DVO, Inc. – Ammonia Recovery

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DVO, Inc. – Ammonia Recovery

Renewables at Work

About the Company:

Largely due to unparalleled performance: DVO’s anaerobic digester (AD) systems greatly reduce odors, are cost-effective, scalable, operate automatically and require low maintenance. DVO is the U.S. market leader for AD and environmental engineering, providing reliable, proven solutions and services to industry and agriculture for over 22 years.

About the Solution:

For organic waste streams that are drier than 12% Total Solids (TS) – such as food wastes, poultry layer manure and other mixed wastes scenarios – DVO has developed a digester system that further processes wastes after the digester (called “digestate”) and recycles some or all of it as-needed to wet the incoming (drier) wastes. Critically, the solids that are recovered in this system are dewatered such that they are stackable and transportable. This practice of “treating and recycling” digestate is well-proven on DVO digesters.

However, a challenge with the continuous recycling of digestates is the also-continuous accumulation of ammonium/ammonia in the liquid. Poultry waste, for example, is very high in protein compounds. At a level of ammonium/ammonia above 3,500 ppm, ammonium/ammonia can become toxic to the methanogenic bacteria in the digester. Without a (practical & economical) means to remove that ammonia, a digester will become acidic and eventually fail.

Therefore, DVO has patented and fully commercialized an efficient Ammonia Recovery (AR) system, where they further process the digester effluent to remove the ammonium/ammonia. Uniquely, using a natural, non-chemical method at a significant savings. DVO also captures this ammonia and places it in a stable and marketable form – thereby creating another revenue source (or operating cost offset) for the digester.

The Ammonia Recovery system can also be advantageously deployed wherever there is a nutrient-management benefit to reducing TOTAL nitrogen from a waste stream – including dairy and hog manure, and urban organic wastes generally. When AR is included in a DVO digester process configuration, total nitrogen removals can range from 40-80% depending upon the waste stream and desired agronomic goals.

DVO’s Ammonia Recovery (AR) is an efficient, continuous, low maintenance system that requires minimal labor inputs. It truly has resolved the issues surrounding the digestion of “difficult” waste streams such as food wastes, and poultry -- and is an asset to the waste management of any agricultural facility that wants to economically remove and capture ammonia and produce a salable product.

DVO, Inc. 820 W. Main Street Chilton, WI USA 920-849-9797 Visit Company Website

Solution Type

  • Ammonia Stripping


  • Equipment Vendor
  • Project Developer


  • Energy
  • Fiber


  • Nitrogen
  • Odor
  • Pathogens

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Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators

Ammonia-N can be harvested from manure and digestate using proven chemical/thermal processes:

  • Produces a concentrated source of nitrogen from a renewable source
  • Requires pre-treatment to remove coarse and fine solids
  • Pairs well with anaerobic digesters because digesters convert organic N into ammonium
  • Chemical storage required for process chemicals and final product
  •  Proven technology for nitrogen recovery, odor control, and pathogen reduction

Newtrient Comments/Opinions:

Ammonia-N can be harvested from manure using proven chemical/thermal processes.

  • Produces a concentrated source of nitrogen from a renewable source
  • Requires pre-treatment to remove coarse and fine solids
  • Pairs well with anaerobic digesters because digesters make more ammonia available
  • Chemical storage required for process chemicals and final product
DVO has devoted considerable R&D investment into their unique ammonia stripping technology that aims to: remove the need for chemical addition to raise pH, displace the need for potentially expensive tower media, and reduce the input of required air. They have installed full-scale iterations of their technology at several dairies and poultry facilities across the US, and at this time, DVO considers the technology a part of their product line.

DVO continues to strive to improve capital and operating cost structures as well as removal performance and efficiency, which have traditionally plagued ammonia stripping. Newtrient will continue to work with DVO to further refine the cost and performance information as more information comes in with additional experience on commercial dairy installations. DVO's ammonia stripping technology is being evaluated using Newtrient's 9-point scoring process because this technology just recently became commercially available.

Newtrient 9-Point Scoring Rating

View the Scoring Page

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