Improved Strategies for Elevated Vermicomposting Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2012-00185
Agency Tracking Number: 2012-00185
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.4
Solicitation Number: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-003497
Small Business Information
765 BELLEMEADE PLACE, Alpharetta, GA, 30004-8412
DUNS: 963966622
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kenneth Hughes
 (973) 901-5429
Business Contact
 Kenneth Hughes
Title: CEO
Phone: (973) 901-5429
Research Institution
The agricultural community's relationship with urban centers has always been complicated and highly dynamic. Recent US Census data indicates that "agricultural America" is growing the fastest at the transition zones near urban areas. At the same time there is strong interest by those living in cities and suburbs to participate in food production and farming. In conjunction with these trends is a strong desire and demand for foods to be produced organically, sustainably, and locally. Meeting these demands can improve food safety, reduce environmental impacts associated with food production, transportation and distribution and aid in bringing together urban and rural communities. New technology and methods are required to 1) meet the needs of space-limited agricultural activities that occur in and near urban and residential areas, 2) protect the environment (air, water, and soil) in these locations from emissions and discharges that are known to occur with intensive farming activities, 3) reduce the costs of food production and distribution throughout these regions, and 4) take advantage of unique opportunities that exist at the interface between agricultural and urban locations with respect to plant nutrient recycling. This Phase I project will develop elevated vermiculture technology and demonstrate methods that can be used to recycle clean components of Municipal Waste Streams (MWS) to recover valuable plant nutrients that can be used on small organic farms, in urban and community garden programs, and by residential gardeners. In addition to providing food producers with valuable and much needed plant nutritional materials this recycling effort will eliminate the unnecessary transportation and land-filling and/or combustion of organic materials which impacts the environment through both greenhouse gas generation (methane and carbon dioxide) and nutrient runoff into regional waterways. This Phase I project will demonstrate and evaluate Skolex Biotechnologies new elevated vermiculture technology for the recovery of plant nutrients from clean Municipal Waste Streams (MWS). The Project will generate high value organic fertilizers for use in food production. This new technology is modular, portable, and requires minimal capital to install and operate. Skolex Biotechnologies' technology is suitable for installation at small farms, in suburban and urban garden and horticulture centers, and at the source of clean organic waste stream generation. The commercialization of the technology and materials (organic fertilizers) produced by use of the technology are straightforward as a market now exists for these products. Materials generated by using Skolex Biotechnologies' technologies and methods are easily packaged and sold in retail stores and online to organic gardeners and food producers.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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