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.
FPPC is a non-profit whose mission is to pilot new methods and technologies to manage the nutrients in manure from animal agriculture.I am part of a team that has developed an initiative to assess a set of promising alternatives in manure management. -we’re trying to help answer the question – can ……
Since we’re in Denver, I’d like to give you some background on our Chesapeake Bay region and why we’re looking at manure management alternativesSituated in the mid-Atlantic Largest land area to water volume ratio of any US estuary
It is a National treasure –estuaries rank as some of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. The Bay is especially productive and supports over 36,000 species of animals and plants. Impaired with high nutrient and sediment loads coming from the watershed and is the target of a concerted clean-up effort
Now there are several sources for nutrient and sediment runoff to a waterbody. But today I’m focusing on nutrients from agriculture and livestock-
When we look at nutrient burden on the BayWe see that about 45% is coming from agricultural sources.For nitrogen about 30% of N ag load is from animal manures80% of P ag load from animal production.
Ag has a big ecomonic impact. It is the number one industry in -Ag is certainly the biggest land use. The map at the right shows the percentage of the agriculture market attributed to animal production, and the areas in orange and red illustrate where animal production accounts for 65% up to 85% of the agricultural market value.
Now the challenge– and many are looking for solutions – are there new tools to reduce delivery to the Bay of animal manure nutrients? Enter the Farm Manure to Energy Initiative- a partnership that was formed to assess new tools that show promise in addressing the watershed’s nutrient imbalance. This effort is funded through the NFWF,….And we are moving forward with significant contributions from technology providers, farmers, and manyother collaborators
This is a list of project partners on the Steering Committee…. Sustainable Chesapeake, led by Kristen Hughes Evans is the lead PI and Kristen manages all the facets of the project. FPPC manages the site work and equipment installation --and monitors technical and environmental performanceVA Tech faculty - assist with preliminary emissions testing and with ash characterization U of MD EFC is looking at the project economics – and vehicles for financing future m2e systemsOther partners are looking at outcomes and dissemination and they’ll be loading our lessons learned to eXtension website.
So why Manure to Energy - or using the shorthand M2E --Manure has carbon.. Using manure as a source of energy is not a new idea, if you remember your grade school history classes we studied how the early pioneers crossing the prairies used the abundant "buffalo chips" as their primary source of fire. The manure burned and was an indispensable source of fuel for travelers in the 1800s.”
Manure does have energy and this chart shows BTU values of different manure feedstocks in comparison to traditional fuel like wood and coal. Please note that these values are on a dry matter basis.
The M2E intitiative believes that to stand on their own, so to speak, that there needs to be three legs of support. Others have called this the environmental trifecta. M2E systems, in order to be successful need to :Not only provide, carbon nuetral renewable energyreally manage excess nutrients – Don’t want to trade a water quality problem for an air quality problem. make sense to the farmer and provide a return on investment –
Goal -demonstrate new technologies in phosphorus hotspotsWe are demonstrating different technology configurations Farm scaleLevel of maturity- manure as feedstockpathway for nutrient removal. different farming operations to understand how the size and management of the farm might affect deployment.We’ve ended up with five demonstration sites – representing different size poultry farms, different farm management, different integrators, different house energy needs, and different farmers.
beginning of our project M2E partners had identified promising systems but we also cast a wide net with an RFP to be able learn about other systems. We reviewed about a dozen proposals. Again –looking for technologies that could capture energy, and address nutrient reductions, we found that we were really looking at technologies that used poultry litter in controlled combustion processes, or gasification processes. More mature - Some of the systems had been researched at Land Grant universities several years back, and had been developed by outside entities to the point of commercialization. found systems that would heat poultry houses through forced hot air, and through hot water heat exchangers. None had fully developed an electrical generation option. Not your father’s Buick, not even my grandfather’s Edsel – more at the Model T level of design for the marketplace.---But we were looking for robust, commercial-level systems- not bench scale - to place on our demonstration farms. The systems we are deploying all result in an ash co-product with concentrated nutrients that we can move out of the watershed.
overview of thermochemical conversion processes manure goes in as a feedstock and we get emissions, energy and different co-products. Litter has enough energy value on its own to sustain these conversion processes –Co-products depend on the process –Range of processes from low to highThe M2E technologies all fall in the gasification /combustion range. Systems use poultry litter – driest form of manure and no preprocessing is required.They all produce an ash co-product.
The ash has concentrated P and K nutrients -10-20% of the raw manure’s original weight and volume. With a lower weight and volume we can are looking at economical ways to move these nutrients from the hotspots. -M2E initiative is partnering with VA Tech to characterzie the use and handling of the ash. Setting up field trials in fresh market vegetables and corn and soybean crops.
Here is the fertilizer analysis for four sources of ash and biochar - Range of analysis-2 years data on Field trials on tomatoes -Phosphorus looks to be about 80-90% plant available. What happens to the ash is a critical question to future adoption of these systems. Farmers will need a market for the ash- VA Tech is working with a large fertilizer company who is interested in using the ash in custom fertilizer blends. Work underway in Penn state to evaluate the ash as a feed additive for Phosphorus. We’re also looking at whether pelletizeing or granulation makes sense for other markets.
So what do these technologies look like?Left – system from Ireland – delivers hot water to in-house hot water heat exchangers on several demonstration farms in the UKRight – system developed with input from Penn State – again hot water system – two are now operating in PA and have gained significant interest from other farmers
Left is a gasifier in South Carolina. This is an FPPC project and the system is grid-connected and producing electricity, but the unit the system performance is not fully optimal. FPPC engineers are working on that. Right is a prototype of a gasifier that we’ll be using in PA. This system will heat hot water for in-house hot water heat exchangers.
This system is our first in place. It is located on a turkey brooder house in the Shenandoah Valley of Virgina.
A prototype of this system was successfully tested at the University of Arkansas several years back, but has been commercialized and is now being marketed in the US. It generates hot air for a forced air distribution. Quite simple distribution system with ductwork delivering 150 degree air to the center of the poultry house, with distribution down the length of the house achieved with stir and ventilation fans.
This unit has been operating for a couple of weeks and the farmer is pleased with the performance. We’re just beginning data collection on its operation, but we’ll be assessing emissions, fuel handling and management, heat output and flock performance.
As we’ve gone through project development for the five demonstration sites, –
Wider adoption will depend the maturing of these technologies –Not your father’s Buick, not even my grandfather’s Edsel – more at the Model T level of design for the marketplace.---But we are implementing robust, commercial-level systems- not bench scale – these are out on the road for a test drive.innovation takes several iterations.-We believe that our project is helping to fill the gap in understanding --what equipment is out there, how a farmer integrates a system into his farm management, whether systems can consistently perform over time, What are the energy and environmental benefitsAnd bottom line is how does this impact the farm’s bottom line. I appreciate this opportunity to share our M2E project – and look forward to talking with you throughout the rest of the conference about similar developments in your regions.
The Farm Manure to Energy Initiative: Using Excess Manure to Generate Farm Income in the Chesapeake’s Phosphorus Hotspots
CAN MANURE TO ENERGY TECHNOLOGIESHELPSAVE THE CHESAPEAKE BAY?Jane Corson-Lassiter - Farm Pilot Project Coordination, NRCS IPA
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
Nitrogen Loading44% from Agriculture - including15% from Animal ManureAgricultureAnimalManureOtherSourcesOtherSourcesAnimalManureAgriculturePhosphorus Loading45% from Agriculture - including36% from Animal ManureDelivered Nutrients by Sector37 million lbs./year6 million lbs./year
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
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?
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
• Manure has carbon that can beconverted to energy.Why Manure to Energy?
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
But can Manure to Energy succeed as anutrient management tool?ProducesRenewableEnergy fromManureProvides an EconomicReturn to the FarmerEnablesRemoval ofExcessNutrients
• 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
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
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
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.
Wider adoption will depend on maturing of technologies,affordability, and performance.AdoptionUnderstanding theeconomicsUnderstanding theequipmentUnderstandingfarmer inputsUnderstandingenergy benefitsAchieving consistentperformanceUnderstandingenvironmentalbenefits