Agriculture & Livestock
Transforming Animal and Crop Waste
Carborex®MS & Sulfurex® in Agriculture
One of the biggest challenges farmers face is managing the large amount of animal and crop waste produced by their agriculture and livestock operations. DMT systems provide air and water quality benefits for managing these waste streams as well as create substantial economic benefits, such as RNG, valuable byproducts, tipping fees, and renewable energy credits.
- Operational Simplicity and Ease.
- High Plant Uptimes.
- Robust & Reliable System.
Livestock manure is an ideal feedstock for anaerobic digestion (AD). Generally, livestock manure:
- Has a neutral pH and high buffer capacity, meaning it can resist a change in pH;
- Contains naturally occurring mix of microbes responsible;
- Offers nutrients, micronutrients, and trace metals;
- Is available in large quantities.
Biogas upgrading projects are most likely to succeed when manure is collected as a liquid, slurry or semi-solid as well as stored in open pits, ponds or lagoons. Since the majority of large dairy and swine operations in the U.S. use liquid or slurry manure management systems, the RNG potential at these facilities is high. Other animal sectors, including poultry farms and beef lots, manage manure primarily in solid form. Efforts to produce energy more effectively from these management systems are also possible.
The Potential Benefits of Blending Agriculture Feedstocks with Livestock Manure
Additionally, blending energy-dense feedstocks with livestock manure is a common method to maximize biogas production. This practice optimizes nutrient levels and provides buffering capacity. Using livestock manure as a base for anaerobic digestion is essential as many of the energy-dense feedstocks, such as food-processing waste, are:
- Contain little to none naturally occurring microbes, and
- Often lack the nutrients (e.g., nitrogen, trace elements, vitamins, etc.) necessary for anaerobic digestion.
Farms operating anaerobic digestion systems could potentially take on additional wastes and benefit from increased gas production and tipping fees.
Crop residues, or production residues from the commercial production of agricultural plants, are a suitable feedstock for anaerobic digestion. Examples of crop residues include damaged or misshapen fruit or vegetables, trimmings and other plant parts which are not the intended end product, such as straw, leaves or tops. These can be collected from the field or from a packing unit, prior to leaving the farm-gate.
Crops, such as maize, grass silage, and wholecrop cereals, can also be grown specifically for anaerobic digestion to stabilize or supplement other feedstocks. When effectively incorporated into existing crop rotations or management regimes, these plants enhance yields from subsequent crops by replenishing nutrients, conditioning the soil, reducing the occurrence of soil-borne diseases and improving soil and water quality. Land which is not suitable for the production of food crops may be suitable to supply biomass to AD plants.