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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #182159


item Vanotti, Matias

Submitted to: Electronic Publication
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/2005
Publication Date: 7/26/2005
Citation: Vanotti, M.B. 2005. Evaluation of environmentally superior technology: Swine waste treatment system for elimination of lagoons, reduced environmental impact, and improved water quality (Centralized composting unit). Phase II: Final Report for Technology Determination per Agreements between North Carolina Attorney General & Smithfield Foods, Premium Standard Farms, and Frontline Farmers. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Systems of treatment technologies are needed to capture nutrients, reduce emissions of ammonia and nuisance odors, kill harmful pathogens, and generate value-added products. A system of swine manure treatment technologies was developed to accomplish many of these tasks. The project was a collaborative effort involving scientists, engineers, and personnel from private businesses, university, and USDA. The project addressed one of the nation’s greatest environmental problems – the cleanup and disposal of manure from swine-production wastewater. The total system was comprised of 1) on-farm wastewater treatment facilities that replace anaerobic lagoon treatment with a system that uses liquid-solid separation, nitrification/denitrification, and soluble P removal technologies, and 2) a centralized solids processing facility where separated manure is aerobically composted and transformed into value-added products including soil amendments, organic fertilizers, container substrate, and soillesss media. The total system went through full-scale demonstration and verification as part of the Smithfield Foods / Premium Standard Farms / Frontline Farmers - North Carolina Attorney General Agreement to identify technologies that can replace current lagoons with Environmentally Superior Technology. Objectives were to provide critical performance evaluation of the Swine Manure Treatment System to determine if the technology meets the criteria of Environmentally Superior Technology defined in section II.C of the Agreement. Specifically, the evaluation of technical and operational feasibility and performance standards related to the elimination of discharge of animal waste into waters and the substantial elimination of nutrient and heavy metal contamination of soil and groundwater. The on-farm system was successfully demonstrated on a 4,400-head finishing farm in Duplin County, North Carolina, and included in Phase I Technology Determination Report of July 2004. In this second report, we document Phase II demonstration and performance verification of the centralized solids processing facility. The solids processing technology was developed by Super Soil Systems USA of Clinton, North Carolina. The centralized treatment plant completed design, permitting, construction, startup, and half-year operation under steady-state conditions. The full-scale composting demonstration facility was installed in Sampson County, North Carolina, and received the separated solids from the production swine facility 30 miles away. It used a mechanically agitated bed system with further stabilization in static windrows to treat a mixture of manure and cotton gin trash residues. Major goals in the demonstration and verification of the centralized solids processing facility for treatment of swine manure solids were achieved including consistent operation and production of quality composts under cold and warm weather conditions. A total of 273 tons of raw manure solids was converted into 237 tons of valuable organic materials with an earthy scent and rich texture that can be used for fertilizer manufacture, soil amendments, potting soil, and soilless media. The quality composts were produced using various mixtures that conserved 95-100% of the nitrogen and other nutrients into a stabilized product. The process showed substantial elimination of pathogen indicators meeting class A biosolids standards. Results from this project have demonstrated that manure and other agricultural wastes can be transformed into value-added products using a simple, effective technology. It was verified that the technology is technically and operationally feasible. Based on performance results obtained, the treatment system meets the criteria of Environmentally Superior Technology defined in section II.C of the Agreement on performance standards for the elimination of discharge of animal waste to