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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Manure Project Overall View
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Scientist using retort Pyrolysis of Manure Creates a Nutrient-rich Biochar: Scientists at ARS Florence produced and characterized a wide selection of manure feedstocks and their blends made under the same processing conditions. Pyrolysis of the feedstocks, regardless of manure variety, generated a high pH biochar with predominately stable carbon structures rich in inorganic nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium. 

Resources:


Impact of Pyrolysis... (Abstract)   (PDF) 

Stochastic State-Space Temperature Regulation...
      Part I
(Summary)  (PDF)
      Part II (Summary)  (PDF)


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Green farming system  Green Farming Systems for Manure-to-Energy Conversion Platforms: Future livestock operations in the southeastern USA will need better manure management strategies that generate alternative energy products and safeguard natural resources. Along with biological and thermochemical waste treatment options, we present emerging nutrient recovery technologies that will extract plant-available nitrogen and phosphorus. 

Resources:

Green Farming Systems for the Southeast... (Abstract)   (PDF) 


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Heat map of bacterial families  Analysis of Anaerobic Lagoon Microbial Populations using Pyrosequencing: Anaerobic lagoons are a passive treatment system that relies heavily on microorganisms to remediate swine wastewater. Despite this reliance, there is very little information on the microbial ecology of these systems. We recently concluded a study, the first in the United States, that examined these populations in the water column of four separate lagoons. This study identified almost one thousand genera of bacteria, many of which could be attributed to various biochemical functions in these lagoons. These results demonstrate that anaerobic lagoons have a very complex microbial structure, a structure that is controlled by the many site-specific environmental factors.  


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Biochar from plant residue  Biochars Produced from Plant Residues and Poultry Litter as Effective Bioenergy Sources: Scientists at ARS Florence characterized the elemental and structural compositions of several plant and manure feedstocks and their biochar counterparts. Plant-based chars had greater energy contents and lower ash contents than poultry litter implying more efficient thermal conversion. This study suggested that energy conversion of poultry litter and the integrity of thermal processing equipment can be greatly improved by blending it with plant residue feedstocks.
 
Resources:

Composition and Thermal Evaluation... (Abstract)  (PDF) 


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Gas-permeable membrane system Recovery of Ammonia with Gas-Permeable Membranes: The use of gas-permeable membranes could be an effective approach to recover ammonia from livestock wastewater and from air in poultry and animal facilities. 

Resources:

Recycling Ammonia Emissions as Fertilizer... (ARS magazine article)

Removal and Recovery of Amm. from Liq. Manure... (Abstract)  (PDF) 


Recovery of Ammonia from Poultry Litter...  (PDF) 


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Second generation swine waste treatment system Development of a Second Generation Treatment System for Management of Livestock Manure: ARS Scientists at Florence, South Carolina, and business cooperators have developed a streamlined second-generation swine manure management process that delivers healthier pigs, healthier profits, and a healthier environment. U.S. Patent was granted for this new system.

Resources:

Weftec 2012: Method for Recovery of Phoshorus from Animal Wastewater 

Technical information on second generation treatment system
 

Producers and Pigs Profit From Manure Management Process

PBS Series  

America's Heartland: Turning Hog Waste into Environmentally Friendly Fertilizer

 

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Immobilized anammox in laboratory   Deammonification of Swine Wastewater Using Partial Nitritation and Anammox: Use of immobilization techniques improved anammox biomass retention, positively affecting treatment process capacity. A single-tank process cuts 57% of the aeration cost of nitrogen removal. Since carbon is not needed, it optimizes nutrient removal in digester effluents. 

Resources:

Ammonia Removal using Nitrification and Anammox...
 (ASABE 2012 Paper)

Anammox Immobilized in PVA Pellets... (Abstract)  (PDF) 

First International Anammox Symposium IANAS Japan 
Image of video camera
Immobilized Anammox 



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Manufacturing Climate Solutions:images GHG Emission Reduction Using Aerobic Treatment of Swine Manure: Replacing anaerobic-lagoon-based systems with new aerobic system reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 97 percent. Significant profits are possible via the sale of generated carbon credits. 

Resources:

More carbon credits per pig! ... 
(PDF)  

Manufacturing Climate Solutions: Carbon-Reducing Tech. and U.S. Jobs

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction... (Summary)  (PDF) 



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Quickwash of poultry litter Recovery of Phosphorus from Solid Manure:  Soil scientists developed a method to extract the phosphorus from manure, most of which is recovered in a "slow-release" form that is available for plant uptake. The new process, called quick wash, produces two different materials derived from poultry litter, a concentrated phosphorus material and a washed solid residue material that contains carbon and nitrogen but is low in phosphorus.

Resources:

Mining Manure Phosphorus...

Prospects for Phosphorus Recovery... (Summary)  (PDF)


Fertilizer Effectiveness of Phosphorus... (Summary) (PDF)


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 Heavy metal testing Manure Biochars Stabilize Soil Heavy Metal Contaminants: ARS scientists at New Orleans, LA, and Florence, SC, conducted collaborative investigations to determine the effectiveness of manure biochars as binders of heavy metals in soils. High temperature biochars from feedlot manure, turkey and poultry litter exhibited the greatest heavy metal soil retention. These results suggest their utilization for sequestering heavy metals, thereby reducing contaminant movement in soils and improve water quality. 

Resources:

Retention of Heavy Metals in a Typic Kandiudult...
(Summary)
  (PDF)


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Image of biochars Biochar Production from Blended Animal Manures: A commercial pilot-scale pyrolysis reactor system was operated for production of combustible gases and biochar from swine solids, chicken litter, and swine solids blended with rye grass. The energy content of combustible gases produced from swine solids and the swine-rye blend were slightly below that of natural gas. The biochars contained greater concentrations of phosphorous and potassium than original manure, suggesting usefulness as an alternative fertilizer.  

Resources:

High-Temperature Pyrolysis of Blended Manures...(Summary)  (PDF)


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High temperature reactors Energy and Biofuels from Animal Manure: Waste-to-Energy Opportunities:  The use of biological and thermochemical conversion technologies in livestock waste treatments can provide multiple value-added energy products. These products can meet heating and power needs or serve as transportation fuels.  We have reviewed bilogical and thermochecmical conversion technologies with potential to make future large scale livestock operations sustainable while generating on-farm renewable energy. 

Resources:

Livestock Waste-to-Bioenergy Generation...(Summary)  (PDF)

Fueling the Farm (Agricultural Research magazine article)


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Bermudagrass hay Bioenergy Production Using Treated Swine Wastewater: Coastal bermudagrass can be grown as a bioenergy crop using a subsurface drip irrigation system distributing treated swine wastewater. Compared to fertilizer treatments, plots receiving treated swine wastewater generated more energy per hectare. The different production practices examined imposed minimal effects on the combustion characteristics of bermudagrass.

Resources:

Thermogravimetric Charact. of Irr. Bermudagrass... (Summary)  (PDF)

Bioenergy from Coastal bermudagrass...(Summary)  (PDF)



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Isotherm graph Manure and Biomass-based Hydrochar from Wet Pyrolysis can Remove Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) and Heavy Metals: ARS scientists and university collaborators found that bisphenol A, 17α-ethinyl estradiol, and phenenthrene can be removed by hydrochars made from hydrothermally carbonizing (i.e., wet pyrolysis) swine solids and chicken litter. Because of hydrochar's diversity in surface functionality, the hydrochar showed high sorption capacity for both polar and nonpolar pollutants. This finding opens a new valuable use of animal manures as an environmental sorbent. 

Resources:

Sorption of Bisphenol... (Summary)  (PDF)

Chemical Structures of Swine... (Summary)  (PDF)

Hydrothermal Carbonization of Municipal Waste... (Summary)  (PDF)

Hydrothermal Carbonization of Biomass... (Summary)  (PDF)

Hydrogen Peroxide modification enhances... (Summary)  (PDF)



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Image of anaerobic lagoon Denitrification in Anaerobic Lagoons Used to Treat Swine Wastewater: Much of the livestock production around the world including the USA is in confined livestock production. In the case of swine and dairy production, the wastewater is often treated in anaerobic lagoons to remove nitrogen.  The most well-established pathway for nitrogen treatment in wastewater is classical nitrification and denitrification.  While alternate pathways of denitrification may exist within or beneath the wastewater column, this research documents the lack of sufficient denitrification enzyme activity within the wastewater column of these anaerobic lagoons to support large nitrogen gas losses via classical nitrification and denitrification. 

Resources:

Denitrification in Anaerobic Lagoons... (Summary)  (PDF)
 

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Gas emission test site Gas Emission from Agricultural Sites can be Accurately Measured by an Inverse-dispersion Technique: ARS scientists and university collaborator assessed the accuracy of an emerging micrometeorological method using an inverse dispersion model. When used with the open-path tunable diode absorption spectrometers, the inverse-dispersion technique predicted the known emissions from flat terrain and lagoon with very high accuracies ranging from 81 to 98%. This technique can be used to accurately measure emission from spray field, fumigation, and treatment lagoons.

Resources:

Measuring Trace Gas Emission... (Summary)   (PDF)

Measuring Gas Emission from Lagoons... (Summary) (PDF)
 


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Treatment constructed wetland Suspended Sludge Layer in Treatment Wetlands Found to be Important for Denitrification:  The objectives of this study were to assess the magnitude of denitrification enzyme activity (DEA) in the suspended sludge layers of bulrush and cattail treatment wetlands, and evaluate the impact of nitrogen pretreatment on DEA in the suspended sludge layer.

Resources:

Denitrification of Nitrified and Non-Nitrified... (Summary) 
(PDF)


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Cold Reactor Efficient Wastewater Nitrification Under High Ammonia and Low Temperature Conditions:  A unique microbial community was identified that exhibited high nitrification activity under cold temperature conditions where nitrification was previous inhibited. This community was a mix of Nitrosomonas and microorganisms having floc forming or psychrotolerance characteristics.

Resources:

Characterization of a Microbial Community...  (PDF)


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Bioresource Technology 100(2009) cover OECD Workshop: Livestock Waste Treatment Systems of the Future: The proceedings of the International OECD Workshop (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) held at Florence, South Carolina, were published in a Special Issue of Bioresource Technology. The Workshop took a synergistic, multidisciplinary approach to discuss livestock waste treatment systems of the future.
Editorial... PDF OECD CRP...     OECD logo
Special Issue Contents...
Information...


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Last Modified: 11/26/2012