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Technology That Turns Salt Water Into Fertilizer

The Alamogordo Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility will be welcoming Trailblazer Technologies, an innovative chemical technology company from South Africa that specializes in agricultural fertilizer products, to demonstrate a brand new state of the art technology that turns salt water into fertilizer

The Alamogordo Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility will be welcoming Trailblazer Technologies, an innovative chemical technology company from South Africa that specializes in agricultural fertilizer products, to demonstrate a brand new state of the art technology that turns salt water into fertilizer July 21 at the BGNDRF facility.

Facility Manager Randy Shaw said the inventor, John Bewsey who works for the company in South Africa, invented an ion exchange process that converts dissolved salts in brackish water into fertilizer products and also produces agricultural quality water.

"They've invented a process that's called the KNEW process. It's an ion exchange process that converts dissolved salts in water into fertilizer products and in the process of doing that they produce an agriculture quality stream of water," Shaw said. "When you have brackish water and you want to clean it up for agriculture or human consumption you have to do something with the salt. They want to pull the salts out and put it into this fertilizer product and in this particular technology, the waste product for them is water, good quality water."

The word KNEW is an acronym for "Potassium Nitrate ex waste." In the KNEW process, the brackish water from rivers or underground aquifers is filtered to remove coarse particles and pumped through a proprietary ion exchange sequence to remove all the dissolved ions leaving purified water for agricultural or household use.

Shaw said the KNEW technology will benefit dry parts of the world that does not have easy access to water or other resources.

"If you have a desert area without any fresh water but underground you have lots of brackish water, using some of these technologies will be environmentally sustainable," he said. "It would have very low impact on the environment as well."

Shaw said it's always a challenge to clean brackish water when you're on dry land because there is no ocean to return the salt to.

"It's always a challenge when you're not near the ocean. When you're near it you can put it back into the ocean and it dilutes down and minimizes the impact on the environment," he said. "When you're away from the ocean you have to come up with ways of managing the salts."

The Mining and Bracking Solutions CEO Aubrey Howard said they are designing a three phase plan that will demonstrate that their technology works in Alamogordo.

"In phase one, we will demonstrate the produced water and the fertilizer and supply farmers with that reusable water so that they can produce foods competitively," Howard said. "In phase two we want to build a high-tech agricultural farm using the latest water and energy saving techniques. The farm will use the water and fertilizers we produced at BGNDRF. Phase two is an add on to phase three that will build what we call a small city of the future (three to four houses). The houses will have the lowest carbon foot print possible as well as provide the luxuries we have become accustomed to."

Source: ALAMOGORDO

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