Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/22/2011
Publication Date: 11/13/2012
Citation: Ro, K.S. 2012. Thermochemical conversion technologies for production of renewable energy and value-added char from animal manures. In: He, Z., editor. Applied Research of Animal Manure: Challenges and Opportunities Beyond the Adverse Environmental Concerns. Hauppauge, NY:Nova Publishers. p. 63-81.
Interpretive Summary: Thermochemical conversion (TCC) technology uses heat to decompose organic matter, releases energy, and produces value-added products. For example, the synthesis gas produced from gasifying animal manures can be combusted to provide space heating and the power required for livestock operation. It can also be converted into transportation fuels using downstream catalytic conversion technologies. The char produced from pyrolyzing animal manures can be used to build up soil quality and reduce greenhouse gas emission. It can also be activated to be used as an adsorbent for pollution control. The use of TCC technology for confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) offers the following benefits and advantages: (1) small footprint; (2) efficient nutrient recovery; (3) no fugitive gas emissions; (4) short processing time on the order of minutes to hours; (5) capability of handling a variety of feedstocks and blends; and (6) high-temperature destruction of pathogens and pharmaceutically active compounds. After conversion, TCC processing leaves minor residual amounts that require further disposal, resulting in reduced applicable land disposal charges associated with fuel, tipping, and transportation. This chapter reviews presently established and emerging TCC technologies that can be used for manures-to-renewable energy production.
Technical Abstract: Confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the USA and many other countries have undergone extensive expansions and consolidations for the last few decades. This shift in animal production agriculture toward fewer, but larger operations has created serious environmental concerns in recycling and disposing surplus animal manures because the animal manure production often exceeds assimilative capacity of local land. The surplus animal manures become the main component of livestock wastes. Thermochemical conversion technologies can be used to transform livestock wastes into value-added products and renewable energy. The synthesis gas produced from gasifying livestock wastes can be combusted to provide space heating and the power required for livestock operation. It can also be converted into transportation fuels using downstream catalytic conversion technologies. The char produced from pyrolyzing livestock wastes can be used to build up soil quality and reduce greenhouse gas emission. It can also be activated to be used as an adsorbent for pollution control. This chapter reviews presently established and emerging thermochemical energy conversion technologies that can be used for livestock waste-to-renewable energy production.