NSU has patented technology for producing fertilizer from agricultural waste. This technology was developed by combining two areas of research that were conducted at Novosibirsk State University in response to requests from industrial partners. The first was associated with the disposal of ash and slag waste from thermal power plants. More specifically, fly ash from the combustion of brown coal.
Sergei Pashchenko, leading specialist at the NSU Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization and Candidate of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, explained,
Several years ago, the Siberian Generating Company switched heating in a number of cities to brown coal. This change has its advantages, but there is also a disadvantage in the form of the large amount of ash produced as a result of its combustion. Something had to be done with this ash since we are talking about tens of thousands of tons of waste fly ash from each thermal power plant annually. And, naturally, the Company wanted to find more profitable ways to dispose of this product. University scientists helped solve the problem.
At the same time, another group of researchers from Novosibirsk State University was working on the processing of large quantities of broiler chicken droppings generated by poultry farms. Here the University's partners were the largest poultry enterprises in the Novosibirsk region.
Pashchenko described what happened next,
Combining their findings, scientists proposed a technology for producing an organomineral composition based on manure with the inclusion of a small amount of fly ash from thermal power plants. This composition can later be used as fertilizer in the fields. Regular compost based on bird droppings must be kept for at least six months before being applied to the soil and this can only be done during the warm season. Thanks to the properties of fly ash from burning brown coal, our composition is ready in a month, all year round, and in any weather conditions. In addition, the process of composting makes it possible to transform the droppings into a product useful for field farmers and plant growers.
Another important advantage of the composition is that its cost is significantly lower than the market price for mineral fertilizers. Composition production is relatively easy to organize at open manure storage areas and poultry farms are starting to receive this equipment.
The technology was successfully tested at one of these manure storage facilities in the Iskitimsky District in Novosibirsk. Currently, it is an issue of replication.
NSU has patented the fertilizer production technology and is now planning to develop technical specifications for the resulting product, which will allow us to talk about wider applications.
The prospects for this technology are clear. There are more than two dozen thermal power plants in the Siberian Generating Company structure and there are poultry farms located in those districts.