Biomass Conversion | Agricultural Waste Recovery | Oil, Grease, Food, Plastic | Urban Waste | Waste to Work

Agricultural Waste Recovery

A dairy farm with only 800 dairy cows paying $15-18,000.00 per month for electricity averages $20.00 per month per cow. At $.10/kWh, that equals 160 mwh per month or 200 kWh per month per cow! That is equal to approximately 682,000 BTUs per cow. A 3,000 cow dairy in California might spend $15,000 or more per month to pay for waste handling and disposal.

If we use the manure as fuel to generate power without emissions, we can provide clean energy, clean electricity, clean water, dry ice, steam and cleaner air. At the same time we could dispose of manure and other agricultural waste for considerable savings.

Conservatively estimating that we can extract 35% of the energy from the manure, we would recover the energy equivalent of 827 kwh per month per cow. The cow manure alone is enough to pay the electric bill!

Of course we must add the expenses of building and operating a plant. We must achieve a certain volume to make it profitable for the plant and its clients.

We estimate that a facility converting manure from 21,000 cattle could produce 24.5 MW/h of electricity at 35% efficiency plus clean water, heating, cooling and chemical fertilizer.

  • An average dairy cow produces 85# of raw manure a day per 1000 pounds of animal weight (not counting bedding) and that includes 10.4 Total Solids and approximately 8.6 lb. of volatile solids.
  • Thus a 1500 lb. Holstein is likely to produce, on average, 127.5 lb. of waste (13.23 lb. of volatiles).
  • This waste contains 0.7% phosphorous, 3.9% Nitrogen and 2.6% potassium, which we convert to chemical components for making fertilizer (among other uses).
  • Dairy manure averages 2,110 BTU per wet pound (87.5% moisture), which is equivalent to almost 0.618 kwh of electricity. One kwh is equivalent to 3413 BTU.
  • Thus, each cow produces the equivalent of 80 kwh per day and 2 MWh per month.
  • If we only achieve 35% efficiency this comes to 827 kWh per month per cow!

Additional advantages include:

  • Thermal conversion may accept manure wet (approx.10% of the energy is lost in drying it).
  • They capture more BTUs than standard combustion processes capture from dried manure.
  • They will capture more BTUs per pound than from making methane with biodigestion.
  • Generated heat drives a highly efficient steam generator; more efficient than a gas generator.
  • An improved bottom line for clients when the business environment is properly configured.

Cogeneration produces clean water, steam, dry ice and other products before making electricity. This is a much more efficient than making electricity first then using electricity to do this work

Thermal conversion systems are not restricted to dairy manure. They provide additional opportunities to generate power and otherwise benefit the community: They can ...

  • Process all kinds of agricultural waste: chicken litter, weeds, tree trimmings, etc.
  • Reclaim water used to wash off dairy cows, water used to wash the barn, etc.
  • Safely process all organic waste from meat packing plants as fuel -- without odor.
  • Safely process dead anumals; at high temperatures, all pathogens are killed.
  • Clean soil that has been contaminated with oil or chemicals (an add-on module).
  • Generate green credits for clean energy -- shared with business partners.
  • Get support from Rural Utility Services programs; ally with regulatory agencies.
  • Should a dairy co-op desire to participate in equity, that is an option.