Phosphorus Innovation Challenge

Thank you for your interest in the Phosphorus Innovation Challenge!   

Six Proposals Awarded Funding for Stage Two of VPIC:

Recipients of Stage Two Funding through the Vermont Phosphorus Innovation Challenge awarded by Governor Phil Scott.

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.

Click here to view DVO, Inc and UVM's VPIC Proposal

Eric Roy of UVM

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.

Click here to view Rock Dust Local's VPIC Proposal

Thomas Vanacore of Rock Duck Local, LLC. and Trampas Demers of Shelburne Limestone Corp

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.

Click here to view Green State Biochar's VPIC Proposal

Donna Pion, Roger Pion, and Luke Persons of Green State Biochar

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.

Click here to view Agrilab Technologies' VPIC Proposal

Agrilab Technologies uses composting and energy captured from the decomposition process to dry and stabilize phosphorus products

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.”

Click here to view Digested Organics' VPIC Proposal

Digested Organics' 'Majestic UF System'

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.

Click here to view the Village of Essex Junction, CWSD, and UVM's VPIC Proposal

Jim Jutras from the Village of Essex Junction and Appala Raju Badireddy from UVM


Follow this link to see video of the event:

Follow this link for more information on Stage Two Funding awards:


Stage One: State of Vermont Selects 12 Sumbissions out of 27 to Present to VPIC Evaluation Team

To view the list of selected proposals click here

Using this innovative method of identifying solutions to problems or challenges, we hope to identify one or more technologies that could help mitigate the impact of phosphorus in our watershed by ensuring that the right amount of phosphorus is applied to the soil at the right time and in the right place, which will in turn minimize losses to our rivers, lakes, ponds and streams.

The Application Period for Stage One Closed July 6, 2018.

Stage One Proposals were submitted by July 6, 2018. A total of 27 Proposals were submitted, a list of the Proposals and the submitting organizations can be found here:


Some, or all, of the teams submitting responses to Stage One will be selected to make an in-person presentation to the Evaluation Team on Septmeber 6, 2018. The Evaluation Team will be comprised of subject matter experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, and State officials. VPIC was Initiated On Friday April 27, 2018 by Governor Scott. 


Click Here for Details on the VPIC: Phosphorous Innovation Challenge Brief

Click here for the VPIC FAQ Document: VPIC- Frequently Asked Question Document  (updated June 27, 2018)

WATCH: Gov. Phil Scott’s Phosphorus Innovation Challenge Press Conference


Timeline and details for interested parties are as follows:

  • On April 27, 2018, an invitation was issued for proposals to develop a “proof of concept” for processes or technologies that remove phosphorus from manure or other waste streams and make the recovered phosphorus available for beneficial reuse.
  • By May 11, 2018, prospective applicants emailed their intent to participate in the challenge.
  • On May 21, 2018, the Administration held a meeting from 1-3 pm at the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) Annex with interested parties to field questions and discuss the challenge. 
  • Stage One proposals were received, via email, by 5pm EST on July 6, 2018.​
  • 12 teams that submitted responses to Stage One were selected to make an in-person presentation to the Evaluation Team on Septmeber 6, 2018. 
  • Six teams were selected to progress to Stage Two of VPIC, notification occured on September 30, 2018.
  • Stage Two will conclude on July 31, 2019.

If you would like to receive information about the Phosphorus Innovation Challenge, please contact 

VPIC Evaluation Team Members: Stage One
  • 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
  • Bryan Stubbs, Cleveland Water Alliance
  • Guy Roberts, VAAFM           

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901

Program Contacts

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