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David Sparks Ph.d Wind Fertilizer
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: November 23, 2018

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Fertilize your crop with nitrogen made at home with wind energy. The definition of an optimist is somebody who always see things on the positive side and a pessimist is someone who is filled with negativity. One thing driving these moods is news. Well I just saw something that gives you hope and it comes in the form of agricultural science. Producing renewable nitrogen fertilizer from wind energy is a first-in-the-world research project being done by the University of Minnesota - funded by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. Mike Reese is the Renewable Energy Director for the University at their West Central Research Station in Morris, Minnesota. Reese calls it an elegant process: “Where a farmer could have a wind turbine on his land and produce a product like nitrogen fertilizer which you can use on the corn that is growing around the wind turbine. So we take water and separate the hydrogen and oxygen, we pull nitrogen from the air and combine the hydrogen and nitrogen to form anhydrous ammonia which is the predominant nitrogen fertilizer source that farmers use.” Reese says the wind to ammonia process is a new way of using an old process: “ The actual process is about 100 years old and natural gas is used to produce hydrogen and then after that it is the same process.”

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