Norwegian company N2 Applied has raised a further £7 million (NOK83 million) to speed up commercial availability of its technology which converts livestock manure into sustainable fertiliser whilst trapping greenhouse gases.
With the dairy industry under pressure to reduce its methane emissions, and under close global scrutiny, a huge drive is under way to develop technology that can assist with this.
Investors participating in the latest round, which was led by N2 Applied CEO Carl Hansson and follows a similar level of investment late last year, include Blue River Invest, Holta Invest, Joh.Johansen/NorgesGruppen and Ramussengruppen, in addition to some new investors.
The company has developed a patented technology that enables farmers to cut emissions and produce their own fertiliser locally, using only liquid organic waste, such as livestock slurry or digestate, air and electricity.
N2’s scalable process enables the production of fertiliser to be re-distributed to the end-user, the farmer, therefore cutting long and expensive value chains, and reducing the need for chemical fertiliser production based on fossil gas or coal.
N2 Applied has run multiple trials and pilot projects across nine countries that have shown practical elimination of emissions and improved grassland yields, as well as the ability to suppress odours from ammonia leakage.
Following this, the business is now moving to offer both further trials and full international commercial availability of its technology, as dairy brands and individual farms seek to reduce emissions from their supply and production chains.
Carl Hansson, CEO, N2 Applied, said: “Technology that practically eliminates methane and ammonia emissions has profound implications for the dairy food sector and farms of many sizes. Having proven the scientific capabilities of the N2 units across multiple trials and environments, this latest investment enables us to accelerate the commercial rollout to a dairy sector that has set ambitious net-zero goals on emissions, for which methane is an enormous factor.
“As the dairy industry moves to counter its environmental impact, it is seeking out practical innovation that can tackle the biggest problems while introducing new farming practices. Combined, this supports an approach to sustainable food production that can enable more people to be fed with far-reduced impact on our world,” he said.
While lowering carbon dioxide emissions is key to managing the effects of climate change, methane is also a potent greenhouse gas, with the recent United Nations IPCC report and its Economic Commission for Europe outlining that it contains more than 80 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.
Using a scientific technique that applies just air and electricity to slurry, the technology within the N2 unit performs a plasma conversion that ‘locks in’ both methane and ammonia to the liquid waste material, producing a sustainable fertiliser. Treated slurry produced on-farm has the potential to reduce the need for chemical fertiliser, and therefore further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Signe Bunkholt Saeter, Director Sustainability at NorgesGruppen, said: “We see great potential in this technology as a practical and innovative solution to help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the dairy industry. We believe that moving to this commercial phase will be important to start realising the promise of N2 Applied after encouraging trials and pilot projects.”