Bluetector's treatment systems combine anaerobic and aerobic methods originating from traditional wastewater treatment with our proprietary bioaugmentation and controlled anammox processes, achieving an almost complete nitrification and denitrification for manure and biogas digestate treatment, without the need to add chemicals or carbon sources to maintain the biological processes.
Due to our purely biological processes, the operating costs of our systems are low.
SIMPLIFIED REPRESENTATION OF THE BLUETECTOR MANURE TREATMENT PROCESS © 2020 Bluetector Ltd
During nitrification, ammonia is oxidized to nitrite, which is then oxidized to nitrate in a second step. The nitrogen bound in the nitrate is converted by denitrification to molecular nitrogen (N2), i.e. it is converted into a form that is largely inert and cannot be used as a nutrient by most living organisms. As a result, the nitrogen is no longer available as a fertilizer in waters and soils and is no longer environmentally relevant. Most of the molecular nitrogen (N2) produced is released into the atmosphere, in which it is the main component anyway.
Thanks to our specially developed biological process, Bluetector has succeeded for the first time worldwide in achieving an almost complete denitrification in the treatment of manure and biogas digestate, without the need to add any chemicals or carbon sources. As a result, Bluetector achieves previously unattained degradation rates in the nitrogen content of approximately 98% on average.
The environmental concerns about manure arise from the fact that nitrification also occurs naturally in agricultural systems where manure is applied to the ground. The primary product of nitrification, nitrate, leaches into groundwater, producing acute toxicity in multiple species of wildlife and contributing to the eutrophication of bodies of water, which become depleted of oxygen. Larger life forms, such as fish, suffocate to death. Such bodies of water can no longer support life.
Previous biological processes have not been able to achieve a complete denitrification in manure treatment and therefore only achieve degradation rates of approximately 80% in nitrogen content, so that a lot of nitrogen is still present in the effluent, much of it in the form of problematic nitrates.
In traditional biological treatment systems with elimination rates in nitrogen contents of only 80%, no more than about 100 cubic meters of effluent per hectare may be applied.
With the Bluetector technology, the considerably higher quantity of around 1,300 cubic meters of effluent per hectare can be distributed.
Our proprietary manure treatment process has been developed by Bluetector. Written contracts and in some cases even legal regulations exist with all existing and previous project and sales partners, which state that all rights to our process are held exclusively by Bluetector. In addition, Bluetector filed a patent application for the process in January 2020.
Nitrification and denitrification are essential components in the natural nitrogen cycle of ecosystems, as the following diagram shows.
Overview nitrogen cycle, from: Didactics of Chemistry, University of Bayreuth
If there is a large local manure surplus, Bluetector's manure treatment systems can sustain the natural nitrogen cycle and convert excess liquid nitrogen into atmospheric nitrogen. This protects the soil and groundwater, reduces harmful climate gazes, and avoids expensive and environmentally harmful manure transports.
Bluetector Advantages.The Bluetector technology solves the most serious environmental problems of agriculture and enables farmers to greatly reduce their costs for manure management.
Depending on the amount of manure or biogas digestate, a Bluetector system usually pays for itself within 1-3 years. The more manure, the faster the payback time of a Bluetector plant.
Clean ground waterDue to nitrates, too much manure leads to contaminated groundwater - and thus to dangerous drinking water quality. Nitrate can be converted in the human body into nitrosamines, which have strong carcinogenic effects.
Healthy water bodiesToo much manure causes excessive algae growth in water bodies, which, due to oxygen depletion, leads to dead zones in waters where no fish can live.
Reduction of climate gasesManure is the most underrated source of greenhouse gases. Emissions from manure occur in the form of methane and N2O. The Bluetector technology reduces harmful emissions from manure management sustainably.
More available irrigation waterBluetector's technology transforms problematic manure into valuable irrigation water, which is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive in farming.
High cost savingsIncreased discharge per hectare ranging from 30 times (manure) to 60 times more (biogas digestate) compared to untreated manure.
No chemicals requiredThanks to our patent-pending bioaugmentation, Bluetector does not require the addition of chemicals or carbon sources for its biological treatment, even with fermentation residues.
Remote monitoringAll our systems are continuously remote-monitored by Bluetector specialists. Our customers do not have to bother about the control of their plant.
Integration into existing infrastructureBluetector's systems can be easily integrated into the customer's existing infrastructure. There is no need to build new tanks.
Low operating costsDepending on the nitrogen level, our plants require only about 15 kWh of electricity per ton of manure or about 20 kWh per ton of manure and biogas digestate.
The figure below shows the piping and instrumentation diagram of the Bluetector system.
This is an aerobic biological process for the treatment of manure and fermentation residues. The primary goal of the system is the as complete as possible decomposition of nitrogen compounds into atmospheric nitrogen by means of nitrification and denitrification combined with targeted anammox processes. The input stream is the liquid phase from separated manure and/or fermentation residues. In addition to the effluent water, solids from the separation are also produced as a further substance flow.
P&ID of a Bluetector plant © 2018 Bluetector AG
Part of the solids in the manure and/or fermentation residues are first separated. The filtrate from this separation is fed into the biology, consisting of an anaerobic, anoxic and aerobic section, and optionally a membrane bioreactor (MBR). The sludge retained in the membrane bioreactor is recycled as return sludge.
The retention time of the plant is usually about 5-10 days.
Nitrification and denitrification usually work without any disturbances, which is confirmed by the nitrite and nitrate values in the effluent, which are often below the detection limit of laboratory analysis.
An advantage of the treatment is that the spreading rate of the treated manure and fermentation residues can be significantly increased in relation to the land area, which, among other things, reduces transport costs accordingly.
BIOLOGY TANK FOR MANURE TREATMENT BY BLUETECTOR © 2019 Bluetector AG
Due to the retention time of the manure in the biology tank of 5-10 days, the total volume of the tank must be 5-10 times larger than the amount of manure to be treated daily.
For a pig farm with a daily amount of 100 tons of manure, the volume of the biological tank must be 500 - 1.000 cubic meters.
The tank should have a diameter of about 15 meters.
Integration of a Bluetector system into existing infrastructure
It is not always necessary to build a new biology tank. Often existing tanks can be used for a Bluetector system for manure treatment. In such cases, the construction of a new tank can usually be avoided, which means that the Bluetector system can be installed faster and more cost-effectively.
The photo below shows how Bluetector 2019 easily integrated a pilot plant for the treatment of fermentation residues from a biogas plant near Munster, Germany, into an already existing tank on the farmyard.
EXAMPLE OF INTEGRATING A BLUETECTOR SYSTEM INTO EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE ON A FARM IN GERMANY
Existing screw presses or centrifuges can also be integrated into the treatment process, so that the purchase costs for a manure treatment system can be kept as low as possible.
The technical container for a system to treat 100 tons of manure per day consists of a 40-foot container, which is placed next to the biology tank. The pumps, the blowers, as well as the entire electronics and control system are located in the container.
INTEGRATION OF A TECHNICAL CONTAINER FROM BLUETECTOR WITH AN ALREADY EXISTING CONCRETE TANK IN GERMANY
Scientific accompaniment by the University of Applied Sciences Munster
The University of Applied Sciences of Münster has scientifically monitored a pilot plant operated by Bluetector in Germany for the treatment of fermentation residues from August 2019 to January 2020.
The University of Applied Sciences of Münster is one of the largest and most successful technical institutes in Germany dedicated to applied sciences. The university has about 1'000 employees, of which more than 250 are professors.
The pilot plant had a capacity for the biological treatment of fermentation residues of 25 tons per day.
Process Flow Chart, FROM: RESULTS REPORT; SCIENTIFIC ACCOMPANIMENT OF A PILOT PLANT FOR FERMENTATION RESIDUE TREATMENT FROM BLUETECTOR LTD, UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES OF MUNSTER, Germany, DR.-ING. ELMAR BRÜGGING, DR. SC.AGR. DANIEL BAUMKÖTTER, 25.03.2020
From the result report of the University of Applied Sciences of Münster:
" Through the scientific monitoring the results and thus the performance of the plant in the treatment of the fermentation residue were determined. As a result, at the end of the series of investigations, a quantity, nutrient and energy balance was drawn up and an economic feasibility study was carried out as far as the data basis allowed. In addition, an assessment of the utilization of the resulting water was given".
FIGURE 23: SPREADING RATE AS A FUNCTION OF NITROGEN CONTENT (THRESHOLD VALUE 170 KG/HA N, DÜV), FROM: RESULTS REPORT; SCIENTIFIC ACCOMPANIMENT OF A PILOT PLANT FOR FERMENTATION RESIDUE TREATMENT FROM BLUETECTOR LTD, UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES OF MUNSTER, Germany, DR.-ING. ELMAR BRÜGGING, DR. SC.AGR. DANIEL BAUMKÖTTER, 25.03.2020
"The nitrogen concentration in the inlet was between 5.0 and 7.0 kg/m3 NTot and in the outlet always below 0.3 kg/m3 NTot . This would correspond to a reduction in nitrogen levels of over 94%.
"Compared to the nutrient values, especially nitrogen, the nutrient levels in the outgoing effluent are considerably reduced. This means that it is possible to significantly increase the spreading quantity of the treated fermentation residue in relation to the area, especially in the vicinity of the plant, which would also lower the transport costs accordingly.
Figure 23 shows the relation of the spreading rate to the nitrogen content with a threshold value of 170 kg/ha nitrogen according to German agricultural legislation. In addition, the operating points for the initial fermentation residue, for the filtrates after the respective separation stage and for the BlueBox effluent are shown. An alternative to spreading by means of liquid manure barrel is the distribution via an irrigation system. Outside of the restricted periods and when the area is vegetated, the spreading can thus be carried out over the entire vegetation phase".