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October 5, 2018

Montpelier, VT – Governor Phil Scott and the secretaries of Vermont’s Agencies of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Natural Resources, and Commerce and Community Development today launched stage two of the Vermont Phosphorus Innovation Challenge (VPIC), which will award grants to innovators in phosphorus extraction and clean water.

The Scott Administration launched the VPIC in April 2018 to address a statewide phosphorus imbalance, which adversely impacts Vermont’s waterways.

“While we continue with traditional approaches to restoring and protecting our waterways, this challenge seeks a proactive solution to our phosphorus imbalance and water quality challenges,” said Scott. “It brings together the public and private sector, combines science, technology and innovation, and creates a new model around phosphorus by promoting economic growth, environmental sustainability, and societal benefits. I thank all those who participated in this challenge for their ideas and commitment to helping address this complex problem.”

With 27 initial proposals, followed by 12 in-person presentations to the VPIC Evaluation Team in early September 2018, the VPIC is formally progressing to stage two with awards to six different applicants (listed below).

Stage two involves a total $250,000 of funding to be allocated to the proposals for prototyping, business case development, and a demonstration of the proposed technology over the course of several months. The initial funding allocated through stage two has been split to allow for effective prototyping and business case development, which varies for each proposal. Upon stage two completion, stage three will involve full scale implementation of one or more of the stage two projects. Stage three selections will focus primarily on estimated cost per pound of phosphorus mitigated, and then consider ways to repurpose phosphorus as a part of a value-added product, creating economic development opportunities.

The selections were made after careful deliberation and discussion by the Evaluation Team, which was comprised of subject matter experts, scientists, entrepreneurs and State officials, including:

  • Jeanette Brown, Manhattan College
  • John Cohn, IBM Corporation
  • Jed Davis, Agri-Mark/Cabot Creamery Co-operative
  • Max Herzog, Cleveland Water Alliance
  • Eric Howe, Lake Champlain Basin Program & New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission
  • Ken Jones, Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development
  • Tim Kenney, AI Certain
  • Julie Moore, P.E., Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
  • Bryan Stubbs, Cleveland Water Alliance
  • Guy Roberts, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

Each project is unique and proposes an effective solution to address the phosphorus imbalance that impacts water quality statewide.


DVO, Inc. and University of Vermont (UVM) – Chilton, WI – 45,000.00

Thirteen anerobic digester vessels situated statewide will be utilized with enhancements for solids control using Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF) processes and will develop a ‘p-cake’ product that is high in phosphorus for potential nationwide resale that will have a verified and significant value to agriculture.

Rock Dust Local, LLC – Bridport, VT – $25,000.00

Manufacture, apply, and study mineral and mineralized bio-carbon soil amendments (aka Biochar) deployed in the field to manage solution reactive phosphorus (SRP) and nitrogen loss through broadcast field applications, animal bedding admixtures and in-situ filtration media.

Green State Biochar – Barton, VT – $30,000.00

Use of local renewable organic waste materials that are processed in an innovative machine developed in Vermont as a prototype pyrolysis machine that produces a sequestered carbon product called Biochar. This Phosphorus Capture System utilizes this Biochar to act as a filter that efficiently captures the majority of the phosphorus, while producing valuable soil amendment/fertilizer products for local reuse.

Agrilab Technologies Inc. – Enosburg Falls, VT – $50,000.00

Use of a combination of existing phosphorus (P) recovery technologies, composting and drying equipment, and associated best management practices to demonstrate the technical feasibility of stabilizing and adding value to recovered “p-cake” and similar materials.

Digested Organics – Ann Arbor, MI – $45,000.00

Use ultrafiltration system on a Vermont dairy farm to remove most of the present phosphorus, suspended solids and pathogens in liquid manure, producing a transparent liquid ideal for field application, known as “UF Permeate” (a.k.a. “tea-water”) and a concentrated fertilizer that is readily transportable, known as “UF Concentrate.”

Village of Essex Junction, Chittenden County Solid Waste District and UVM – Essex Junction, VT – $45,000.00

Use of proprietary pipe descaling technology (PDT) to effectively remove phosphorus in Vermont sized wastewater applications. The technology uses an induced electric field of variable amplitude and frequency that can promote precipitation of crystalline minerals (struvite) without the dangerous and damaging adhesion to pipes, pumps or in tanks. The PDT coupled with electric-filtration cell will be employed to enhance phosphorus capture.

For more information on the VPIC, including details and a list of submitted proposals, visit: Please direct any questions regarding the VPIC to or call 802-622-4112.