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The Farm Manure to Energy Initiative: Using Excess Manure to Generate Farm Income in the Chesapeake’s Phosphorus Hotspots

Proceedings available at: http://www.extension.org/67617

Currently, all the Bay states are working to achieve nutrient reduction goals from various pollution sources. Significant reductions in phosphorus pollution from agriculture, particularly with respect to phosphorus losses from land application of manure are needed to support a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Producers in high-density animal agricultural production areas such as Lancaster County region of Pennsylvania, the Delmarva Peninsula, and the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia, need viable alternatives to local land application in order to meet nutrient reduction goals.

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The Farm Manure to Energy Initiative: Using Excess Manure to Generate Farm Income in the Chesapeake’s Phosphorus Hotspots

  1. 1. CAN MANURE TO ENERGY TECHNOLOGIESHELPSAVE THE CHESAPEAKE BAY?Jane Corson-Lassiter - Farm Pilot Project Coordination, NRCS IPA
  2. 2. Chesapeake Bay3rd largest estuary inthe world200 miles long, 30miles across at thewidest pointNearly 12,000 milesof shoreline64,000 sq. milewatershed includingland area in six states17 million peoplelive in the watershed
  3. 3. Nitrogen Loading44% from Agriculture - including15% from Animal ManureAgricultureAnimalManureOtherSourcesOtherSourcesAnimalManureAgriculturePhosphorus Loading45% from Agriculture - including36% from Animal ManureDelivered Nutrients by Sector37 million lbs./year6 million lbs./year
  4. 4. Value of Livestock, Poultry, and theirProducts Sold as Percent of TotalMarket Value of Agricultural ProductsSold -2007#1 New YorkPennsylvaniaMarylandVirginia#2 West VirginiaDelaware# 5Annual Market Value Agricultural Productssold in Bay states > $16.5 billionAgriculture’s Economic Impact
  5. 5. The Farm Manure to Energy Initiative has come aboutto assess emerging technologies that are promisingalternatives in manure management.Funding :• National Fish and Wildlife Foundation• USDA-NRCS• EPA• Chesapeake Bay Funders NetworkAre there new tools to reduce delivery to theBay of animal manure nutrients?
  6. 6. Project Partners• Sustainable Chesapeake• Farm Pilot Project Coordination, Inc.• University of Maryland Center forEnvironmental Science• University of Maryland EnvironmentalFinance Center• Virginia Cooperative Extension• VA Tech• Lancaster County Conservation District
  7. 7. • Manure has carbon that can beconverted to energy.Why Manure to Energy?
  8. 8. Manure has enough energy to be valuable,providing moisture is at acceptable level.Feedstock (Btus/lb) * % Ash * % Dry MatterChicken Litter 6,500 20 70Swine feces 8,000 15 3Dairy manure 8,000 10 1-15Feedlot manure 4,500 30 70Wood 8,000 3 50Municipalsewage4,000 – 8,000 15-60 <1-3Coal,bituminous12,000 22 80* Values reported are based on dry matter basis
  9. 9. But can Manure to Energy succeed as anutrient management tool?ProducesRenewableEnergy fromManureProvides an EconomicReturn to the FarmerEnablesRemoval ofExcessNutrients
  10. 10. • Demonstrations in highpriority phosphorus andnitrogen yielding areasof the Chesapeake Bay• Use differenttechnologies1) farm scale2) technically feasible3) produce heat and/orelectricity4) provided a pathway toremove nutrients• Situate systems ondifferent farmconfigurations
  11. 11. What did we find out about technologies andtheir market readiness?• poultry litter in thermochemical conversion systems inhigh temperature range – gasification/combustion• were developed through University research but hadundergone additional steps towards commercialization• generated heat for poultry houses (electricalgeneration not fully optimized)• produced an ash by-product from the poultry litterwith significant reduction in weight and volume
  12. 12. • Manure• Poultry Litter• Ash• Bio-char• Oils• Gases• Compost• DigestateFEEDSTOCKCAPTUREDCO-PRODUCTSHEAT/ELECTRICITYPyrolysis700 - 1200 FGasification1000 - 1800 FCombustion>2000 F(Microbial)CompostingAnaerobic Digestion98 – 140 FThermo-chemical Conversion
  13. 13. Is poultry litter ash a valuable co-product?
  14. 14. Nutrient Analysis of Poultry Litter AshSource Process AnalysisN2-P2O5-K2OCCERAW LITTER na 3-3-2 2Shenandoah pyrolysis 6-6-4South Carolina gasification 0.5- 6.3- 1.5 16Indiana combustion 0-15-13 30Ireland combustion 0-23-22 30* Triple Superphosphate 0-45-0
  15. 15. We’ve encountered…• Regulatory agencies uncertain about new technologies.• Significant discussion of whether manure is a fuel orwaste –we’ve worked with farmers to “self determine”fuel legitimacy• Need for better emissions data• Real interest from farmers who understand andsupport the reach for new manure management toolsand are excited that systems may be a new source offarm revenue.
  16. 16. Wider adoption will depend on maturing of technologies,affordability, and performance.AdoptionUnderstanding theeconomicsUnderstanding theequipmentUnderstandingfarmer inputsUnderstandingenergy benefitsAchieving consistentperformanceUnderstandingenvironmentalbenefits

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