Manure processing company LWR finds value in waste

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The importance of the agriculture industry to our economic recovery is getting a lot of attention. But of all the sectors recognized by the media, little has been written about manure, even though there is so much.

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Livestock Water Recycling (LWR) is a Calgary-based company that has become an award-winning global manufacturer of manure treatment systems, providing cattle and hog operations with patented manure treatment technology to recycle water and recover nutrients for livestock. fertilizer.

Founded in 2010 by Director of Development Ross Thurston and CEO Karen Schuett, its mission is to help farmers feed the world while reducing costs and restoring the health of the agricultural ecosystem.

Schuett constantly encourages farmers to reap the benefits of the LWR slurry processing platform.

A graduate in zoology from the University of Calgary, Schuett took a keen interest in hydrocarbon remediation and worked on a number of projects – including one with the underground jet fuel storage at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport – before being inspired to use her knowledge of contaminated groundwater to recycle wastewater.

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LWR uses both mechanical and chemical treatments to remove contaminants from manure and separate valuable nutrients from fertilizers on large livestock operations.

The enormity of the problem – and therefore the need to find a way to solve it – is underscored by California dairy farmers. Many now among his clients, Schuett paints a picture of farms where manure is stored in lagoons 15 feet deep and as big as football fields that need to be added twice a year. They take up a lot of space and smell – and they’re made from 5% solid waste and 95% water.

Using LWR technology developed and manufactured at its Calgary Innovation Center, waste is discharged directly from the barn into a 40-foot-long system that turns waste into value.

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The technology digitizes and transforms manure into a source of clean, high-quality water, carbon and nutrient-based fertilizers, and biogas feedstock. Odors are eliminated, groundwater withdrawals reduced, freshwater is protected from nutrient runoff, and greenhouse gases are reduced.

Farmers can grow more crops and produce more food using less money and fewer resources.

Costly storage of dilute manure is eliminated allowing farmers to use more land, recycled water is safer for animals and workers, less fresh water is used for irrigation and crop yields crops increase due to the application of available nutrients.

Today, the success of LWR technology meant increasing the size of its plant. And although Schuett says it took a long time to find the best building, working with JLL’s Austin Smith, he moved earlier this year to a 17,000 square foot innovation center behind Big Rock Brewery in the South-East.

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The additional space allows the company to keep pace with the growth of LWR, which ships to the United States – primarily to California and the Midwest – and has also shipped to Lebanon and Northern Ireland.

The rather unglamorous topic of manure gained recognition when Forbes presented LWR with its Innovation Icon Award at the 2019 Thrive-Forbes AgTech Summit in Salinas, secured financial investment from SVG Ventures, and Schuett was invited to present at a Forbes Summit event.

The technology is already in use on farms with the capacity to recycle more than a billion gallons of manure per year.

A dynamic speaker and passionate about her chosen topic, Schuett was also named one of the six most influential women in Canadian agriculture, selected to join the first Google for Startups Accelerator for Women Founders, and was chosen from a pool more than 1,000 -qualified nominees to receive the Clean50 designation for sustainability leadership.

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Remarks:

Who knew dogs could donate blood? The Canadian Animal Blood Bank is a Winnipeg-based non-profit organization that helps save dog lives by collecting, processing and selling canine blood for veterinary medical needs across Canada. Although she had been in business for 25 years, she had a low profile. So she approached Calgary-based Flipp Advertising, who provided her with a new strategic approach to better position the foundation for future partnerships, fundraising and brand recognition.

David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at [email protected]

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