ERE professor Dr. Wendong Tao and his Ph.D. students Anayo Ukwuani and Jonathan Masih Das won their EPA People Planet Prosperity (P3) sustainability award in the challenge areas of materials, chemistry, and water. Their project, Developing a Vacuum Distillation – Acid Absorption System for Recovery of Ammonia from Dairy Manure. To appreciate the sustainability of this development, consider that dairy manure has high ammonia concentrations and contributes to air and water pollution. Dairy farms need cost-effective methods to upgrade their nutrient management plans. Our goal is to develop an innovative technology coupling vacuum distillation and acid absorption for sustainable recovery of ammonia from both anaerobically digested and undigested dairy manure. Ammonia in dairy manure can be distilled under a low vacuum at a temperature below the normal boiling point of water and absorbed in a sulfuric acid solution to produce ammonium sulfate as a value-added product.

Alexandria, Virginia — Student teams gather for the U.S. EPA P3 Competition at the National Sustainable Design Expo at Oronoco Bay Park.

Dr. Wendong Tao and his SUNY ESF students Anayo Ukwuani and Jonathan Masih Das gather for the U.S. EPA P3 Competition at the National Sustainable Design Expo at Oronoco Bay Park.

Alexandria, Virginia — Student teams gather for the U.S. EPA P3 Competition at the National Sustainable Design Expo at Oronoco Bay Park.

PhD student Anayo Ukwuani explains the pilot-scale vacuum distillation – acid absorption system for SUNY ESF ERE U.S. EPA P3 waste to energy invention.

Alexandria, Virginia — SUNY Albany wins a 2015 P3 Award during the P3 Awards Ceremony at Oronoco Bay Park.

SUNY ESF EREs Team wins a 2015 P3 Award during the P3 Awards Ceremony at Oronoco Bay Park. Left to right, Lek Kadeli (EPA acting assistant administrator for R&D), Team ERE’s Wendong Tao, Jonathan Masih Das, Anayo Ukwuani, and William Euille, Mayor of the City of Alexandria

The specific objectives were to 1) evaluate the effects of temperature, vacuum, and dissolved solids concentration on ammonia recovery; 2) design an ammonia distillation – acid absorption system to produce ammonium sulfate granules with dairy manure; 3) construct a pilot-scale vacuum distillation – acid absorption system and develop operational parameters; and 4) perform a farm-scale economic analysis of the developed technology across its life cycle.

Kudos to this team for achieving their challenges!

 

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