Recovery of Proteins and Phosphorus from Manure

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*Purpose

The recovery of phosphorus and proteins from manure could be advantageous to both offset costs and to improve and lessen the environmental impacts of manure storage and treatment. Phosphorous in manure can contaminate rivers, lakes, and bays through runoff, if applied onto cropland at excessive rates. Thus, recovering phosphorous from manure can not only help reduce phosphorus loss in runoff, but also reduces the use of commercial fertilizer based upon phosphate rock. Phosphorus mines have limited reserves and viable alternatives for replacing rock phosphate as fertilizer do not exist. Protein is a natural resource used in a wide range of commercial applications from pharmaceuticals to dietary supplements, foods, feeds, and industrial applications.

What Did We Do?

A new method for simultaneous extraction of proteins and phosphorus from biological materials has been developed and is presented.  The experiments used swine manure solids fraction after solids-liquid separation.  From raw manure, wet solids are dissolved in acidic solution and then treated with a basic solution so phosphorus will precipitate and be reclaimed.  The proteins in the washed solids can be extracted and concentrated with ultrafiltration and flocculation.

Test tubes filled with proteins from manure

What Have We Learned?

On a dry-weight basis, it was found that the separated manure solids contained 15.2-17.4% proteins and 3.0% phosphorus.  Quantitative extraction of phosphorus and proteins from manures was possible with this new system. The phosphorus was first separated from the solids in a soluble extract, then the proteins were separated from the solids and solubilized with an alkali solvent.  Both phosphorus and protein recovery were enhanced about 19 and 22%, respectively, with the inclusion of a rinse after the washing. The recovered phosphorus solids had 20.4% phosphates (P2O5).  The protein extract was concentrated using ultrafiltration (UF) and lyophilization to obtain a protein solids concentrate.  UF of 5 and 10 kDa captured all the proteins, but 30 kDa resulted in 22% loss.  The protein solids were converted into amino-acids using acid hydrolysis.  Further, the system was proved effective in extracting phosphorus and proteins from other biological materials, such as algae or crops. The recovered proteins could be used for production of amino acids and the recovered phosphorus could be used as a recycled material that replaces commercial phosphate fertilizers.  This could be a potential new revenue stream from wastes.

Future Plans

Further research will be conducted to reduce process costs and separate the amino acids.

Corresponding author (name, title, affiliation)

Matias Vanotti, USDA-ARS

Corresponding author email address

matias.vanotti@ars.usda.gov

Other Authors

A.A. Szogi, P.W. Brigman

Additional Information

Vanotti, M.B. and Szogi, A.A.  (2016).  Extraction of amino acids and phosphorus from biological materials. US Patent Application SN 15/350,283. U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

USDA-ARS Office of Technology Transfer, Invention Docket No: 080.15, Contact: thomas.valco@ars.usda.gov

Acknowledgements

This research is part of USDA-ARS Project 6082-12630-001-00D “Improvement of Soil Management Practices and Manure Treatment/Handling Systems of the Southern Coastal Plains.”  We acknowledge the field and laboratory assistance of William Brigman and Chris Brown, USDA-ARS, Florence, SC.  Support by The Kaiteki Institute, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group through ARS Cooperative Agreement 58-6082-5-006-F is acknowledged.

EPA’s Nutrient Recycling Challenge


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Purpose 

Come to this session to learn about the Nutrient Recycling Challenge and meet some of the involved partners and experts, as well as some innovators who are competing to develop nutrient recovery technologies that meet the needs of pork and dairy farmers. This session will begin with an overview of the challenge. Next, innovators will provide snapshot presentations about the technology ideas they are working on, followed by live feedback/Q&A sessions on each technology where we can harness the buzzing brainpower at Waste to Worth. Finally, we will move into a “workshop” designed to support innovators participating in the Nutrient Recycling Challenge as they refine their designs before they build prototypes.

What did we do?

Background on the Nutrient Recycling Challenge

At Waste to Worth 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted a brainstorm session about developing technologies that livestock farmers want to help manage manure nutrients. That session sowed the seeds for the Nutrient Recycling Challenge—a global competition to find affordable and effective nutrient recovery technologies that create valuable products farmers can use, transport, or sell to where nutrients are in demand. Pork and dairy producers, USDA, and environmental and scientific experts saw the tremendous opportunity to generate environmental and economic benefits, and partnered with EPA to launch the challenge in November 2015 (www.nutrientrecyclingchallenge.org).

What have we learned? 

There is a tremendous opportunity to generate environmental and economic benefits from manure by-products, but further innovation is needed to develop more effective and affordable technologies that can extract nutrients and create products that farmers can use, transport, or sell more easily to where nutrients are in demand.

In the Nutrient Recycling Challenge, innovators have proposed a range of technology systems to recover nitrogen and phosphorus from dairy and swine manure, including physical, chemical, biological, and thermal treatment systems. Some such systems may also be compatible with manure-to-energy technologies, such as anaerobic digesters. Farms of all sizes are interested in nutrient recovery, and there is demand for diverse types of technologies due to a diversity in end users. To improve the adoptability of nutrient recovery systems, it is critical that innovators are mindful of the affordability of technologies, and work to lower capital and operations and maintenance costs, and improve the potential for returns on investment. A key factor for offsetting the costs of a technology and improving its marketability will be in its ability to generate valuable nutrient-containing products that are competitive in the market.

Future Plans 

The challenge has four phases, in which innovators are turning concepts into designs, and eventually to pilot these working technologies on livestock farms. Thirty-four innovator teams whose concepts were selected from Phase I are refining technology designs in Phase II.  Design prototypes will be built in Phase III. This workshop is designed to help innovators maximize their potential for developing nutrient recovery technologies that meet farmer needs.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation 

Joseph Ziobro, Physical Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Hema Subramanian, Environmental Protection Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Corresponding author email 

ziobro.joseph@epa.gov; subramanian.hema@epa.gov

Session Agenda

  1. Overview of the Nutrient Recycling Challenge, Hema Subramanian and Joseph Ziobro of EPA
  2. Nutrient Recycling Challenge Partner Introductions, Nutrient Recycling Challenge Partners (including National Milk Producers Federation, Newtrient, Smithfield Foods, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Energy, and Water Environment & Reuse Foundation)
  3. Showcase of Innovators’ Technology Ideas
    • Decanter Centrifuge and Struvite Recovery for Manure Nutrient Management, Hiroko Yoshida
    • Manure Solids Separation BioFertilizer Produccion Drinking Water Efluente, Aicardo Roa Espinosa
    • Nutrient Recovery from Anaerobic Digestates, Rakesh Govind
    • Organic Waste Digestion and Nutrient Recycling, Steven Dvorak
    • Manure Treatment with the Black Solder Fly, Simon Gregg
  4. Nutrient Recycling Challenge Workshop for Innovators
    • Developing technologies: From concept to pilot (to full-scale), Matias Vanotti
    • Waste Systems Overview for Dairy and Swine and Innovative Technologies: What Steps Should be Taken (Lessons Learned), Jeff Porter

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Spotlight on Manure Management in North Carolina and the Atlantic Coastal Plains


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Purpose 

To provide information about commonly-found manure management systems and approaches in North Carolina and the Coastal Plains, and discuss opportunities for technological innovation in the areas of manure management and nutrient recovery/utilization. Hear from a diverse panel of researchers, animal agriculture producers, and agency representatives who will provide background on the environmental conditions of the region and discuss specific technical considerations for innovative research and development. Learn about what has and hasn’t worked in past attempts to recover nutrients at animal agriculture farms in the area, and about the exciting possibilities for innovation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Nutrient Recycling Challenge (www.nutrientrecyclingchallenge.org).

What did we do? 

N/A

What have we learned? 

N/A

Future Plans 

N/A

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation 

Joseph Ziobro, Physical Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Hema Subramanian, Environmental Protection Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Corresponding author email 

ziobro.joseph@epa.gov; subramanian.hema@epa.gov

Other authors

Dr. John Classen, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs, College of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at North Carolina State University

Dr. Kelly Zering, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, North Carolina State University

Additional information

Session Agenda

  1. Background, history, and technical information about manure management in North Carolina and the Coastal Plains

Presenter: Dr. John Classen, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs, College of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at North Carolina State University

  1. Lessons Learned from the Smithfield Agreement

Presenter: Dr. Kelly Zering, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, North Carolina State University

  1. Panel: Challenges and Opportunities around Manure Management Systems

Moderator: Hema Subramanian

Panel to include the above speakers plus representatives from the local animal agriculture industry, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

Recovery of Ammonia and Production of High-Grade Phosphates from Digester Effluents


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Purpose

Conservation and recovery of nitrogen and phosphorus from animal wastes and municipal effluents are important because of economic and environmental reasons. This paper presents a novel technology for separation and recovery of ammonia and phosphorus from liquid swine manure, which has significant amount of nutrients but also contains relatively high moisture content.

What Did We Do?

Phosphorus recovery via magnesium (MgCl2) precipitation was enhanced by combining it with ammonia recovery through gas-permeable membranes and low-rate aeration. Detailed procedures used in the research are provided in Vanotti et al. (2017).

Graphic of gas-permeable membrane

What Have We Learned?

The combination of low-rate aeration and gas-permeable membrane N recovery destroyed the natural carbonate alkalinity in the wastewater and increased pH values, which accelerated ammonia uptake in the gas-permeable membrane system and improved the phosphate recovery.  The process provided 100% phosphorus recovery efficiencies.   Surprisingly, the magnesium phosphates produced contained very-high phosphate grade (46% P2O5 ) similar to commercial superphosphate fertilizer and consistent with the composition of a rare biomineral called newberyite  that is found in guano deposits.   This is an important finding because we were able to produce from wastes a valuable phosphate product with high P2O5 content favored by the fertilizer industry.

Future Plans

Research will be summarized showing consistent results obtained with municipal side-stream effluents.  Economic considerations are provided in Dube et at. (2016).

Corresponding author (name, title, affiliation) 

Matias Vanotti, USDA-ARS

Corresponding author email address  

matias.vanotti@ars.usda.gov

Other Authors 

M.B. Vanotti, P.J. Dube, A.A. Szogi, M.C. Garcia-Gonzalez

Additional Information

Dube, P. J., Vanotti, M. B., Szogi, A. A., and García-González, M. C. (2016): Enhancing recovery of ammonia from swine manure anaerobic digester effluent using gas-permeable membrane technology. Waste Management 49:372–377.

Vanotti, M.B., Szogi, A.A., and Dube, P.J.  (2016): Systems and methods for recovering ammonium and phosphorus from liquid effluents. U.S. Patent Application 15/170,129. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Vanotti, M.B., Dube, P.J., Szogi, A.A., M.C. Garcia-Gonzalez (2017): Recovery of ammonia and phosphate minerals from swine wastewater using gas-permeable membranes. Water Research 112:137-146

Acknowledgements

This article is part of USDA-ARS Project 6082-12630-001-00D “Improvement of Soil Management Practices and Manure Treatment/Handling Systems of the Southern Coastal Plains.”  We acknowledge the field and laboratory assistance of William Brigman and Chris Brown, USDA-ARS, Florence, SC, and the field sampling assistance of Diana Rashash, North Carolina Extension Service/ North Carolina State University.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2017. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Cary, NC. April 18-21, 2017. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Phosphorus Recovery from Anaerobic Swine Lagoon Sludge Using the Quick Wash Process

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Purpose

Long term and significant accumulation of sludge in anaerobic swine lagoons reduces its storage volume and ability to treat waste. Usually, excess accumulation of lagoon sludge is removed using pump or dredge. The dredged sludge is then land applied at agronomic rates according to its nutrient content.

The accumulation of phosphorus (P) in the sludge requires the largest area of land application based on crop agronomic requirements. Therefore, nutrient management plans may limit application to crop or pastureland near the animal facility to avoid P build up in excess of soil and crop assimilative capacities. Although dewatered sludge can be moved off the farm, transportation becomes less economical with increasing distances. An option is to extract and recover P in a concentrated form for its economical transfer to P-deficient croplands, for use as fertilizer.

What did we do?

A patented treatment process, called Quick Wash (QW), developed by USDA-ARS for extraction and recovery of P from animal manure solids was tested for recovery of P from anaerobic swine lagoon sludge. With the QW process,Chart of Quick Wash Process P was extracted in solution from dredged sludge by mixing with sulfuric acid prior to dewatering using polymer enhanced mechanical solid-liquid separation. After that, P was recovered by addition of liquid lime and an anionic flocculent to the separated liquid extract to form a calcium-containing P precipitate. The QW process generated two solid products: 1) sludge solids low in P; and 2) a concentrated P material.

What have we learned?

Picture of recovered phophorus material from lagoon sludge

While most of the nitrogen and carbon was left in the washed sludge solids, the QW process extracted and recovered as much as 90 % of the P from sludge. From results of a pilot field test, the P grade of the recovered phosphate was in the range of 24.0% – 30.5 % P2O5. The inclusion of this process in a lagoon sludge management plan offers producers an opportunity to locally land-apply the low-P sludge as a carbon-rich soil amendment and recover P as a valuable product for export from the farm.

Future Plans

USDA granted an exclusive license of the invention to Renewable Nutrients, LLC (Pinehurst, NC) to commercialize in the U.S the process for P recovery from animal and municipal waste streams. Renewable Nutrients is developping commercialization plans for the Quick Wash process that will include the operating and equipment costs of phosphorus recovery from dredged lagoon sludge.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation

Ariel A. Szogi, Research Leader, USDA-ARS Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plant Research Center, Florence, SC.

Corresponding author email

ariel.szogi@ars.usda.gov

Other authors

Matias B. Vanotti; and Paul D. Shumaker – USDA-ARS Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plant Research Center, Florence, SC.

Additional information

https://www.renewablenutrients.com/

Acknowledgements

This work is part of USDA-ARS National Program 212; ARS Project 6082-12630-001-00D “Improvement of Soil Management Practices and Manure Treatment/Handling Systems of the Southern Coastal Plain.”

Results of Nutrient Recovery System Installed on Large Scale Dairy Operation After 2-years of Operation


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*Do not make slides downloadable

Purpose 

For centuries, farmers have disposed of manure by simply spreading it on the land. It is a natural fertilizer. Today, that practice is no longer considered the best solution. Field spreading is now understood to contribute to a growing global problem of the pollution of water, soil, and air. Consequently, U.S. dairy farmers face increased fiscal and operational pressure from the progression of ever tightening environmental regulations. Conventional handling of manure also imposes a number of operational challenges (limitations for storage, land application and irrigation, settlement in lagoons, high manure hauling costs, etc.) and typically requires a relatively large land base to allow adequate nutrient management.

In Indiana, a dairy that was daily producing thousands of tons of livestock waste was investigating how technology could capture the valuable nutrients remaining in their cow manure after it had gone through the farm’s anaerobic digestion process. Their goal was to convert the manure/digestate into a nutrient rich cake that could be easier managed and made into fertilizer, and the liquid clean enough to be used unrestricted for land application.

The farm’s key operational deliverables were 1) to reduce the manure’s handling and transportation costs, 2) allow for precision applications of the processed manure as carbon-based fertilizer and 3) allow for re-use of nutrient reduced liquid for field irrigation.

What did we do? 

The dairy farm chose to implement a nutrient recovery technology from Trident Processes LLC. The technology separates the manure/digestate into three fractions: 1) cellulosic fiber, 2) a concentrated cake of nutrient enriched solids, and 3) water with about 1% remaining solids.

Trident’s turn-key system, consisting of different mechanical and chemical components, processes the manure and diverts each separated fraction into their separate spaces. Sensors and programmable controls (PLC) allow for smooth operation, requiring minimal operator attendance. The entire system can be monitored, controlled and diagnosed remotely.

The manure is fed into the system following the digestion process. The initial step is the extraction of the large fiber, which is done via a rotary screen conditioner. The wetted material separates, with the effluent water and fine solids sifting down through the screen while the larger fiber is retained. This step is critical as it ensures the fine particles, which contain the nutrients, are sent down stream for further treatment.

FIBER: The extracted fiber is sent to a screw press for further dewatering. This renders it as a 30% dry cellulosic fiber biomass that is ideal for recycling as cow bedding or other biomass use. Any liquid squeezed from the fiber is diverted to join the fine solids stream.

SOLIDS: The effluent water and solids are sent to a dissolved air flotation (DAF) tank. Polymerization ensures effective flocculation of the feedstock, resulting in a concentration of the nutrient rich particles that float to the surface. The sludge formed on the surface is skimmed off the top and gravity fed into a multi-disc press for second-stage dewatering. The press gently dewaters and thickens the recovered solid/nutrient sludge into a 25% solids, nutrient rich cake.

WATER: The final effluent water, now nutrient reduced, contains less than 1.2% solids and is sent to the lagoon for storage. The water is then reused for irrigation through efficient pivot systems or as operational water on the farm.

What have we learned? 

By implementing Trident’s Nutrient Recovery System, the farms’ objectives have been met and/or exceeded. After running for nearly two years the system is producing the following statistics:

• Fully automated operation requiring about 1 hr/shift for operator attendance (visual checks)

• 98% system uptime

• Polymer costs: $0.06 – $0.08/day/cow

• Reduction of handling and irrigation costs: $ 0.01/gal (conventional) vs $0.003/gal (center pivot)

• $250,000/yr electrical power savings with MD Press vs. centrifuge

• 73,000+ ton/yr nutrient cake produced

• 81% P, 70% organic N (54% TKN), and 20% K is the average nutrient capture rate

• 1% (max.) solids in the effluent water sent to lagoons

• 99% Suspended solids captured

Future Plans 

Dairy farm: A fertilizer plant will go live in the near future, allowing the farm to sell their concentrated nutrients to the plant as feedstock for custom fertilizer production.

Technology provider: 2nd Phase effluent treatment to capture and retain the solid and nutrient fraction of the existing process, allowing to meet stream discharge standards and comply with BOD / COD levels. Bench scale testing is completed. Farm scale pilot testing is scheduled to run from March 2017-December 2017.

Corresponding author, title, and affiliation       

Richard Shatto (Senior Partner at Point Nexus Consulting), Frank Engel (Director Marketing at KPD Consulting Ltd.)

Corresponding author email 

frank.engel@kpdconsulting.ca

Additional information 

https://youtu.be/PvaTGmyws-w (Carl Ramsey’s presentation at Indiana Dairy Forum)

http://www.progressivedairy.com/topics/manure/prairie-s-edge-dairy-on-pa… (Progressive Dairyman article)

http://tridentprocesses.com/documents/case-study-trident-nutrient-recove… (Newtrient case study)

https://are.wisc.edu/manure-processing/ (manure management project with University of Wisconsin)

http://www.foodqualityandsafety.com/article/nutrient-recovery-improves-s… (Nutrient Recovery Improves Sustainability article in Food Quality & Safety Magazine)

Acknowledgements       

Carl Ramsey, Environmental Manager at Prairie’s Edge Dairy Farm

Soil Net LLC, Dr. Aicardo Roa (strategic partner for chemical separation process)

Leap Tech, R.C. Ludke (strategic partner for automation)

Poultry Digestion – Emerging Farm-Based Opportunity

While EPA AGSTAR has long supported the adoption of anaerobic digestion on dairies and swine farms, they have not historically focused on the use of anaerobic digestion on egg laying and other poultry facilities. This has been because the high solids and ammonia concentrations within the manure make anaerobic digestion in a slurry-based system problematic. Development of enhanced downstream ammonia and solids recovery systems is now allowing for effective digestion without ammonia toxicity. The process also generates dilution water, avoiding the need for fresh water consumption, and eliminating unwanted effluent that needs to be stored or disposed of to fields. The system produces high-value bio-based fertilizers. In this presentation, a commercial system located in Fort Recovery Ohio will be used to detail the process flow, its technologies, and the co-products sold.

Why Examine Anaerobic Digestion on Poultry Farms?

The purpose of this presentation is to supply a case study on a commercial poultry digestion project for production of combined heat and power as well as value-added organic nutrients on a 1M egg-layer facility in Ohio.

What did we do?

In this study we used commercial farm information to demonstrate that poultry digestion is feasible in regard to overcoming ammonia inhibition while fitting well into an existing egg-layer manure management system. Importantly, during the treatment process a significant portion of nutrients within the manure are concentrated for value-added sales, ammonia losses to the environment are reduced, and wastewater production is minimized due to recycle of effluent as dilution water.

What have we learned?

In this study, commercial data shows that ammonia and solids/salts levels that are potentially inhibitory to the biology of the digestion process can be controlled. The control is through a post-digestion treatment that includes ammonia stripping and recovery as ammonium sulfate as well as fine solids separation using a dissolved air flotation process with the addition of a polymer. The resulting treated effluent is sent back to the front of the digester as dilution water for the high solids poultry manure. The separated fine solids and the ammonium sulfate solution are dried using waste engine heat to produce a nutrient-rich fertilizer for off-farm sales. The stable anaerobic digestion process resulting from the control of potential inhibitors that might accumulate in the return water, if no post-treatment occurred, leads to production of a significant supply of electrical power for sales to the grid.

Demonstration at commercial scale shows the promise anaerobic digestion with post-digestion treatment and effluent recycle can play in a more sustainable poultry manure treatment system including managing nutrients for export out of impacted watersheds.

Future Plans

Future plans include continued work with industry in developing and/or providing extension capabilities around novel digestion and post-treatment processes for a variety of manures and on-farm situations. Expansion of such processes to poultry and other on-farm business plans will allow for improved reductions in wastewater production, concentrate nutrients for export out of impacted watersheds and do so within a positive economic business plan.

Authors

Craig Frear, Assistant Professor at Washington State University cfrear@wsu.edu

Quanbao Zhao, Project Engineer DVO Incorporated, Steve Dvorak, President DVO Incorporated

Additional information

Additional information about the corresponding author can be found at http://www.csanr.wsu.edu while information about the poultry project and the industry developer can be found at http://www.dvoinc.net. Numerous articles related to anaerobic digestion, nutrient recovery and separation technologies for climate, air, water and human health improvements can be found at the WSU website using their searchable articles function.

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by funding from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Contract #2012-6800219814; National Resources Conservation Service, Conservation Innovation Grants #69-3A75-10-152; and Biomass Research Funds from the WSU Agricultural Research Center. 

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

 

Development of Pilot Modules for Recovering Gaseous Ammonia from Poultry Manure

Purpose?

There is major interest from producers and the public in implementing best control technologies that would abate ammonia (NH3) emissions from confined livestock and poultry operations by capturing and recovering the nitrogen (NH3-N).

What did we do?

In this study, we continued investigating development of gas-permeable membrane modules as components of new processes to capture and recover gaseous ammonia inside poultry houses, composting facilities, and other livestock installations. The overall research objective was to improve poultry houses with the introduction of nitrogen emission capture technology. There were two milestones during the initial phase of the study: 1) to test ammonia recovery with gas-permeable membranes in a bench system using Maryland’s poultry manure; and 2) to construct and install a pilot ammonia recovery system at the UMES Poultry Research facility.

Figure 1. System for the recovery of gaseous ammonia from poultry waste using gas-permeable membrane module.

Figure 1. System for the recovery of gaseous ammonia from poultry waste using gas-permeable membrane module.

What have we learned?

The prototype ammonia recovery bench system using gas-permeable modules was moved from ARS-Florence to ARS-BARC in Sept. 2013 and tested during three consecutives runs using turkey and chicken manure mixes. The bench unit had two chambers: one was used with recirculating acid solution (1 N H2SO4) and the other was a control that used recirculating water. The control, which used water as the capture solution, was very effective at recovering the ammonia. This finding may lead to more economical ammonia recovery systems in the future.

Figure 2. Prototype ammonia recovery system using gas-permeable modules.

Figure 2.  Prototype ammonia recovery system using gas-permeable modules.

Two pilot ammonia recovery systems using gas-permeable membranes were constructed at ARS-Florence and installed at the UMES poultry research facility in June 2014.  One ammonia recovery module was developed using flat membranes mounted on troughs. The other module was developed using tubular gas-permeable membranes.  The recovery manifolds were placed inside the experimental barns (400 chickens) hanging from the roof and close to the litter. Both systems were installed with the ammonia concentrator tanks outside the barns. They were tested continuously for four months without chickens in the barns. The first flock of birds was placed in the facility Feb. 2015 and also in a control facility without the ammonia recovery modules.  The installed modules will demonstrate the ammonia recovery and the potential poultry production benefits from cleaner air.

Figure 3. Pilot ammonia recovery systems installed in a chicken barn at UMES Poultry Research Facility. At left is a recovery module that uses tubular gas-permeable membranes. At right is a recovery module that uses flat gas-permeable membranes.

Figure 3.  Pilot ammonia recovery systems installed in a chicken barn at UMES Poultry Research Facility.  At left is a recovery module that uses tubular gas-permeable membranes.  At right is a recovery module that uses flat gas-permeable membranes.

Future plans?

The N recovery modules are being demonstrated at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Poultry Research facility.

USDA seeks a commercial partner to develop and market this invention (Gaseous ammonia removal system.  US Patent 8,906,332 B2, issued Dec. 9, 2014). http://www.ars.usda.gov/business/docs.htm?docid=763&page=5

Authors

Matias Vanotti, USDA-ARS, Florence, South Carolina matias.vanotti@ars.usda.gov

Vanotti, M.B.1; Millner, P.D.2 ;Sanchez Bascones, M.3 ;Szogi, A.A.1;  Brigman, P.W.1; Buabeng, F.4; Timmons, J.4 ; Hashem, F.M.4

1USDA-ARS Coastal Plains Soil Water and Plant Research Center, Florence, SC, USA

2USDA-ARS Environmental Microbial and Food Safety, Beltsville, MD, USA

3University of Valladolid, School of Agric. Engineering, Palencia, Spain

4University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences,  Princess Anne, MD, USA

Additional information

Szogi, A.A., Vanotti, M.B., and Rothrock, M.J. 2014. Gaseous ammonia removal system.  US Patent 8,906,332 B2, issued Dec. 9, 2014. US Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC.

Rothrock Jr, M.J., Szogi, A.A., Vanotti, M.B. 2013. Recovery of ammonia from poultry litter using flat gas permeable membranes. J. of Waste Management. 33:1531-1538

“Recovery of ammonia with gas permeable membranes” research update at USDA-ARS-CPSWPRC website  http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=22883#ammonia

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge NIFA Project “Novel Integration of Solar Heating with Electricity Generation Technology and Biofiltered Poultry Litter Biofertilizer Production System” and  ARS Project 6657-13630-001-00D “Innovative Animal Manure Treatment Technologies for Enhanced Environmental Quality”. Funding by University of Valladolid/Banco Santander for participation of Dr. Sanchez Bascones as Visiting Scientist is also acknowledged.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Improved Recovery of Ammonia From Swine Manure Using Gas-Permeable Membrane Technology and Aeration

Why Study Nitrogen Recovery from Manure?

Significant efforts are required to abate NH3 emissions from livestock operations. In addition, the costs of fertilizers have rapidly increased in recent years, especially nitrogen fertilizer such as anhydrous ammonia which is made from natural gas. Thus, new technologies for abatement of ammonia emissions in livestock operations are being focussed on N recovery. This presentation shows a novel system that uses gas-permeable membranes to capture and recover ammonia from liquid manure, reducing ammonia emissions from livestock operations, and recovering concentrated liquid nitrogen that could be sold as fertilizer.

What Did We Do?

Nitrogen recovery from swine manure was investigated using a new technology that uses gas-permeable membranes at low pressure. The new process includes the passage of gaseous ammonia contained in the liquid manure through a microporous hydrophobic membrane and capture and concentrate with circulating diluted acid on the other side of the membrane.   The membranes can be assembled in modules or manifolds.  Membrane manifolds are submerged in the manure and the ammonia is removed from the liquid before it escapes into the air. The process involves manure pH control to increase ammonium recovery rate that is normally carried out using an alkali chemical. In this study a new strategy was tested to avoid the use of alkali chemicals.  Instead of the chemical, we applied low-rate aeration and nitrification inhibitor to raise the pH and promote ammonia capture by the membrane system.

Diagram of ammonia recovery system using with gas permeable membranes and low-rate aeration

Figure 1. Diagram of ammonia recovery system using with gas permeable membranes and low-rate aeration

What Did We Learn?

Two studies were conducted to recover N from liquid swine manures containing high ammonia concentrations using a USDA patented gas-permeable membrane system. One study used raw liquid manure from the pit under slatted floor of a farrowing sow’s barn in Segovia, Spain.  The second study used liquid swine manure effluent from a covered lagoon digester in North Carolina, USA.  The new strategy that used low-rate aeration and nitrification inhibition worked quite well in both situations. In the first study using raw manure,  the pH increased and the ammonium concentration was almost depleted: it declined from 2270 mg N/L to 20 mg N/ in 18 days. The ammonia that was removed was recovered efficiently in the concentrator tank (99% recovery efficiency).  Using the same membrane manifold without the aeration protocol, the ammonium concentration in the manure decreased at a slower rate from 2330 mg N/L to 790 mg N/L in 18 days. The results obtained were consistent in the second study that used digested swine effluent.  When low-rate aeration and nitrification inhibitor were added to the gas-permeable membrane reactor, ammonium concentration in the digester effluent decreased rapidly, from 3130 mg N/L to 96 mg N/L, in 5 days.  The recovery efficiency was 98%.  This N removal rate was 5 times faster than a control that used the same membrane reactor and conditions but operated without the aeration protocol.  Overall results obtained in this work indicate the low-rate aeration is an economical alternative to chemical addition to increase ammonia availability and the capture of ammonia by gas-permeable membrane systems. This conclusion is supported by the very high removal and recovery efficiencies obtained resulting in an overall recovery of 95 to 98% of the initial ammonia in the manure.

Future Plans

On-farm demonstration studies will be conducted in 2015 in cooperation with Dr. John Classen, North Carolina State University, through an NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) “Ammonia recovery from swine wastewater with selective membrane technology”.  A mobile pilot unit will demonstrate recovery of ammonia from liquid manure effluents using the gas-permeable technology in three different manure collection systems: under floor belt system, scraper system, and anaerobic digester.

USDA seeks a commercial partner to develop and market this invention (Systems and Methods for Reducing Ammonia Emissions form Liquid Effluents and for Recovering Ammonia. US Patent Appl. SN 13/164,363 allowed Dec. 19, 2014)  http://www.ars.usda.gov/business/docs.htm?docid=763&page=5

Authors

Matias Vanotti, USDA-ARS, Florence, South Carolina matias.vanotti@ars.usda.gov

Matias B. Vanotti1, Maria C. Garcia-Gonzalez2, Patrick J. Dube1, Ariel A. Szogi1

1 USDA-ARS, Coastal Plains Soil, Water, and Plant Research Center, Florence, SC

2 Agriculture Technological Institute of Castilla and Leon (ITACyL), Valladolid, Spain

Additional Information

“Livestock Waste Management 2.0: Recycling Ammonia Emissions as Fertilizer” published in the November/December 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine  http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/nov12/livestock1112.htm

“Recovery of ammonia with gas permeable membranes” research update at USDA-ARS-CPSWPRC website  http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=22883#ammonia

Vanotti,M.B., Szogi,A.A.  “Systems and Methods for Reducing Ammonia Emissions form Liquid Effluents and for Recovering Ammonia”. US Patent Appl. SN 13/164,363,  filed June 20, 2011, allowed December 19, 2014.  US Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC.

Garcia-Gonzalez, M.C., Vanotti, M.B., Szogi, A.A. 2015. “Recovery of ammonia from swine manure using gas-permeable membranes: Effect of aeration”. Journal of Environmental Management 152:19-26

Acknowledgements

This research was part of USDA-ARS National Program 214 Agricultural and Industrial Byproducts, Research Project 6657-13630-005-00D “Innovative Bioresource Management Technologies for Enhanced Environmental Quality and Value optimization”. Funding by INIA/FEDER Project CC09-072 is gratefully acknowledged.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.

Thermal-Chemical Conversion of Animal Manures – Another Tool for the Toolbox


How Can Thermo-Chemical Technologies Assist in Nutrient Management?

Livestock operations continue to expand and concentrate in certain parts of the country. This has created regional “hot spot” areas in which excess nutrients, particularly phosphorus, are produced. This nutrient issue has resulted in water quality concerns across the country and even lead to the necessity of a “watershed diet” for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. To help address this nutrient concern some livestock producers are looking to manure gasification and other thermo-chemical processes. There are several thermo-chemical conversion configurations, and the one chosen for a particular livestock operation is dependent on the desired application and final by-products. Through these thermo-chemical processes manure Factory processingvolumes are significantly reduced. With the nutrients being concentrated, they are more easily handled and can be transported from areas of high nutrient loads to regions of low nutrient loads at a lower cost. This practice can also help to reduce the on-farm energy costs by providing supplemental energy and/or heat. Additional benefits include pathogen destruction and odor reduction. This presentation will provide an overview of several Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) and other manure thermo-chemical conversion projects that are being demonstrated and/or in commercial operation. Information will cover nutrient fate, emission studies, by-product applications along with some of the positives and negatives related to thermo-chemical conversion systems.

Exterior of factory processingWhat did we do? 

Several farm-scale manure-to-energy demonstration projects are underway within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Many of these receive funding through the USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant program. These projects, located on poultry farms, are being evaluated for the performance of on-farm thermal conversion technologies. Monitoring data is being collected for each project which includes: technical performance, operation and maintenance, air emissions, and by-product uses and potential markets. Performance of manure gasification systems for non-poultry operations have also been reviewed and evaluated. A clearinghouse website for thermal manure-to-energy processes has been developed.

What have we learned? 

The projects have shown that poultry litter can be used as a fuel source, but operation and maintenance issues can impact the performance and longevity of a thermal conversion system. These systems are still in the early stages of commercialization and modifications are likely as lessons are learned. Preliminary air emission data shows that most of the nitrogen in the poultry litter is converted to a non-reactive form. The other primary nutrients, phosphorus and potassium, are preserved in the ash or biochar co-products. Plant availability of nutrients in the ash or biochar varies between the different thermal conversion processes and ranges from 80 to 100 percent. The significant volume reduction and nutrient concentration show that thermal conversion processes can be effective in reducing water quality issues by lowering transportation and land application costs of excess manure phosphorus.

Future Plans    

Monitoring will continue for the existing demonstration projects. Based on the lessons learned, additional demonstration sites will be pursued. As more manure-to-energy systems come on-line the clearinghouse will be updated. Based on data collected, NRCS conservation practice standards will be generated or updated as necessary.

Author       

Jeffrey P. Porter, PE, Manure Management Team Leader, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service jeffrey.porter@gnb.usda.gov

Additional information                

Thermal manure-to-energy clearinghouse website: http://lpelc.org/thermal-manure-to-energy-systems-for-farms/

Environmental Finance Center review of financing options for on-farm manure-to-energy including cost share funding contact information in the Chesapeake Bay region: http://efc.umd.edu/assets/m2e_ft_9-11-12_edited.pdf

Sustainable Chesapeake: http://www.susches.org

Farm Pilot Project Coordination: http://www.fppcinc.org

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund: http://www.nfwf.org/chesapeake/Pages/home.aspx

Acknowledgements

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, Farm Pilot Project Coordination, Inc., Sustainable Chesapeake, Flintrock Farm, Mark Weaver Farm, Mark Rohrer Farm, Riverview Farm, Wayne Combustion, Enginuity Energy, Coaltec Energy, Agricultural Waste Solutions, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Environmental Finance Center, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Lancaster County Conservation District, Virginia Tech Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Eastern Shore Resource Conservation and Development Council, with funding from the USDA Conservation Innovation Grant Program and the U.S. EPA Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Program.

The authors are solely responsible for the content of these proceedings. The technical information does not necessarily reflect the official position of the sponsoring agencies or institutions represented by planning committee members, and inclusion and distribution herein does not constitute an endorsement of views expressed by the same. Printed materials included herein are not refereed publications. Citations should appear as follows. EXAMPLE: Authors. 2015. Title of presentation. Waste to Worth: Spreading Science and Solutions. Seattle, WA. March 31-April 3, 2015. URL of this page. Accessed on: today’s date.