The determination of total nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in swine manure is important if the manure (treated or untreated) is to be used as a nutrient source for crops. Compared with chemical fertilizers the dosing on the fields is imprecise due to uncertainties in the concentration of macronutrients. This can lead to exceeding the legal limits for farmland disposal or inadequate dosing resulting in sub-optimal crop yields.
NineSigma’s client is using in line conductivity sensors for the indirect determination of nitrogen and potassium, through the measurement of electrical conductivity of raw swine slurry.
In some farms, the client treats the swine slurry with a nitrification-denitrification (N-DN) system, changing the analytic composition of the slurry. In these cases, the use of in line conductivity sensors no longer works well for the determination of nitrogen. With the N-DN treatment, the amount of total N decreases between 50 to 90%, and in part it changes to other nitrogenous species like nitrites and nitrates [NO2-, NO3-].
NineSigma’s client is looking for a technique that can be used in line for fast and accurate analysis of nitrogen content, and also phosphorus and potassium, during collection, treatment, transport and application of swine slurry to farmland.
The successful technology will:
Note: next to the determination of nutrients on raw swine slurry and treatment effluents, the possibility to determine macronutrients on solid fraction of swine slurry or in soils is also of interest.
Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan
Phase 1 – Proof of concept
Phase 2 – Commercial development
Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2
Successful demonstration of total nitrogen, total phosphorus and total potassium determination
Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:
The following approaches are not of interest:
Your response should address the following:
Appropriate responses to this Request
Responses from companies (small to large), researchers, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome. For example:
You represent a company specializing in macronutrients (N, P, K) measurement on organic fertilizers and have a nutrient sensor that is suitable for this request.
You represent a university research department that has a bench-scale demonstration of a suitable sensor that is ready for transfer to commercial use.