Testing is underway as part of a major project aiming to reduce the environmental impact of ammonia emissions from livestock.

It comes after ammonia-harvesting technology was installed on a commercial pig farm in North Yorkshire.

The PigProGrAm scheme is demonstrating a farm-focused solution for the harvesting of green ammonia from pig waste that could also lead to the creation of hydrogen, a valuable tool in the fight against climate change.

The research project, backed by £600,000 of UK government money, includes the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Beta Technology, the University of Leeds and Duynie Feed.

Agriculture is a major source of ammonia emissions which can impact negatively on biodiversity through nitrogen accumulation on land and acidification of water courses.


The latest addition to the research team is Membracon, which specialises in water treatment, clean water recycling and effluent solutions.

The company’s patented, award-winning downflow gas contactor (DGC) was installed on the pig farm in July.

The technology is used in a wide variety of gas separations applications, such as industrial carbon capture, as well as biogas enhancements.

“The DGC will be used on this ambitious project to help generate a route for the livestock sector to become truly sustainable; considering the true practices of a circular economy, while retaining a sound financial profile to continuing operations,” Aman Sohl from Membracon said.

Harvesting ammonia from pig waste means that ammonia emissions will be lower; the byproduct from the process can be used in several ways, such as producing a high-quality fertiliser as well as potentially generating hydrogen.

Zanita Markham, Projects and Engagement Relationship Manager at AHDB, said: “We hope that the PigProGrAm project will be the first stage of a larger demonstration of the potential of this innovative approach to harvesting green ammonia from livestock and will contribute to the UK meeting its net-zero emission target.

“The project is a step forwards in helping reduce the environmental impact of pig farms which not only enables us to keep meeting environmental targets but could have a significant positive impact on the public perception of pig farming,” she added.