Dairy farm for 1200 cows in new technologies that could reduce their bills for fertilizers by 20%

  • Dairy farm for 1200 cows in new technologies that could reduce their bills for fertilizers by 20%
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    Large dairy farm in Northern Ireland is trailing a new system that reduces ammonia emissions in the production of liquid nitrogen fertilizer at the same time.

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Large dairy farm in Northern Ireland is trailing a new system that reduces ammonia emissions in the production of liquid nitrogen fertilizer at the same time.

This concept, developed by the Norwegian company H2 agri, provides for the passage of manure or fermentation using a plasma reactor to produce liquid nitrogen fertilizers.

This process, according to the company, will ultimately save farmers up to 20pcs artificial fertiliser costs and reduce their levels of ammonia production.

Although this concept went beyond the prototype stage, it’s still being tested around the world; on a pig farm in Denmark, and another 650-cow dairy farm near Templepatrick in County Antrim.

This farm is run by Robin Bingham and his son George, who installed a biogas plant a year ago, which produces electricity and delivers it into a national network. In General, the farm runs 1200 head of cattle and zero-grazing, where fresh grass is harvested and delivered to cows daily.

Read also: watch: ‘our cows are happy inside and out’: zero grazing farmer feeds his cows 1200

Strip plasma reactor nitrogen from the fermentation substrate or manure for the production of liquid nitrogen

Farmer George Bingham test the system on his farm in Worcester, County Antrim

The plasma reactor was installed at the farm two months ago on trial and already producing liquid nitrogen, which was spread on the experimental plots at the farm.

H2 agri says his goal is to fundamentally raise the volume of global food production, allowing farmers to produce their own fertilizer from manure, air and renewable energy.

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The company says the savings on the cost of artificial nitrogen will cover the cost of the plasma reactor in six or seven years.

The technology includes a plasma reactor, fixing nitrogen from the air and adding it to the manure. This causes a reaction that stops the loss of ammonia and emissions of other greenhouse gases, and it removes any unpleasant odor.

The system increases the content of nitrogen in the manure, transforming it from waste into high quality fertilizer.

Henk Aarts H2 agri Director of business development, says: “our aim is to support livestock farmers by introducing affordable, scalable manufacturing of fertilizers on farms.

“Our ultimate goal is to replace chemical fertilizers with mineral fertilizers local production on the farm, from manure, air and renewable energy.

“We can also upgrade the biogas fermentation at a higher fertiliser value with our technology.”

The company plans to proceed with more tests on in places like South Africa.

Mr. Aarts adds: “We are not in the phase of selling the machine yet, but want to show our plasma reactor and explain the principles of working with stakeholders.

“Our reactor are not fully developed, but we want to test it in a production environment early on to gain experience with different types of manure and biogas fermentation and to do field trials on various crops in Bingham farms and lawns.”

A key argument to convince farmers to use the plasma reactor to explain how they lose a lot of nitrogen from livestock and sludge, which later is supplemented with artificial fertilizers spread on the ground.

In fact, there are 2.13 million tons of ammonia lost on European livestock farms each year – a huge loss of potential fertilizer.

One of the founders of agri H2 is the rune Ingels and his, a chemical engineer who spent nearly 30 years working in the fertilizer market in recent years with Yara, after which he resigned to embark on their own ideas.


He explains how farmers lose nitrogen and have to pay for expensive artificial fertilizers.

He says: “we have over 95pc of the moisture content of the manure, to make the system work. Manure 50pcs free ammonia, digestate but about 70pc of free ammonia.

“Over 50pc of total nitrogen available in slurry is lost before it can be spread on the ground. However, with the help of our system we can make more nitrogen available to plants, which are taken faster, in plants, increasing their growth and productivity.

“There are some tweaks required for the system, the Binghams use, as it is primarily installed to test gives at the moment”.

George Bingham said that he was interested in how it promotes sustainability.

“Using this system, the plasma reactor will help us to achieve our goals in agriculture in a more environmentally friendly way and at the same time dealing with their quota of ammonia,” he says.

“I see this as a potential game-changer around the world, to help farmers get more from their farm slurry and store their money.

“For me, reducing or even eliminating my account of chemical fertilizers is one of the main advantages of this system.

“The system has only been installed for one month and we have already given our own liquid nitrogen and spread it on some grass areas to test to see if the theory of the growth of plants with high productivity is feasible.”

It is assumed that a farm with 150 to 200 cows will need one plasma reactor 25kW; so the 600-cow herd will need three units. However, the reactors can be extended, according to Mr. Aarts.

“We can change the size of the reactor for any of the herd,” he says. “We don’t have exact prices, but I can tell you, the reactor is cheaper than the milking robot and the same size as one.”

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