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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Turning animal/Human waste into energy

Human Waste Powers Streetlight
Dec10,2007-Abios gas plant in an Indian town generates 3,000 watts of electricity
a day-from human waste.

Pig manure may be converted to crude oil
A University of Illinois in Urbana professor and her graduate students are investigating a unique solution to soaring oil prices -- pig manure.

Stefan Lovgren
for National Geographic News
July 2, 2004
Crude oil and gasoline prices are near an all-time high. But don't despair. One scientist has found an alternative source of energy: pig manure.

Yuanhui Zhang, an agricultural engineering professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, has succeeded in turning small batches of hog waste into oil.

The process, called thermochemical conversion, uses heat and pressure to break down carbohydrate materials and turn waste into liquid. The project is still in its infancy.

For now, each half-gallon (two-liter) batch of manure converts to only about 9 ounces (0.26 liter) of oil.

But Zhang believes the conversion process could eventually solve the problem of pollution and odor at modern hog farms, where farmers pay big money to get rid of the waste. And, he says, pig oil could also offer an alternative to petroleum oil.

"If 50 percent of U.S. swine farms adopted this technology, we could see a [U.S.] 1.5-billion-dollar reduction in crude oil imports every year," Zhang said. "And swine producers could see a 10 percent increase in their income—about $10 to $15 per hog."

Oil Crisis

During the oil crisis in the 1970s, U.S. researchers attempted to turn wood sludge and coal into oil. But it proved too costly. When oil prices later fell, the whole idea of turning waste into fuel became less attractive.

"The science is not new, but it has failed because of economics," Zhang said. "If you can buy crude oil at [U.S.] $20 a barrel, why bother with pig oil? It's too expensive."

But with crude oil prices now hovering around U.S. $40 a barrel, pig oil once again seems like an attractive fuel alternative.

Zhang's research team developed a small-scale thermochemical conversion reactor that applies heat and pressure to swine manure. The process breaks the manure's long hydrocarbon chains down into shorter ones. Methane, carbon dioxide, water, and oil are produced as by-products.

"The process we have developed is quite different from most conventional thermochemical conversion processes," said Zhang. "There is no need for the addition of a catalyst, and our process does not require predrying of the manure."

Each conversion takes about 15 minutes, and the process has a strong energy return. "For every one portion of energy in, you get three portions of energy out," Zhang said.

Negative Cost

The researchers converted as much as 70 percent of swine manure volatile solids into oil. About 20 percent of the manure is considered solid; the rest is largely water. Some 90 percent of that solid manure is volatile, or organic. Those volatile solids are the part of the manure that can be converted to oil.

The manure excreted by one pig during its life span on an average hog farm could produce up to 21 gallons (80 liters) of crude oil. A swine farm producing 10,000 market hogs per year could produce 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons (795,000 liters), of crude oil per year.

Simply getting rid of manure is a big business. "It's a negative-cost material to us," Zhang said. "People are willing to pay for you to use it."

Manure has advantages over raw materials, like wood sludge, because the pig has already done most of the work. "It's a very nice material that is easy to process, because it's already been biologically processed by the pigs," Zhang said.

The process could also work with manure from chickens or cows, though it would have to modified. Human waste, which is similar to that of pigs, would, in theory, work well in Zhang's system with little or no modification.

After the conversion, the researchers took the crude oil and further processed it, obtaining refined oil that Zhang says has a heating value similar to that of diesel fuel.

Environmental Benefits

As a renewable energy, pig oil has great environmental benefits. Minerals are preserved in the treatment system, odor is reduced, and the biological oxygen demand of manure is reduced by 70 percent.

"Biological oxygen demand" refers to the fact that, as manure breaks down, the process sucks oxygen from its environment. When manure leeches into a water supply, say due to runoff, it harms aquatic life by decreasing the oxygen available to fish, water plants, and other organisms.

Also, unlike petroleum oil, pig oil uses no additives.

"For me, it's primarily an environmental thing," Zhang said. "We have to look to renewable or alternative energy. We know that eventually we can't keep digging up petroleum oil."

The next step for Zhang's research team is to develop the batch process into what he calls a continuous-mode process at a pilot plant.

"Then, the heat generated from the process can be recycled more efficiently, reducing the operating costs," Zhang said. "Reactor volume can be reduced for the same capacity, which reduces the investment costs. And automated controls can be adapted more readily, which reduces the labor costs."

So should oil companies be worried about Zhang?

"Maybe," he said. "I have no support from the oil companies, that's for sure."

swine oil:Industrial-scale farming has a serious waste problem, but new technology can convert it into oil.By Yuanhui Zhang, Kim Ocfemia, and Malia Appleford

Turning Animal Waste into Electricity
n keeping with the old saying "Waste not, want not", an Alberta farm is the future site of IMUS – a new technology that will turn manure into a source of electricity, heat, fertilizer and reusable water – all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts.

The Integrated Manure Utilization System — known as IMUS — is being constructed at Highland Feeders in Vegreville, Alberta, one of the province's largest feedlots. The system is capable of treating manure from cattle, dairy cows, chickens and pigs. The pilot-scale unit will use manure from 7 500 head of cattle, which is less than a quarter of the 37 000 head of cattle at the feedlot. Construction is expected to be completed in June 2004 at which time it will begin generating electricity.

The technologies that make up the IMUS unit are not new, however, for the first time these technologies are being integrated into a single system. Moreover, integrating them has resulted in innovative developments of some of the technologies.

How it works:

Manure is taken to a large container called a hopper, where unwanted materials such as sand and dirt are removed. From there the mixture goes into an anaerobic digester specially designed to maximize the production of methane (natural gas) from the decomposition of the manure. Anaerobic means it does not use oxygen, and therefore generates methane and not carbon dioxide.
Lab-scale anaerobic digester used to heat manure to 54°C, destroying 99 per cent of all pathogens and optimizing the production of methane gas. Photo: Highland Feeders.
The methane gas is then piped to a co-generation system, an electrical-mechanical system that simultaneously produces both electricity and heat. In this pilot project, the manure from 7 500 head of cattle will produce about one megawatt of electricity. In three or four years, the scale of the project will be increased to produce up to three megawatts of electricity — enough power to supply a town of 5 000 people. It is conceivable that a larger IMUS plant could produce enough power to sell to a local electric utility.

Next, the mixture is put through a centrifuge and is separated into solid and liquid. At this point, lime is added to the liquid to remove phosphates and nitrogen. The removed phosphates and nitrogen are added into the solid to produce bio-based fertilizer that is formulated into granules or pellets, depending on the desired end use.

The liquid that results from the process is sent to a water treatment facility which will strip out any ammonia and adjust the pH level. Once treated, this water will be used for crop irrigation on the farm.
Importance of IMUS

Back when farms were family owned and operated, the relatively small volume of animal manure generated could simply be collected, stored for short periods, and spread on the fields as fertilizer.

Today, as the livestock industry expands in Canada and large conglomerates predominate, public concern is growing over the risks associated with the economic, social and environmental impacts of disposing of manure. For example, manure used on fields as fertilizer can create greenhouse gases, nitrous oxide and ammonia. If it is spread on a field, as opposed to being injected into the soil, there is also the risk that rain will wash it into nearby waters, where it can promote the growth of algae and unwanted bacteria and, potentially contaminate the drinking water.

Fast Facts

The manure from 7 500 head of cattle can produce about one megawatt of electricity.

Scaling up the project to produce three megawatts of electricity would produce enough power to supply a town of 5 000 people.

With the manure from 7 500 head of cattle, this project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 000 tonnes C02 equivalent per year. Naturally, scaling up the project and including manure from other livestock, such as poultry and dairy, will significantly increase the emissions reductions.

The construction of 20 IMUS plants would cut nearly 500 000 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide – or half a megatonne per year.

In the digester the manure is heated to about 54°C, quickly destroying 99 per cent of all pathogens and optimizing the production of methane gas.

Related Sites

Alberta Research Council

IMUS News Release

Greenhouse Gas Web Site

Government of Canada Climate Change Web Site

This new technology treats cattle manure as a resource as opposed to a waste. It is a new and very cost-effective approach that addresses social, economic and environmental issues associated with manure management.

Once the technology is ready to be commercialized, IMUS systems can be built to accommodate different sizes of feedlots. The system requires about 1000 head of cattle to make it economically feasible. Larger feedlots would benefit from the technology and be self-sustaining. Groups of neighbouring farmers could also purchase the technology and operate together as a cooperative.

This system will help the livestock industry improve sustainable development by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and address the environmental impacts of managing manure from feedlots. This technology also has great potential to improve environmental performance of agriculture and provide economic benefits to feedlot operators and farmers involved in feed production. Canada's overall economic position will benefit from taking action on climate change by producing less waste, pollution and greenhouse gases.

This pilot project is sponsored by Highmark Renewables, Alberta Research Council Inc. and the federal government through the following programs under the Climate Change Action Plan: Technology Early Action Measures; Energy Co-generation from Agricultural and Municipal Wastes; and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Program for Canadian Agriculture. Other partners include the Alberta Agriculture Research Institute, Sustainable Development Technology Canada and Climate Change Central.


Ireland turns chicken waste into electricity
09 Jan 2008

It has been announced that poultry litter and bone meal are to be used as the energy source of a new power station to be built in Northern Ireland.
The power station is estimated to cost around €134m.Moy Park and O'Kane's chickens have come together with Glenfarm Holdings to turn the waste into electricity.It has been reported that Rose Energy has submitted a project proposal to the government to build an energy plant which will convert agricultural biomass into electricity near Glenavy, County Antrim.

According to Rose Energy, burning agricultural will provide up to a third of Northern Ireland's sustainable energy obligations.

Read More at RoseEnergy

Turning hog wastes into profit
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
By Raquel C. Bagnol

WHAT used to be considered as total waste excreted by 15,000 hogs has turned into a profitable venture that means huge savings in electricity and power bills for the Cecilia Stock Farms (CSF) in Barangay Mahayag in the district of Bunawan, Davao City.

At the simple formal opening rites of the biogas plant on December 14, CSF manager Teresita Pascual said the wastes from the hogs produce 300 kilowatts of energy, much more than the 200 kilowatts CSF requires to operate every day.

The biogas system works by trapping methane from the liquid and solid wastes of hogs and converting it into biogas to supply the power needs of the farm.

The hog wastes are directed to a holding pond with a tight cover, and the gas trapped within can generate power.

Pascual said the operation of the biogas plant is also a move to support the campaign for reducing emission of greenhouse gases.

"Methane, a gas coming from animal waste, is 21 percent more potent than carbon dioxide, so when released into the atmosphere, this poses an environmental hazard," she said.

Pascual added that CSF's electric bill used to be more than P300,000 a month, but with the biogas plant's operation, CSF has saved a substantial chunk from that single item. Pascual however said that having the Biogas Plant does not mean they have totally cut off connection with the Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC).

"The DLPC is our standby power. When the power supply from the Biogas Plant shuts off, Davao Light automatically turns on to keep the operations going," Pascual said.

Pascual said the idea of coming up with a Biogas Plant was conceived in 1995 but was unable to take off for various reasons. The project became a reality in May this year on a Build, Operate, Own and Transfer (BOOT) plan for a period of seven years.

CSF started operations in 1980. Presently, the company has about more than 150 employees and operates in partnership with the Pig Improvement Company based in the United Kingdom.

It has been observed that the major contributors of Greenhouse Gas emissions are manufacturers of cement, textiles, steel and fertilizers. The major gases emitted by these industries are methane, nitrous oxide, hydro fluro carbons, which directly deplete the ozone layer.

Councilor Leo Avila III, council committee chair on environment, said that the opening of the biogas plant at the CSF is the committee's business response to address the issue of climate change to support the campaign for reduction of emission of greenhouse gases.

Avila said Filipinos have to act fast because the Philippines is vulnerable to the effects of greenhouse gasses as about 80 percent of the population lives along a 50-kilometer coastline.

The opening of the plant in Mahayag coincided with the observance of the climate change awareness week in Davao City last month.

Small scale anaerobic digester which could provide enough methane for domestic cooking needs in Costa Rica.

Above is a sketch of the profile of a biodigester to better visualize the concept. In the picture, A represents the biodigester tank where the water and manure mixture is digested by the bacteria. When working with cow manure in a biodigester of this size (1.9 meters deep X 1.5 meters wide X 3 meters long), every day you need to add 10 gallons of water and 5 gallons of manure.
When working with pig manure you work with a 1:1 ratio, or rather, 5 gallons of water for the same 5 gallons of manure. In Costa Rica they use twice as much water for the cow manure because the cattle grazes on grasses, making the manure more fibrous than that of pigs. In the picture B and C represent the entrance and exit tubes respectively. The entrance tube should enter the tank near the bottom and the exit tube should enter the tank just beneath the first row of cement block. D and E represent the mixing tub and the collection tub respectively.

The mixing tub will ideally be more than 15 gallons in volume in order to mix the water and manure thoroughly. The mixture should have a uniform consistency to facilitate optimal digestion throughout the tank. Also, in the picture, the green circles represent the bottom support pins that catch the frame of the plastic in case the water level decreases drastically. The purple circles represent the top hangers against which the frame of the plastic rests as it tries to float up to the water surface. The curved tubes that enter the tank on each end are to hold the mixing rope. The mixing rope is to have 3-5 gallon jugs half-full with sand attached. When two people tug back-and-forth on this mixing rope for a few minutes daily, the partially submerged gallon jugs break up any thick film that may gather at the surface, suffocating the bacteria in the tank below. The dotted yellow line represents the liquid level. Notice that the level comes right up to the rim of the exit tube. This parity is important, as every day that you put in 15 gallons of mixture, the exit tube, in theory, will discard the same volume into the collection tub to be used for fertilizer. The black dome that hovers over the tank is the plastic frame that fits just under the top hangers (purple circles) and holds the plastic that balloons up when the biogas, represented by the upward arrows, bubbles up from the surface of the water/manure mixture. The biogas then escapes through the PVC tubing represented by the blue line that extends above the middle of the plastic. Through this tubing the biogas is transported to the kitchen to be burned for cooking.

Full report available :-

Related project:-
Download Biodigester Designed and Built in the Philippines by Gerry Baron PDF

An explanation of the Anaerobic Digestion Biogas Digester Process which produces biogas (methane), and is a sustainable renewable energy process capable of reducing carbon emissions, and slowing climate change. Biogas Digester: Heart of the Anaerobic Digestion Process

ABS Hog Farming Waste/Wastewater Treatment

Source forABS microbal enhancer

Running Cost Benefits:
A) No Capital Equipment Investment.
B) No alteration for the existing floor plan
C) No Electric Gorging Treatment Devices
D) Simple to use and exceptionally effective on Odor Control and Sludge Reduction.
E) Reduce the risk of regulatory non-compliance and levies.

Fringe Benefits:
A) Drastically improve the hog pan environment by reduce the toxic gases of CO2 and CH4 etc.... to improve the livestock health and improve their immune system.
B) Reduce Malodor to strengthen the relation with the neighborhood.
C) Improve the wastewater out falls to the regulatory compliance requirement.
D) Protect the treatment facilities form corrosion and piping constriction.


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