Agribusiness Cargill is planning a bacteria-based system to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous released into a river by its Fort Morgan, CO, beef processing facility.

The company expects to begin work in mid-2011 on a system to reduce these emissions and to improve the capture of biogas.

The system will use bacteria to break down nitrogen and release nitrogen gas, thus preventing emissions into the South Platte River.

Work on the project is expected to complete by the third quarter of 2012, at an estimated cost of over $6 million.

Cargill says it has already reduced nitrogen discharges at the plant by 65% in the past four years, and the new initiative should help the plant reach 80% or 90%.

The company says the facility is compliant with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s requirements for discharge into the South Platte River.

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