Category: Fauna

UK fuel and fertilizer from stable waste

A horse jockey club in the UK has revealed plans to create a biomass power plant run exclusively on horse manure from the stables.

In an article published from, GG Eco Solutions have proposed to install the facility at Jockey Club Estates land at Southfield Farm in Newmarket, UK. The plant will convert stable waste into biomass fuel (to heat nearby schools and businesses), as well as to produce fertilizer for use on nearby gallops, studs and farmland.

Totaling 25,000 tonnes of waste per year, the club has been seeking an alternative method of disposal for years.


Untapped potential

It’s about time these hog farms get some anaerobic digesters in place! Wake up!

Scientists stumped by mysterious methane-packed foam making hog farms explode

By Daily Mail Reporter

Scientists are baffled by an expanding foam that is growing on manure pits and causing entire hog farms to explode.

Six farms have blown up since 2009 – killing thousands of animals – after methane trapped inside the unidentified foam caught a spark.

And there’s no stopping it: the foam has now started growing on one in four farms across the Midwest.

MD Clean Bay Project

In Maryland farm animal waste could become a source of electricity for people. A state program called the Clean Bay Power project intends to use animal poop as a fuel for creating methane which is burned to spin turbines that generate electricity. The technology is known as a biogas digester. Maryland’s program requires the new proposed biogas digester plant to be able to generate ten megawatts of electricity. The program will also reduce the amount of chicken litter and farm animal manure entering the Chesapeake Bay. Nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients from animal farms get washed into the regional watershed and wind up in the bay where they damage the marine ecology. Oxygen-deprived dead zones in the bay result from excessive amounts of such farm-related chemicals.

“Maryland is leading the nation’s efforts in clean energy and sustainability, and our state’s growing green jobs sector is vital to our ability to create jobs and compete globally in the new economy,” said the state’s governor. (Source:

Reducing animal waste entering the bay could also save money because trying to do clean-ups once it is already there is very expensive. The old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies in this situation to the tune of about five to ten billion dollars. That is the cost estimate for the state’s proposed program to clean waste from the bay by 2017.

A company called Fibrowatt has indicated an interest in submitting a proposal for a plant. Their design and construction cost is about $300 million. Permitting and construction would require about forty months. This company already has one such facility operating in Minnesota, but it initially showed excessive air pollution from its smokestacks. The problem apparently was fixed, and would actually help improve the design of their next plant it has been reported.

Already about $850,000 has been granted to local farmers for manure-to-power plants by the federal government.

Google buys into Duke’s pig-power project

Google is offsetting its energy footprint by investing in Duke University’s open-source  pilot project to generate biomethane from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative and its partners built an innovative waste management system at Loyd Ray Farms in Yadkin County, outside of Winston-Salem, NC. The system utilizes anaerobic digestion of hog wastes to generate electricity.

The system reduces greenhouse gas emissions, generates electricity, makes for a healthier local environment and benefits farmers and communities economically. Through this pilot, Duke is showing how these projects can make economic sense for North Carolinians and lead to dramatic reductions in emissions over the long term to develop open-source anaerobic digestion systems for hog farms.  operations.

More information:

Midwest Rural Energy Council

From the Midwest Rural Energy Council’s website:

Anaerobic digesters convert the energy stored in organic materials present in manure into biogas.  Biogas can be fed directly into a gas-fired combustion turbine.  The type of turbine most often used for small-scale electricity production is the microturbine.  Combustion of biogas converts the energy stored in the bonds of the molecules of the methane contained in the biogas into mechanical energy as it spins a turbine.  The mechanical energy produced by biogas combustion in an engine or microturbine spins a turbine that produces a stream of electrons, or, electricity.  In addition, waste heat from these engines can provide heating or hot water for use on farm.

As a fuel, biogas composed of 65% methane yields about 650 Btu per cubic foot.  Often used when designing systems for the anaerobic digestion of manure, these energy estimates can predict the amount of power production per animal.  General estimates predict one kilowatt of electricity production requires five to eight dairy cows.

Lots more good information:

Statistics from the American Biogas Council

  • Over 150 anaerobic digesters are operating on farms in the U.S. (, primarily at dairies and some hog farms. Farm digesters reduce odors associated with manure, as well as pathogens. In addition to generating electricity, heat from gas engines is captured and utilized in farm operations. Many farms also are accepting food waste streams from area generators, which provides a revenue stream and boosts biogas production.
  • More than 1,500 municipal wastewater treatment plants have anaerobic digesters to process the solids stream. Increasingly, these treatment plants are capturing the biogas to offset electricity and natural gas use, savings that go directly to the cities’ bottom line. A handful of facilities are being designed in the U.S. to process organics such as food waste and yard trimmings from the municipal solid waste stream. In September, construction of the first facility got underway in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.


Panda power!

Turns out that the Panda Bear’s intestinal tract harbors bacteria which allow them to digest bamboo and other tough grasses. Scientists are working on cultivating the bacteria to help break down plant materials that are resistant to anaerobic digestion, for use in producing biofuels.

For more information:

Save the Panda Bears and help save the planet!

CA Dairy Farm Biomethane

This California dairy farm is using anaerobic digestion of cow manure to generate the electricity needed for its operations, and produces enough excess electricity to sell back to the grid. It is also using the heat generated in the digestive process to heat water for its operations. There are plans to feed exhaust from plant operations into algae ponds which can be harvested to produce more biomethane, and avert the need to buy diesel fuel. The video includes some discussion of regulatory compliance.

Several companies in Thailand have entered a 15-year contract to convert pig farming waste and wastewater into biomethane, to supply natural gas for vehicles (NGV) at two gas stations, beginning in 2012.

Kitti Jivacate, president and CEO of UAC, said the company would purify biogas from dung and wastewater from Mongkol and Sons pig farm in Chiang Mai. The biomethane gas from the droppings will be turned into NGV.

Presently, NGV accounts for 9 per cent of total gasoline and diesel consumption in Thailand.

The capacity of six tons per day could fill 500 compact cars or 40 transportation trucks. This could replace diesel imports of 2.2 million litres per year or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports of 1,600 tons.

Similar projects are also being considered for other regions in the country.


California Biomethane Grants

12 July 2011

The Green Car Congress reports that the California Energy Commission has awarded four grants for projects for biomethane production from several organic waste sources. The biomethane produced from dairy and food processing, municipal and landfill operations will fuel various transportation systems.

The awards have been funded through the Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (AB 118).

Biostar Systems ($3,372,314 – Match Share $3,372,314) . BioStar Systems is partnering with Sonoma County Water Agency and Sonoma County Transit to produce 148,000 cubic feet per day of pipeline quality biomethane from dairy waste and food processor waste to support the Sonoma County Transit natural gas fleet. This facility will reduce waste transportation costs for Sonoma County’s food industry by an estimated $120,000 per year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 35,200 tons per year.

CR&R, Inc. ($4,520,501 – Match Share $18,166,460) CR&R estimates that this project planned for the City of Perris in Riverside County will produce 120,000 million BTUs of pipeline quality biomethane from nonrecyclable municipal waste using a two-stage anaerobic digestion process. This project would displace the equivalent of 865,000 gallons of diesel, enough to power 60 to 80 heavy duty trash recycling trucks, and reduce an estimated 57,740 tons of carbon dioxide between 2013 and 2020.

Pixley Biogas ($4,672,798 – Match Share $4,910,925). Pixley Biogas intends to build an anaerobic digestion facility in the community of Pixley (Tulare County) that will process more than 36 million gallons of manure from three nearby dairies and produce biogas to be used at the adjacent Calgren Renewable Fuels ethanol biorefinery. The carbon dioxide reductions combined with the avoided manure emissions are estimated to be more than 31,000 metric tons per year.

High Mountain Fuels ($11,020,419 – Match share $11,020,419). High Mountain Fuels intends to convert renewable landfill biomethane to liquefied natural gas for use as transportation fuel at the Simi Valley landfill facility in Ventura County. The project would demonstrate improved gas separation technology that uses new combinations of materials to provide better power efficiency and improved methane recovery than at other facilities. The project anticipates producing almost 6 million gallons of LNG each year to fuel the company’s waste hauling trucks, displacing 3.4 million gallons of diesel fuel.

The last three projects will be completed in two phases: administration/design (Phase 1) and construction/operation (Phase 2). The second phase will not begin unless the Commission approves the second phase after completing a thorough environmental analysis of the project.


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