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Geneseo, NY, United States

Spurr R.,Rt Solutions, Llc | Wang J.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Zeng J.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Mishchenko M.I.,NASA
Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer | Year: 2012

We present a new linearization of T-Matrix and Mie computations for light scattering by non-spherical and spherical particles, respectively. In addition to the usual extinction and scattering cross-sections and the scattering matrix outputs, the linearized models will generate analytical derivatives of these optical properties with respect to the real and imaginary parts of the particle refractive index, and (for non-spherical scatterers) with respect to the "shape" parameter (the spheroid aspect ratio, cylinder diameter/height ratio, Chebyshev particle deformation factor). These derivatives are based on the essential linearity of Maxwell's theory. Analytical derivatives are also available for polydisperse particle size distribution parameters such as the mode radius. The T-matrix formulation is based on the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies FORTRAN 77 code developed in the 1990s. The linearized scattering codes presented here are in FORTRAN 90 and will be made publicly available. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Rt Solutions, Llc | Date: 2011-05-11

A method of processing organic waste which includes aerobically conditioning, in a dominantly thermophilic regime lasting at least 72 hours, a mixture of organic wastes having a carbon to nitrogen ratio between approximately 15 to 1 to 45 to 1 so as to form a feedstock, applying the feedstock to a worm bed; and maintaining a temperature and humidity of the worm bed and applied feedstock to maintain a mesophilic dominant regime within the worm bed.

Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 350.00K | Year: 2009

RT Solutions, LLC (RTS) has built a unique process-controlled "state-of-the-art" earthworm composting facility that process and transforms large volumes of dairy manures into a user friendly and unique plant production product with established horticultural consumers. This environmentally friendly technology known as vermicomposting uses earthworms in an engineered system to consistently produce a little understood class of organic plant production products. There are a multitude of peer-reviewed studies reporting the benefits of vermicompost in agriculture including disease suppression, but to date little has been done to identify the actual mechanisms or how they work. RTS, along with our collaborator Cornell University have preliminary results showing significant suppression of a seedling disease in a laboratory system. The three objectives of this project are to (1) develop an understanding of the mechanism of disease suppression for vermicompost, (2) develop a test that can rapidly predict suppression in vermicompost products and (3) develop a new family of liquid vermicompost extract products for use in commercial applications. RTS was founded to promote professional vermicomposting and develop vermicompost products for use in production agriculture. We are committed to bringing a quality, consistent, and scientifically based product into commercial applications. The information developed in this SBIR project will increase the value of vermicompost products to growers and further develop this environmentally sustainable manure management technology.

Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 286.35K | Year: 2006

The historical land balance model between the acreage needed to grow the feed to support a dairy cow and the area required to safely utilize the nutrients in the manure produced by a cow is no longer valid for many American dairies. Production specializations, advances in crop/animal science and the expansion of dairy herds, has created critical situations in which excess nutrients from surplus manure has contributed to air and water quality problems. The only viable solution is to have raw manure converted into a value-added product that allows it to be transported out of agriculturally intensive watersheds. These manure management costs have to be recouped from sales of the value added product (RTS proposes vermicompost) thus allowing excess nutrients from dairy operations to be handled in an economically and environmentally sustainable manor. Vermicomposting of animal manures is an emerging waste management technology with many technical and potential economic benefits over traditional composting systems. This project will evaluate the true viability of integrating a large-scale vermicomposting facility with a working 1,000 head dairy operation to produce a consistent quality vermicompost product year round in a temperate humid climate. A state of the art vermicomposting facility will be a win-win-win scenario for the animal producer (dairy), vermicomposting facility owner, and the consumers of the earthworm soil conditioner/fertilizer products.

Agency: Department of Agriculture | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2014

Hydroponic vegetable production in the U.S. has experienced steady substantial growth due to its ability to produce fresh produce, year round close to the source(s) of consumption. A major obstacle to hydroponic production is the gap in effective conventional fungicides and sustainable/organic nutrient sources to protect edible raw food crop against significant root diseases such as Pythium. Fresh baby leaf spinach commands high value, but hydroponic production of spinach has historically been limited due to its susceptibility to Pythium. In this proposal Worm Power, a commercial earthworm composting (vermicomposting) company, is collaborating with the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) group at Cornell University, which has conducted extensive research on the suitability of float pond hydroponics for commercial production of spinach.This project seeks to build on six-years of successful research between Worm Power and Cornell University on the plant growth and plant protection properties of their vermicompost materials (solids and liquid extracts). The goal is to determine, if and the extent to which the documented biologically-based disease suppressive properties of Worm Power in a new liquid extract form, can be effective against Pythium in commercial-type hydroponic baby spinach production. Pilot studies at Cornell have determined that vermicompost solids can be incorporated into the spinach seeding germination mix and liquid extracts used undiluted in the hydroponic nutrient solution without unwanted side-effects to the plants. Here we propose a multi-faceted work plan including the modification of Worm Power & #39;s extract production to test and make a standard commercial product suitable for hydroponic systems. Research at Cornell University will focus on multiple experimental systems to demonstrate both (1) Pythium suppression and (2) the general efficacy of the vermicompost extract in hydroponic spinach production.This project would contribute a novel approach to biological control and renewable/organic nutrients in hydroponic systems thus; (1) increasing the economic viability of small to mid sized farms via hydroponic production, (2) increasing the viability of small to mid sized worm farms, aka vermicomposters, and; (3) further developing an environmentally sustainable manure management system, to the overall economic benefit of U.S. agriculture.

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