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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 #233001

Title: Developmement of second-generation Environmentally Superior Technology for treatment of swine manure in the USA

item Vanotti, Matias
item Szogi, Ariel
item Millner, Patricia
item Loughrin, John

Submitted to: Bioresource Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/13/2009
Publication Date: 2/16/2009
Citation: Vanotti, M.B., Szogi, A.A., Millner, P.D., Loughrin, J.H. 2009. Developmement of second-generation Environmentally Superior Technology for treatment of swine manure in the USA. Bioresource Technology 100:5406-5416.

Interpretive Summary: The central goal in implementation of the second generation wastewater treatment system for swine manure was to achieve the high environmental performance of the first generation at substantially reduced costs. It was installed full-scale in a 5,145-head finishing swine operation and demonstrated under steady-state conditions during three pig production cycles. Even though the actual cost of the second generation system was 1/3 of first generation, the new system performed efficiently to the level of an environmentally superior technology (EST) as measured by the various water quality improvements, odors reduction and disinfection of the liquid. The solids were efficiently captured and removed from the farm in a drier form more amenable for composting. Beyond the other environmental benefits that should be provided by EST such as ammonia reduction, EST should also substantially improve local air quality as the lagoon is removed as a source of odor. Results from this project support recommendations that significant cost reductions can be achieved by on-farm implementation of the new technologies on sufficient number of farms that will allow continued engineering and science improvements, and value added product market development. We also found that animal health and productivity of the animals were enhanced with the cleaner environment; the animal mortality decreased, daily weight gain increased and feed conversion improved, with substantial economic benefits to the producer. Thus, cleaner treatment technologies can have significantly positive impacts not only on the environment but also on livestock productivity.

Technical Abstract: New swine waste management systems in North Carolina need to meet high performance standards of an environmentally superior technology (EST) regarding nitrogen, phosphorus, heavy metals, pathogens, ammonia and odor emissions, and remain affordable and simple to operate. The objective of this study was to develop a second-generation treatment system that can achieve high EST standards at reduced costs. The system used solids separation, nitrification/denitrification and phosphorus removal/disinfection, and was demonstrated at full-scale on a 5,145-head swine farm during three production cycles (15-months). Removal efficiencies were: 98% suspended solids, 97% ammonia, 95% phosphorus, 99% copper and zinc, 99.9% odors, and 99.99% pathogens. The system met EST standards at 1/3 the cost of the previous version. Animal health and productivity were enhanced; hog sales increased 32,900 kg/cycle (5.6%). These results demonstrated that: 1. Significant cost reductions were achieved by on-farm implementation and continued engineering improvements, and 2. The new waste management system substantially benefited livestock productivity.