Israel’s Paulee CleanTec, which creates sustainable solutions for the management of human and animal waste, was chosen as one of four winners of the Nutrient Recycling Challenge – Phase I organized by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Tel Aviv-based company was honored with the top prize of $6,000 for its Manure Convertor, which uses chemical processes to turn manure rapidly into a non-toxic, rich ash fertilizer.

Every year, livestock excrete more than a billion tons of manure (in the US alone), which contains valuable nutrients—nitrogen and phosphorus—that plants need to grow. But in order to minimize water pollution and build healthy soil, manure as a renewable fertilizer must be managed properly.

The EPA partnered with pork and dairy producers, the US Department of Agriculture and environmental and scientific experts to host this competition to seek ideas for cost-effective technologies that extract nitrogen and/or phosphorus from cow or hog manure and concentrate them into a usable and potentially marketable form while protecting the environment.

“It’s an old industry that needs new solutions,” Dr. Ilan Levy, Paulee CleanTec CEO, tells ISRAEL21c.

Dr. Ilan Levy, Paulee Cleantec CEO, at the White House. Photo by Oded Halperin
Dr. Ilan Levy, Paulee Cleantec CEO, at the White House. Photo by Oded Halperin

“The most important aspect of this challenge is that the dairy and livestock producers as well as councils, producers, cooperatives and experts support this competition. And we won recognition from them that they believe our technology can be a solution for their needs,” Levy notes.

After announcing the Nutrient Recycling Challenge, the EPA received 75 concept papers from around the world offering ideas to improve upon some aspect of what technologies can do today or achieve the goals in an entirely new way.

The EPA selected 34 submissions to continue on to Phase II of the challenge — in which innovators will attempt to turn their concepts into designs, and eventually, into working technologies to be piloted on livestock farms.

Those 34 were invited to the Nutrient Recycling Challenge DC Summit in Washington, DC on March 30-31, 2016.

“The Nutrient Recycling Challenge is a great example of EPA partnering with farmers to find solutions that benefit everyone,” said Ellen Gilinsky, senior policy advisor for the EPA’s Office of Water. “Through competition, together we are driving innovation to achieve environmental results.”

Paulee Cleantec's Manure Convertor uses innovative chemical processes to turn manure into a non-toxic fertilizer. Photo courtesy
Paulee CleanTec’s Manure Convertor uses innovative chemical processes to turn manure into a non-toxic fertilizer. Photo courtesy

Israel’s Paulee CleanTec shared the winners’p circle with Uganda’s Bravespec Systems’ centrifuge technology to separate nutrient particles from manure; University of Minnesota’s dry biosolids fertilizer technology; and Centrisys Corporation’s air stripping processes to create anaerobically digested manure.

The winners received their awards at a ceremony at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building during the first day of the summit.

“I must say it really was a great experience,” founder Oded Halperin tells ISRAEL21c, “and especially that our technology made such a big buzz there.”

Partners in the Nutrient Recycling Challenge include American Biogas Council, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, Ben & Jerry’s, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Dairy Farmers of America, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, US Department of Agriculture, Water Environment Research Federation and World Wildlife Fund, among others.