a novel low cost method for reducing nitrate leaching in soil

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Sustainable Soils and Grassland Systems

Abstract

Biodiesel co-product (BCP) is a low value material, produced in large quantities when biodiesel is made (constituting about 15% of biodiesel by weight). Incorporation of this material into soil as an aqueous suspension has been found to dramatically lower the fertilizer losses which occur ubiquitously in soils with medium to high rainfall, and/or irrigated soils. This is done through immobilization of the most soluble form of nitrogen (nitrate), and thus embodies a novel application for BCP to maximise nutrient use-efficiency in soils. Until now, proof of concept has been successful at the laboratory scale. However, market research, and meetings with potential investors have conclusively identified a need for evidence at the farm-scale. Rothamsted is in need of research council support to provide the data which is vital for attracting further investment, and establishing a self-supporting enterprise with the potential commercial partners identified herein.
 
Description The research has developed a technology for reducing the losses of nitrate by leaching from arable land into watercourses and so reducing water pollution. The technology has been patented.
Exploitation Route Through the patented technology. For obvious commercial reasons, full details cannot be provided but an outline is given in 'Narrative Impact'.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
 
Description The patented technology is being discussed with commercial companies for use in agriculture. IP has been granted in China and accepted Europe. We are preparing an application for Chinese Government funding to set up a company in China to develop organic soil amendments that also reduce N leaching. We are seeking biodiesel producers in China to partner with us in this. March 2017: patents have been renewed in Canada and Germany. A research paper is being written that examines the benefits of the technology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services
 
Title A method for reducing nitrate leaching 
Description Australian patent 
IP Reference 2010280538 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2012
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact The research clearly shows that it is possible to reduce the losses of nitrate to waters, and thus reduce water pollution, through a low-cost recycling technology.
 
Title A method of reducing nitrate leaching from soil 
Description UK Patent GB2475753 
IP Reference GB2475753 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2012
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact The research clearly shows that it is possible to reduce the losses of nitrate to waters, and thus reduce water pollution, through a low-cost recycling technology.
 
Title A method of reducing nitrate leaching in soil (Canada) 
Description A method of reducing nitrate leaching in soil 
IP Reference 2,769,543 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2016
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact The research clearly shows that it is possible to reduce the losses of nitrate to waters, and thus reduce water pollution, through a low-cost recycling technology
 
Title A method of reducing nitrate leaching in soil (EU) 
Description A method of reducing nitrate leaching in soil (EU) 
IP Reference P-16028S-EP 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact The research clearly shows that it is possible to reduce the losses of nitrate to waters, and thus reduce water pollution, through a low-cost recycling technology
 
Title A method to reduce nitrogen leaching from soils 
Description As described for other international territories 
IP Reference China; 2010800432363 
Protection Patent granted
Year Protection Granted 2015
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact The research clearly shows that it is possible to reduce the losses of nitrate to waters, and thus reduce water pollution, through a low-cost recycling technology
 
Description A novel low-cost method for reducing nitrate leaching 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach regional
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact The general principles of the method were demonstrated to farmers, agronomists and interested potential commercial partners at the 'Cereals' KT event held at Boothby Graffoe, Lincolnshire, on 12 and 13 June 2013. The demonstration was at the joint BBSRC-Rothamsted-John Innes Centre exhibit at 'Cereals'. Posters

no actual impacts realised to date
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013