Speaker: Dr. Jay Schwalbe, Co-Founder, Nitricity
Presentation Slides: “Fertilizer on the Farm – Powering the Next Generation of Nitrogen Fixation” (3 MB PDF)
Meeting Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Time: 4:00 PM PST (Zoom, on the Internet)
Abstract: For the past century, nitrogen fertilizer has been produced as ammonia (NH3) in billion-dollar facilities located hundreds to thousands of miles away from growers who need it. Immense market inefficiencies and safety hazards impact the distribution channel and lead to farmer’s paying 2-5x higher than production costs, which are tied to volatile natural gas prices. As a result, inflated and inconsistent fertilizer costs often force the farmers to make decisions based on prices rather than crops. Furthermore, entrenched supply chains fail to reach developing economies, and nitrogen fertilizer is the most expensive where it is most needed.
Nitricity provides universal access to nitrogen fertilizer by producing it on-site and on-demand using air, water, and solar electricity. We enable growers to have control over their own fertilizer supply, reduce their costs, and mitigate CO2 emissions. We produce nitric acid and almost all types of nitrate fertilizer (calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and nitrophosphates).
Bio: Jay Schwalbe is the VP of technology and co-founder of Nitricity. He grew up in the rural state of Vermont before receiving his B.S. in chemical engineering from Cornell University. Fueled by a desire for bigger mountains and more science, he moved west for a Ph.D. at Stanford. He was a member of the first cohort of the Cargnello Lab at Stanford where he studied many different kinds of nitrogen fixation technologies. He and Joshua McEnaney have been collaborating on related projects for the past several years and are now focused on bringing the best nitrogen tech to market.