Oslo, Norway: N2 Applied, the European agricultural technology business, today announced that Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has become the first UK organisation to purchase an N2 Unit, a farming appliance that uses revolutionary technology to practically eliminate methane and ammonia emissions from slurry production.
SRUC, which has six campuses across Scotland, is a research institution that provides higher education, consulting, and research in agriculture and life sciences. It will use the Unit in its ongoing farming operations and as part of its courses at its Barony Campus near Dumfries, many of which examine the long-term potential of circular agriculture models.
Using a scientific technique that applies just air and electricity to slurry, the technology within the N2 Unit performs a plasma conversion which retains both methane and ammonia within 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. Units are typically powered by renewable energy, with the ability to draw from multiple sources when required.
SRUC will use the Unit to process dairy manure into sustainable slurry material that locks in methane and ammonia, and retains nitrogen to maintain grassland yields comparable to those achieved with chemical fertilisers.
“The sale of the first commercial N2 Unit in the UK is a major milestone for both our business and the future of sustainable farming,” said Nick Humphries, UK General Manager for N2 Applied. “SRUC is a pioneering institution helping to push the boundaries of not just specific farming techniques, but overall models of more sustainable agriculture and their broader impact on rural communities. It is the ideal first customer that will help to explore the full potential of what N2 Applied’s technology can achieve.”
John Newbold, Professor of Dairy Nutrition at SRUC, said: “The agricultural sector is pivotal in creating a more sustainable future for our world through reduced impact of its activity on the environment and more secure food production for a growing population. As we work to help the sector to achieve that, the N2 Unit offers a pathway to addressing one of the least welcome by-products of dairy farming, making slurry sustainable and reducing chemical fertiliser dependency.”
South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) provided significant support for SRUC with the purchase of the N2 Unit.
Claire Renton, SOSE’s Head of Operations for Dumfries and Galloway, added: “Agriculture is such an important sector for the South of Scotland, making up more than a quarter of all the businesses in our region.
“SRUC’s purchase of the N2 Unit with SOSE support is such an innovative move for the sector, which we believe can be another step towards Scotland’s Just Transition to Net Zero, and creating a fairer, wealthier and greener economy.”