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You may have heard it is impossible to digest swine manure. This is not true.

Swine farmers can enjoy all the benefits provided by anaerobic digestion.
They just have to work a little harder than other livestock producers to get
them.
The problem is hog farmers like to handle pig manure as a liquid. The extra
water added to manure means digesters on swine farms are larger than
those on other farms such as dairies. We can overcome this challenge by
using specially designed digesters, scraping rather than flushing manure, or
adding a high-energy co-digestion product to the waste stream. Adding an
anaerobic digester to a manure handling system provides a number of
benefits. A digester can:
reduce odors and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
provide on-farm, renewable energy, and
aid in recycling plant nutrients.
Indirectly, adding a digester may also improve indoor air quality. With a
digester to feed, farmers tend to remove manure and clean buildings more
frequently.
Biogas is a mixture of methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), and a few minor
(but not insignificant) gases such as hydrogen (H2), hydrogen sulphide
(H2S), and water vapour (H2O). Both methane and carbon dioxide are
greenhouse gases. Releasing them into the atmosphere may contribute to
global warming. Methane is a much stronger greenhouse gas than carbon
dioxide. Methane is also flammable. Burning methane does two things. First,
it releases heat energy. Second, when methane burns, it forms carbon
dioxide and water vapour. Because the heat trapping ability of carbon
dioxide is much lower than methane, burning biogas lowers its greenhouse
effect.
We can harness the energy released during combustion by using the heat
directly. We can also convert biogas to electricity in an internal combustion
engine-generator set or fuel cell. Generator sets and fuel cells also release
heat, so they are sometimes called combined heat and power (CHP) systems.
The electricity produced can be used on farm or sold to the power company.
Organic matter can be solid or liquid [1]. Manure contains both: solid pieces
of undigested food and intestinal bacteria, and soluble organic liquids. A
digester reduces soluble organic matter from manure. Soluble organic matter
is the main source of odors on hog farms. The digester also converts a large
portion (around 50 per cent) of organic solids to biogas.
Sludge is the treated organic matter that settles to the bottom of a digester.
Sludge contains stabilized (less odorous) organic solids, helpful bacteria,
organic nitrogen (Org-N), insoluble phosphorus (TP), and micronutrients. All
of these are good soil amendments.
The liquid stream, or effluent, flowing from a digester contains soluble
nitrogen in the form of ammonium (NH4+), soluble phosphorus (PO4-) and
soluble potassium (K+). Effluent contains less organic matter than manure. It
also contains salts and micronutrients. Soluble N, P, K and micronutrients are

valuable fertiliser. The trick is to use these nutrients while managing salt in
the soil.
Communities of microorganisms use organic matter as food and release
biogas. The two main communities in a digester are the Acid Formers and the
Methanogens [2]. Solid organic matter is converted to liquid by acid forming
bacteria. Soluble organic molecules are converted to biogas by
methanogens.
Digesters come in many sizes and arrangements [3]. All digesters are
airtight. No oxygen can enter a digester, because oxygen kills methanogens.
The reactor is also kept at the proper temperature and pH for the
communities to digest organic matter efficiently.
All is not lost. Here are a few ways we can make digestion work on hog
farms.
Increase the strength of manure. If you have deep pits, use scrapers to
remove manure from buildings. If you flush, add a settling tank to thicken
manure ahead of the digester. Both of these increase manure solids content
and VMY. They also increase maintenance, and you will soon learn why most
hog farmers would rather flush than scrape manure.
Go simple and use a covered lagoon to produce and capture biogas.
Covering the first cell of a two-stage lagoon [3] will reduce most of the
hassles, and gain some of the benefits of digestion. A lagoon needs more
space than a mechanical digester, biogas production drops in winter, and
much of the fertilizer value remains in the lagoon with sludge. But, if the
main energy need is summer ventilation, and the farm is short on land to
recycle nutrients, this may be the way to go.
Anaerobic digesters reduce farmstead odors and minimize the carbon
footprint of pork production, while producing on-farm energy. Hog farmers
face a large hurdle when it comes to digestion. The low volumetric methane
yield of swine manure means, without taking special measures, hog farms
have large, inefficient digesters. Pork producers can overcome this hurdle by
using reactors specifically designed for dilute manure, thickening manure
before it enters the reactor, or adding high energy co-digestion products to
the manure stream.
Manure produced by livestock operations contains the feed nutrients that
animals were not able to use. Prairie livestock operations generally use
manure as a source of nutrients for crop production, and should be
considered a manageable, valuable fertilizer resource.
Storage of the manure for some length of time is usually necessary. The
stored manure is sometimes treated, either before or during storage.
The reasons for treatment include:
Odour control
Energy recovery
Reduction of manure volumeespecially where extended transportation is
necessary

Reduction of nutrient contentin some circumstances where insufficient land


is available to receive the manure
Enhance (speed up) the decomposition of manure
Presently on the Prairies, very little manure would be considered treated.
Most is simply stored until such time as it can be applied to crop and or
pasture as fertilizer.
Manure produced by livestock operations contains the feed nutrients
that animals were not able to use. Prairie livestock operations generally use
manure as a source of nutrients for crop production, and should be
considered a manageable, valuable fertilizer resource.
Storage of the manure for some length of time is usually necessary. The
stored manure is sometimes treated, either before or during storage.
The reasons for treatment include:
Odour control
Energy recovery
Reduction of manure volumeespecially where extended transportation is
necessary
Reduction of nutrient contentin some circumstances where insufficient land
is available to receive the manure
Enhance (speed up) the decomposition of manure
Presently on the Prairies, very little manure would be considered treated.
Most is simply stored until such time as it can be applied to crop and or
pasture as fertilizer.
Aerobic Treatment
Aerobic treatment is useful in treating liquid manure for odour reduction,
chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
reduction, and pathogen control.
Aerobic treatment is usually a batch process or, semi-continuous (batch
feed). In a batch process, all of the treated material is removed from the
facility before refilling with untreated slurry. In a batch feed or semi
continuous process, some of the treated material is displaced by the addition
of untreated material to the digestor.
Aeration is accomplished by bubbling air or oxygen through the slurry,
mixing the slurry mechanically or pumping the slurry through the air.
Aeration can be used to treat slurry as a pretreatment or as a treatment
during storage. Treatment during storage is not common, because of the
powerand associated additional costrequired to achieve significant
aeration of a large manure storage.
Pre-treatment in a separate reactor is more cost-effective. If slurry is pretreated for two to seven days before going to storage, odour can be
suppressed for a significant time.

Odour is reduced by enhancing the breakdown of volatile fatty acids (VFAs),


which are very closely associated with the production of odour. Treating
manure aerobically before spreading can reduce odour by 50 to 80 per cent.
Chemical oxygen demand (COD) and five day biochemical oxygen demand
(BOD) are measures of the biodegradability of the slurry. In cases where
slurry must be disposed of by release into a river system due to extreme
shortages of land, aerobic treatment may be used to reduce the COD/BOD to
acceptable levels.
If a material with high oxygen demand is released into a river, its continued
decomposition will consume oxygen from the water, threatening the survival
of aquatic life.
Manure produced by livestock operations contains the feed nutrients
that animals were not able to use. Prairie livestock operations generally use
manure as a source of nutrients for crop production, and should be
considered a manageable, valuable fertilizer resource.
Storage of the manure for some length of time is usually necessary. The
stored manure is sometimes treated, either before or during storage.
The reasons for treatment include:
Odour control
Energy recovery
Reduction of manure volumeespecially where extended transportation is
necessary
Reduction of nutrient contentin some circumstances where insufficient land
is available to receive the manure
Enhance (speed up) the decomposition of manure
Presently on the Prairies, very little manure would be considered treated.
Most is simply stored until such time as it can be applied to crop and or
pasture as fertilizer.
Aerobic Treatment
Aerobic treatment is useful in treating liquid manure for odour reduction,
chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD)
reduction, and pathogen control.
Aerobic treatment is usually a batch process or, semi-continuous (batch
feed). In a batch process, all of the treated material is removed from the
facility before refilling with untreated slurry. In a batch feed or semi
continuous process, some of the treated material is displaced by the addition
of untreated material to the digestor.
Environmentally sound storage, processing, and application techniques make
manure a properly managed, value-added on-farm fertilizer resource.

The Manure Management Language


COD - Chemical Oxygen Demand. The amount of oxygen used to break down
organic and inorganic matter contained in water.
BOD -Biochemical oxygen demand. The amount of oxygen used to break
down only the organic matter contained in water. Biogas - A mixture of
methane, carbon dioxide, and other gasses. This mixture of gasses is
produced by bacteria living in the manure.
VFAs - Volatile Fatty Acids. One of the main reasons manure has an
objectionable odour. VFAs are an intermediate product in the formation of
biogas.
Methane-producing bacteria - The good guys. They work to convert VFAs
into biogas, which can then be put to good use producing electricity or heat.
Hydraulic retention time - the length of time (usually measured in hours or
days) that the slurry remains in the digestor.
.
Aeration is accomplished by bubbling air or oxygen through the slurry,
mixing the slurry mechanically or pumping the slurry through the air.
Aeration can be used to treat slurry as a pretreatment or as a treatment
during storage. Treatment during storage is not common, because of the
powerand associated additional costrequired to achieve significant
aeration of a large manure storage.
Aerobic Treatment Batch or Semi-Continuous Process
Above ground storages can be legislated in places where soil conditions
would pose risks to drinking water if earthen storages were used.
Pre-treatment in a separate reactor is more cost-effective. If slurry is pretreated for two to seven days before going to storage, odour can be
suppressed for a significant time.
Odour is reduced by enhancing the breakdown of volatile fatty acids (VFAs),
which are very closely associated with the production of odour. Treating
manure aerobically before spreading can reduce odour by 50 to 80 per cent.
Chemical oxygen demand (COD) and five day biochemical oxygen demand
(BOD) are measures of the biodegradability of the slurry. In cases where
slurry must be disposed of by release into a river system due to extreme

shortages of land, aerobic treatment may be used to reduce the COD/BOD to


acceptable levels.
If a material with high oxygen demand is released into a river, its continued
decomposition will consume oxygen from the water, threatening the survival
of aquatic life.
Aerobic Cap
Many dangerous pathogenic bacteria such as Cryptosporidium and
Salmonella are anaerobic which means they cannot exist in the presence of
oxygen. They will be controlled by aerobic treatment
On the down side, aerobic treatment can cause excessive loss of nitrogen as
nitrogen gas, nitrous oxide or even ammonia if excessive aeration rates are
used. This loss of nitrogen to the atmosphere can create concerns of acid
rain in some instances. Another concern is the potential loss of the economic
value as nitrogen fertilizer.
A Minnesota company is currently testing a bubbleless aeration device to
reduce ammonia driven off during aeration, possibly also reducing power
required for aeration. If these tests are successful, PAMI recommends a
demonstration site be set up on the Prairies to test the technology under our
conditions and to create awareness of this new technology.
Liquid manure that has been treated anaerobically emits significantly less
odour than untreated or raw manure, even after significant storage time.
Anaerobic digestion conducted in a controlled environment a digester
maintains almost all of the nutrient content in the treated slurry.
Anaerobic storages are combination treatment/ storage facilities where
natural anaerobic processes are used to decompose the manure solids.
Although some anaerobic digestion takes place naturally in earthen storage
facilities typically used on the Prairies, they are not considered to be
anaerobic treatment storages.
However, methane-forming bacteria which convert VFAs to biogas require
warm temperatures to function. Therefore, anaerobic storages work well in
the southern U.S. where ambient temperatures are higher than northern
climates and there is no cold winter season.
On the Canadian Prairies, since the methane-producing bacteria which
process VFAs into biogas are not active in winter, the VFAs accumulate. In
spring, the VFAs (and their odour) are released from the storage as it warms.
Generally, the worst period for odour production occurs during agitation..

Earthen, concrete, and steel storages as well as anaerobic storages can be


covered for capture of biogas, but the amount of biogas produced in cooler
climates may not be sufficient to make recovery worthwhile. However, some
specially designed storage covers are available to capture the gas, if desired.
Anaerobic storages are not agitated for pumpout. They are never completely
emptied so that the bacteria population remains high.
If necessary, the solids content of the slurry may be reduced before being
fed into a digestor by passing it through a solids separation system. Although
a higher solids content increases biogas production, extreme levels of solids
will overload the digestor and reduce performance.
Anaerobic digestors produce and collect biogas and maintain conditions that
are favourable for methane-producing bacteria.
In cooler climates, slurry in anaerobic digestors must be heated to between
25C and 35C to promote growth of methane-producing bacteria. The heat
required to fuel the boiler can often be produced by using part of the biogas
emitted from the slurry. The remainder of the biogas can be used to fuel an
electrical generator or for space heating.
The costs of installing an anaerobic digestor that collects the biogas can be
quite high. Therefore, their economic viability is often dependent on the price
at which the excess energy can be sold to a local electrical utility.
However, some anaerobic digestors have as their primary purpose odour
control, with biogas production being a by-product that can be used to help
pay for the digestor.
Three main types of anaerobic digestors
Continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR)
These operate at a solids content of five to 14 per cent, with a hydraulic
retention time of 20 to 30 days. These digestors are fed continuously or
intermittently, with digested slurry exiting through an overflow to a storage
area such as a tank or earthen storage. CSTR digestors are relatively large
as large as 320,000 gallons (1,450,000 litres)and can be quite costly.
Plug-flow digestors
These processors use a longitudinal (tube-like) reactor, so that the slurry
remains unmixed but is discharged from the reactor in the same order that it
is fed in. Plug-flow digestors operate at a solids content of 812% with a
hydraulic retention time of approximately 30 days. Cost of these digestors is
also high, due to long retention times.
Fixed-bed reactor

These are a recent development in anaerobic digestors. They have much


shorter hydraulic retention timesseveral hours to several daysthan the
CSTR or plug-flow digestors.
However, fixed-bed reactors must operate at a lower solids contents because
of the porous packing material contained inside the digestor tank. This
material captures and holds methane-producing bacteria, maintaining a high
population, even with the slurry flowing. The packing material provides
increased surface area for bacteria to adhere to and the slurry passes
through the packing material.
The high bacterial population processes the slurry more quickly, resulting in
much shorter retention times than other digestors.
A smaller fixed-bed digestor can process the same amount of manure as a
conventional digestor with as much as 10 times the volume.
This type of digestor would be more feasible for Prairie conditions than the
other two types, because its smaller size takes less energy to heat the slurry
to the proper temperature.
Other choices
Artificial Wetlands
Most artificial wetlands are made up of a series of shallow holding ponds,
stocked with aquatic plants such as cat tails. Runoff water from feedlots,
effluent from separated slurry or storage effluent is directed into the system
where the plants consume the manure nutrients. To completely remove the
nutrients from the system, the plant growth should be harvested and
removed.
Usually, solids are settled out in a storage before the liquid enters the
wetland. However, a mechanical separator could also be used. After passing
through the system, the water might be reused as wash water for livestock
facilities, a water source for fish ponds or discharged into a stream if
sufficiently clean.
Artificial wetlands can be designed with a large enough surface area to
eliminate all of the water through evapotranspiration.
It is still not clear how well artificial wetlands will work in Prairie climates.
Further investigation should be done to determine whether or not artificial
wetlands are suitable for the Prairies.
Fish Ponds
Fish ponds are commonly used as a sink for hog manure in many parts of the
world, including developing countries in Africa and South America.

The manure provides nutrients for algae in the pond which in turn, feed the
fish. Tilapia and carp are the two types of fish most often used for this
process.
Problems may arise if a large amount of the algae dies. While decomposing,
dead algae consumes oxygen from the water. If sufficient quantities of
oxygen are consumed, the fish may suffocate.
Combining hog production and fish production could hold some possibilities
for the Prairies, since feed for the fish could be available at a low cost. The
fish from the ponds might be processed into fish meal which could be used in
formulation of hog rations. Fish raised this way could displace a certain
amount of imports, and may even have some export potential. However, the
practice of processing manure through other animals may be a questionable
practice in the context of public health.
Research and testing for heavy metals, toxins and disease in these fish
should be conducted before deciding whether to use them for human or
animal consumption.
Solids Separation
Separating the solids from liquid manure prior to storage reduces potential
for odour by removing much of the oxygen demanding solids that
contribute to odour production. Solids may be separated in a gravity settling
basin or removed mechanically by using any one of a number of types of
equipment.
By removing the solids, the effluent may be used for irrigation using
continuous low volume systems or hydroponics. The separated solids can be
dried or composted and sold as fertilizer or for direct land spreading.
Dehydration
Dehydration can be used to quickly remove the water from slurry, leaving a
low-moisture solid product that can be further processed by pelleting to form
a spreadable fertilizer.
Canadian natural gas utilities including Centra Gas and SaskEnergy have
been working on a pilot project using heat produced by natural gas to
produce a dry, fluffy, nutrient-rich product from liquid hog manure. The cost
of production is estimated to be very similar to the value of the nutrient
content of the dry product.
However, the cost of this method only makes it feasible for large hog
producers with a very limited land base upon which to dispose the manure. It

currently costs hog producers an estimated $2.00 per pig to apply manure to
the land, while the natural gas dehydration system would cost approximately
$15.00 per pig.
However, the product could be sold to recuperate cost of processing, and
possibly more value extracted by making better use of energy and water
vapour in the exhaust stream.
Oligolysis
This is an electrical treatment of manure that applies voltage to the manure
across a set of iron electrodes. The current removes particles of iron from the
anode. Once in the slurry, they combine with sulphide ions and ferrous
sulphide precipitates out of the slurry.
This process reduces the amount of sulphide ion in the slurry which would
otherwise combine with hydrogen to form hydrogen sulphide, one of the
major odorous gasses produced by decomposing hog manure.
However, while the cost of treatment is not excessive, the treatment and
consequential reduction of hydrogen sulphide does not greatly reduce the
odour given off by the manure due to other gasses produced by the manure.
Additives
Using additives for odour control have very little scientific data to support
their claims of effectiveness.
A yucca plant extract called sarsaponin (a plant steroid) is marketed under
several trade names as a hog feed additive. In U.S. trials, certain levels of
sarsaponin increased feed efficiency up to 11 per cent and increased growth
rate up to six per cent. It appears to reduce ammonia levels in the barn, but
not necessarily odour. It also appears to reduce solids in the manure by up to
20 per cent.
Some additives are added to the slurry in a manure pit, or spread on the floor
prior to washdown. They may use bacteria to change microbe populations to
more desirable types.
Membrane
A Winnipeg company is using a membrane technology to treat municipal
sewage in Mexico, claiming a 95 to 99 per cent recovery of water. They hope
that this technology can be applied to the hog industry.
Proteus
Proteus is a Modular Effluent Treatment System (METS) developed in
Saskatchewan to treat municipal waste.

METS chemically treats the slurry to cause suspended solids to settle, where
they are collected, dried and pelleted. The liquid is then treated further with
filtration, aeration, ozonation, or other processes.
METS uses a computerized control system. Proponents of this technology feel
that it has application in agricultural waste management, however the
significant chemical inputs and technical control system may deter its use in
manure management.
Composting manure
Composting is essentially an aerobic digestion process used for solid wastes.
Slurries or separated solids can be composted if mixed with a carbon source
such as straw, peat or wood shavings.
However, composting a slurry without separating the solids requires a great
deal of additional material to retain the liquid. This would be very impractical
due to the cost of the material and the energy required to turn or aerate the
compost.
The carbon to nitrogen (C:N) ratio of the original manure determines how
much carbon material should be added to manure to properly compost it.
One reference stated that the C:N ratio of the finished compost should be
less than 20:1, (that is one part nitrogen to 20 parts carbon).
Composted manure is a premium organic fertilizer and holds some potential
as a marketable product in the gardening and landscaping market. For some
markets, and even some on-farm application techniques, the compost would
have to be pelleted so that the nutrient content could be upgraded to a
specific blend with commercial fertilizers.
Treatment of wastewater containing high concentrations of nitrogen from pig
farming is one of the ongoing environmental problems in Japan. After
treatment of wastewater from large-scale pig farms, nitrogen concentration
is reduced below the standard limit for industrial wastewater; however smallscale farmers have not been able to treat wastewater to meet the standard.
One reason is that the financial and labour conditions of small-scale farmers
are not sufficient to manage wastewater treatment facilities.
Therefore, we focused on the dry anaerobic digestion technology for
treatment of pig manure including piggery wastewater. In anaerobic
digestion, organic matter is converted into methane (CH4) and carbon
dioxide (CO2) by several micro-organisms in the absence of oxygen. The
produced CH4 can be used as renewable energy. Anaerobic digestion is
classified into two types by water content in the digestion sludge: wet
anaerobic digestion and dry anaerobic digestion (Figure 1).

Wet digestion is anaerobic digestion with less than 15% total solid content,
while dry digestion involves more than 15% total solid content. These water
contents result in distinct differences in digestate (residue of digestion)
property. Wet digestion produces liquid digestates, which should be treated
in wastewater facilities. On the contrary, the residue of dry digestion is
claylike. Therefore, dry digestion does not emit any wastewater during
digestion.
Using dry anaerobic digestion for treating pig manure, we propose a novel
pig farm management system. Figure 2 shows conventional and the
proposed pig farming systems. In the conventional system, most of the pig
feed is imported from foreign countries. The solid phase of the pig manure is
composted and the liquid phase is treated in a wastewater treatment facility.
In the proposed one, pig manure can be treated through dry anaerobic
digestion with rice straw.
he digested residue is applied to rice fields as fertiliser. In the rice cultivation
process, we plan to cultivate forage rice for producing feed in Japan itself.
Grain of forage rice is supplied as pig feed and rice straw is mixed with pig
manure and then digested. In this manner, pig manure can be recycled into
energy and fertilisers without wastewater treatment. In order to verify the
feasibility of the proposed system, we carried out lab-scale and field studies.
Through anaerobic digestion, agricultural waste can be converted into
energy and fertilisers. It has been widely used for treatment of organic
wastes. In the application of anaerobic digestion for treatment of pig
wastewater, inhibition of the digestion by the high concentration of
ammonium is a shortcoming. We also confirmed that no CH4 was produced
when dry digestion was carried out by mixing only pig manure and inoculum.
To overcome this problem, we mixed rice straw with manure and digesting
them.
Through this mixing, ammonium concentration was decreased in the feed
material and inhibition of dry anaerobic digestion was prevented.
Furthermore, since rice straw is rich in organic carbon, which is substrate for
anaerobic digestion, stable and high CH4 production was achieved. Thus, dry
anaerobic digestion of pig manure is feasible by mixing rice straw.
How can we treat digestion residue? Digestion residue contains ammonium
from pig manure. Therefore, it can be utilised as a fertiliser. Our experimental
trial suggested that rice can be grown with the application of the digestion
residue, replacing chemical fertilisers. This is significant advantage for
farmers towards reducing costs for fertilisers. Moreover, fossil fuel
consumption for production of chemical fertilisers can be also reduced.
However, in the rice cultivation, soil is flooded with water, creating
favourable conditions for CH4 production in the soil. CH4 is known to be 25
times stronger as a greenhouse gas than CO2. We found that CH4 emission

from rice fields applied with the digestion residue was higher than those with
chemical fertilisers (Figure 3).
As mentioned above, CH4 production becomes active in an oxygen-free
environment. Therefore, we temporarily drained water to supply oxygen into
the soil. This water management practice is called intermittent irrigation, and
is traditionally used in Japanese rice cultivation; this can mitigate CH4
emission significantly in rice fields with the residue.
As shown in Figure 2, dry anaerobic digestion influences material flow in the
pig farming system. Nitrogen flow into the environment is the most
important part of this system, because the motivation of this study was
wastewater management in pig farming. In the proposed system, pig manure
(mixture of dung and urine) is treated by dry anaerobic digestion. Therefore,
wastewater containing nitrogen is not produced during the manure
treatment process.
However, the digested residue contains nitrogen, and therefore, the risk of
nitrogen leaching in the forage rice paddy field should be considered. In the
field study, nitrate (NO3) and nitrite (NO2) concentrations of the soil
water in a rice field with the digestate were much below the Japanese
environmental standard of the ground water (10 mg N/L).
One of the reasons for such a low concentration of the NO3 and NO2 is
the absence of oxygen in the flooded soil, and ammonium in the digestate
could not convert into NO3 and NO2. NO3 and NO2 would be
converted into dinitrogen (N2) gas, because this reaction is active in the
absence of oxygen. The low levels of NO3 and NO2 is a characteristic of
rice paddy wetlands.
Because rice cultivation is widely practiced in Japan, this novel system is
suitable for the Japanese situation. Our study also showed that application of
the digestion residue increased NO3 concentration in the soil in an upland
condition. Therefore, special attention should be paid when using the
digestate in upland fields for vegetable or wheat production.
Our proposed system is for small-scale pig farmers. Therefore, the dry
anaerobic digestion system must be as simple and cheap as possible. Major
commercial dry anaerobic digesters, such as Hitz Kompogas system and the
DRANCO (DRy ANaerobic Composting) system, are widely used for organic
waste management. However, these digesters require expensive
instruments. Now, we are seeking more simple and cheap means to digest
pig manure and rice straw towards sustainable agricultural waste
management.
The 2nd International Conference on Pollution Control and Resource Recovery
for the Livestock Sector takes place in NUI Galway next month, providing a

forum to present, discuss and develop innovative technologies and practices


for managing livestock waste and recovering resources. Dr Shohei Riva will
present on System stability and pathogen inactivation during dry codigestion of food waste and pig manure. Prof Masaaki Hosomi will host a
session on anaerobic digestion.
Hog farmers face a unique challenge to implement digestion -- namely the
low volumetric methane yield of wet swine manure. The most common
digester used on hog farms using flushing systems is the covered lagoon.
This presentation explores the technical feasibility of high rate reactors for
low solids swine manure. Systems compared are Contact Stabilization
Reactors, Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket Reactors (UASB), Fixed Filmed
Reactors, and Anaerobic Sequencing Batch Reactors (ASBR). Contact
Stabilization and UASB technology have been available since the 1970s, but
are mostly found in industrial settings. Their main drawback for swine
manure treatment is the required operator skill level. UASB digesters also
have difficulty handling the uneven solids flow from flushed or pull-plug
barns. Fixed film reactors have been successfully used in agriculture, but
require solids separation before digestion. The separator creates two waste
streams and removes organic matter that could potentially be available for
digestion. ASBR technology was developed in the 1990s. An ASBR digester
was successfully operated at the Oklahoma Swine Research and Education
Center in the 2000s. Hydraulic retention time for this farm scale ASBR
ranged between 5 and 20 days. Maximum methane yield was 0.55 m3 CH4
kg-1 VS day-1. Organic matter reduction efficiency was 50 to 75 %
measured as Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD). Current work on solids
settling and retention will allow ASBR digesters to reach their full potential in
swine production systems. Related: Treatment Technologies for Livestock
Manure.