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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.

Municipal plant power

Fort Lauderdale City Commission has granted initial approval to Power Green Energy, a start-up company in Florida,  to install an anaerobic digestion system at the city’s waste-water treatment plant.

The plant will generate electricity to feed into Florida Power & Light’s powerlines by mid-2012. The project will generate enough electricity for 1000 homes.

The anaerobic digesters will also upgrade the biosolids remaining to eliminate pathogens, bacteria and viruses.

I hope they are going to use the biosolids for soil enrichment!

For more information:

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.


Kitchen-Waste Biomethane

Here’s an interesting article about building a home-based biogas processor utilizing kitchen wastes to generate energy.

Upcoming Events!

First International Conference on Biogas Microbiology

September 14 – 16, 2011 in Leipzig, Germany

International Biogas Operators’ Course

September 20-23, 2011, in co-operation with the University of Hohenheim, Germany

International Biogas Study Tour

4 days study-tour, starting 26 September 2011 in Frankfurt, after the International Biogas Operators Course at the University of Hohenheim. The participants will visit planners of biogas plants, manufacturers of components and biogas plants as well as biogas plants with new or ground-breaking concepts or technology in Germany.

13th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium – Sardinia 2011

3 – 7 October 2011, S. Margherita di Pula (Cagliari), Sardinia, Italy

EuroWaste Srl, Via Beato Pellegrino, 23 – 35137 Padova (Italy),tel. +39.049.8726986 fax +39.049.8726987


Biogas West

October 12-13, 2011, San Francisco

27th International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management

March 11-14, 2012in Philadelphia, PA e-mail

Complete Biogas Handbook

This looks like a good book if you are thinking about building your own biogas generator! The author also offers workshops – check it out!

(And no, I don’t have any affiliation with these folks!)

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