Humankind is faced with a grand challenge – to feed the world while sustaining the environment. Making and distributing enough fertilizer in the conventional manner will cause steep increases in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This research addresses the fundamental issues of food, energy and the environment and will: use renewable energy, water and air to produce nitrogen fertilizer near the farm; advance novel methods for producing nitrogen fertilizer from non-fossil sources; model distributed designs with advanced manufacturing; study and incorporate design response to policy implications; and evaluate the new technologies for their economic and environmental sustainability. The ultimate goal is to commercialize renewable and sustainable fertilizer technologies for Minnesota companies and farmers.
Principal Investigator: Michael Reese, UM-M West Central Research & Outreach Center
Co-Investigators: Edward Cussler; Prodromos Daoutidis; Lanny Schmidt; Alon McCormick, Chemical Engineering and Material Science; Steve Kelley, Center for Integrative Leadership; Roger Ruan, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering; Douglas Tiffany, Applied Economics;, Kenneth Valentas, Biotechnology Institute