Dairy CAFO Wastewater, Water Harvesting and Ammonia Fuel Cells

C. Collins, S. Hughes, G. Jackson
Spiralcat of Maryland, US

Keywords: CAFO, ammonia emissions, nitrates, water harvesting, fuel cells


Spiralcat of Maryland has two pilot demonstration: A Dairy CAFO located within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed brings together precision agriculture and targeted air quality strategies while conserving water, and removing unwanted salts and excess nutrients from the environment. The CAFO’s Anaerobic Digester wastewater are diverted directly into the Spiralcat CPARE processing unit where the salts and biosolids are separated from the water fraction; and the appropriate nutrients are retained in the water to grow hydroponic tomatoes. Cheyney University’ Aquaculture Team evaluates the conversion of aqueous nutrients to plant biomass. Alternatively, the possibility of integrating recovered ammonia into PEM fuel cell system is considered and a second installation involves diverting the excess ammonia and nitrates and converting these into an Ammonia Hydrogen storage media. Here hydrogen extraction from NH3 and N2 release provides a very promising approach for animal farmers to maximize the value of the NH3 while eliminating the negative environmental impact of the N-content of their manures. To this end, Spiralcat, Ballard Power Systems (a leading PEM fuel cell developer); and, the University of Maryland are developing an ammonia-powered fuel cell system integrated with Spiralcat’s proprietary CPARE manure-water harvesting technology.