Monday, May 4, 2009

EcoTech's Miracle Mineral

Recently, I and others at my firm completed a scoping report for a company called Ecotech, which mines a natural "miracle" mineral called zeolite.  Zeolite is a unique mineral with many agricultural applications that provides environmental benefits, including improved water quality, reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from manure and fertilizer, and enhanced methane capture in anaerobic digestion.  We were looking into the potential greenhouse gas benefits or carbon credits that could come from using zeolite.  It turns out that when you feed this mineral to livestock (cattle and pigs especially) it binds the nitrogen in the manure so well that there is very little run off when the manure is then applied to a crop field as fertilizer. Also, when you put zeolite directly into a digester used to capture methane from manure, you are able to increase the amount of methane you can capture by 10-30%.

The ability to reduce nitrous oxide (one of the greenhouse gases coming off of manure) would be hugely significant because it is some 300 times more potent in terms of global warming than the main gas, carbon dioxide.  Methane is some 25 times more potent than C02 and will be a very important part of the coming carbon market.

You can check out the report at the Clark Group website by clicking here.

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