Bion provides comprehensive and cost-effective treatment of livestock waste. Direct treatment of livestock waste, while it is still concentrated and before it contaminates air, soil, aquifers and downstream waters, can provide tremendous savings in our escalating clean water costs, as well as dramatic reductions in greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
The technology simultaneously delivers improved efficiencies to large-scale animal protein production facilities through byproduct recovery and renewable energy production. By largely eliminating a facility’s environmental footprint, the technology creates the potential for expansion of existing operations, as well as developing new facilities in strategic locations that were previously impossible. The ability to verify these improvements provides a platform for sustainable branding – a direction the industry is already moving toward in response to increasing consumer demand.
Bion’s proven technology platform can deliver substantially improved economics in two multi-billion dollar industries: water treatment and dairy/egg/meat production.
In most watersheds, livestock waste is one of the largest sources of excess nutrients that US EPA now calls one of the greatest water quality problems in the U.S. today. Excess nutrients create toxic algal blooms and ‘dead zones’ in our rivers, lakes and estuaries. Notable examples include the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico. Cleanup cost estimates, based on legacy treatment strategies, range from $30B to $50B for the Chesapeake Bay alone. The Great Lakes and GOM would cost much more.
Looming costs of hundreds of billions of dollars are forcing changes to the clean water strategies at the federal level and in many of our states. Policies are evolving to address livestock/ agriculture and encourage private-sector solutions in order to successfully manage these costs. There is no affordable alternative. Bion can supply large-scale low-cost solutions in this new space that is poised to receive several billion dollars in federal, state, local and private spending.
Livestock production is also one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases and is under scrutiny for ammonia emissions, pathogens and antibiotics. Recognition of livestock production’s environmental ‘footprint’ has hurt the industry, making it difficult to consolidate or relocate in order to streamline its supply chain to deal with the dual challenges of climate change and higher fuel costs. Bion can develop new facilities with little environmental footprint that can be built in strategic locations that reduce transportation costs. These state-of-the-art facilities can benefit from greatly improved resource and operational efficiencies that can increase the profitability of an industry that has suffered severe declines over the last decade.
NEW CLEAN WATER STRATEGY/MARKET SPACE
Chesapeake Bay states are under federal mandate to reduce nutrients that flow to the Chesapeake Bay. Data from a 2012 Chesapeake Bay Commission report indicates that agriculture projects such as Bion’s could reduce overall compliance costs between 50% and 95%. Building on this and other data, a Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) report concluded that targeting upstream livestock would save PA’s taxpayers up to 80% of previously estimated costs to meet their Chesapeake Bay obligations – more than $1.5B per year by 2025.
In April 2015 the Pennsylvania Auditor General issued a Special Report acknowledging that the state is far behind in meeting its mandated 2017 Bay reduction targets and faces costly sanctions from US EPA. The report also supported using low-cost solutions and technologies as alternatives to higher-cost public infrastructure projects, where possible. The report specifically mentioned direct investment in manure control technologies.
Bion’s Kreider Farms projects, at one of the largest dairy/poultry operations in Pennsylvania (and the Bay watershed) will produce approximately 2 million pounds of verified nitrogen reductions annually to the Chesapeake Bay upon completion of Phase 2. The Phase 1 project at Kreider Farms (dairy waste treatment) was financed by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority and has now been issued a full water quality permit – the first ever for a livestock facility in the U.S. If the recommendations of the LBFC study are followed, Bion and other technology providers will compete to sell these verifiable reductions to Pennsylvania under long-term contracts.
More than a billion pounds of nutrients need to be reduced in the Mississippi River Basin, Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay watersheds alone. Initial policy frameworks to support water quality trading are in place in almost all affected states; the strategy is clearly supported by US EPA and other federal agencies. The final step is implementing financing strategies that identify and provide funding for cost-effective solutions in the various states that are affected. A market-driven strategy that rewards innovation will save taxpayer money and accelerate restoration of water quality.
There are more than 9 million dairy cows, 80 million beef cattle, 62 million swine and billions of chickens and turkeys in the U.S. that produce over 1.5 billion tons of waste annually. Although the economics will vary widely with livestock type, scale and location, livestock waste is one of the largest sources of unregulated nutrients in most states. Bion’s technology is the only one approved to generate verified credits from wet livestock waste by any state program overseen by US EPA; the Company is well-positioned to capture a significant portion of the billions of dollars in spending that must come into this new water treatment space.
INDUSTRY CLEANTECH SOLUTION
The livestock industry has struggled for the last decade to deal with rising fuel costs and drought conditions that have exposed critical weaknesses in its supply chain. For the most part, the industry has been unable to relocate or consolidate to mitigate these effects due to its environmental impacts. As a result, margins across the supply chain have fallen dramatically. Bion can develop new, state-of-the-art livestock production facilities with little environmental footprint and substantially greater operational and resource efficiencies. Bion can retrofit existing operations to achieve many of the same benefits.
Bion’s ability to permit new large-scale facilities in strategic locations can substantially reduce transportation costs. The technology platform creates new revenue sources through the production of byproducts, including renewable energy, fertilizer and potential feed additives, and discharge water that can meet requirements for reuse by the herd or aquifer recharge.
Bion’s platform also brings two more key improvements to livestock production: food safety and branding. Food safety and the direct impacts of food production on the environment and public health are issues of growing worldwide importance. WalMart, Costco, McDonalds and a host of other distributors of meat and dairy products are increasingly specifying sustainable production practices to satisfy growing customer demand. Bion-served facilities will allow greater control over inputs, improved traceability and accountability, and the cleanest, most efficient production practices possible.
The U.S. livestock industry must reduce its footprint and simultaneously improve its efficiencies if it is to remain environmentally and economically sustainable in the modern world. Bion addresses both of these inescapable challenges that will require significant investment over the coming years.
- Excess nutrients are now recognized by US EPA as one of the greatest water quality problems in the US today
- Livestock waste is acknowledged as one of the largest sources of nutrients in most major watersheds
- Clean water strategies are now changing to deal with hundreds of billions of dollars in anticipated cleanup costs
- Bion has the only proven and accepted technology for comprehensive treatment of wet livestock waste
- 2G technology qualified by USDA/Rural Development Technical Assessment for loan guarantees up to $250M
- US livestock census: 9M dairy cows, 80M beef cattle, 62M swine, >1B poultry
- Bion estimates the market for nutrient reductions in the U.S. alone at $8B to $10B annually, at $8 per pound per year of nitrogen reduction
- Bion recently announced its 3G technology that produces substantially higher byproduct and renewable energy values and can be used to treat poultry layer waste
FOR A MORE IN-DEPTH DESCRIPTION OF BION AND ITS OPPORTUNITIES, PLEASE REVIEW THE COMPANY OVERVIEW.