Approaches to Nutrient Recovery from Dairy Manure

Approaches to Nutrient Recovery from Dairy Manure

EM112E
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Craig Frear, Director of Research and Technology, Regenis, (Formerly Washington State University), Jingwei Ma, Associate Professor, Department of Water, Science, and Engineering Hunan University (Formerly Washington State University), Georgine Yorgey, Associate Director, Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, Washington State University
The Anaerobic Digestion Systems Series provides research-based information to improve decision-making for incorporating, augmenting, and maintaining anaerobic digestion systems for manures and food by-products. This Extension manual supports the dairy industry and its partners through exploration of nutrient recovery from manure after anaerobic digestion.
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ACRONYMS

A Ammonia Stripping
AD Anaerobic Digestion
AS Advanced Solids Separation
CAPEX Capital Expense
CNG Compressed Natural Gas
DAF Dissolved Air Flotation
E Evaporation Separation
M Membrane Separation
MF Microfiltration
MVC Mechanical Vapor Compression
N Nitrogen
NDN Nitrification/Denitrification
NH3 Ammonia
NH4+ Ammonium
NR Nutrient Recovery
NTU Nephelometric Turbidity Unit
OPEX Operational Expense
P Phosphorus
PAM Polyacrylamide
PS Primary Separation
RO Reverse Osmosis
SC Struvite Crystallization
TSS Total Suspended Solids
UF Ultrafiltration
Manure and its associated nutrients can be valuable for crop production when it contributes to meeting plant nutrient needs. However, release of phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N), salts, and pathogens to the environment during manure management can contribute to numerous significant air and water quality concerns (Yorgey et al. 2014). As a result, dairies in many regions of the US are facing increased regulatory pressure (Rieck-Hinz et al. 2012). This is spurring government, industry, and farm interest in improving manure management and recovering manure nutrients through development and implementation of new technologies.
To support dairy, dairy-allied industry, and agency knowledge and decision-making, this paper provides an overview of the major nutrient recovery (NR) approaches now emerging or in use for recovery or removal of P, N, K, and other salts from dairy manure, particularly after anaerobic digestion (AD). Technologies, markets, and regulatory frameworks are evolving quickly and, as a result, this paper, its technology evaluations, associated performance, and cost estimates must be considered a time-sensitive snapshot of a changing industry.

Approach

This review summarizes technological approaches to NR appropriate for use with dairy manure, particularly, but not exclusively, dairy effluent from AD. AD treatment changes the form of manure in ways that may be beneficial for some NR approaches, but make other approaches more difficult. Systems combining both AD and NR provide a wealth of environmental benefits beyond NR, including renewable energy or fuel, and reduction in odor, pathogen, and greenhouse gas emissions (US-EPA 2004; US-EPA 2005). More information about the integration of NR and AD may be found in The Dairy Manure Biorefinery (Yorgey et al. in review) and additional publications referenced therein. Thermal renewable energy approaches such as combustion, pyrolysis, hydrothermal carbonization and gasification are also viable technical approaches to both NR and renewable energy production but are beyond the scope of this publication. Additional information on thermal applications can be found elsewhere (e.g., Cantrell et al. 2008, Pelaez-Samaniego et al. 2017).

Throughout this publication, the focus is on classes of approaches, and reference to specific technology providers has been avoided. The publication is therefore meant to provide a broad view of the industry and should not be used for individual technology purchase or investment decisions. For each of the more common technical approaches being used or considered by the dairy industry, this publication aims to summarize important indicators:

  • approximate performance and capital (CAPEX) and operating and maintenance (OPEX) expenses,
  • performance,
  • co-product form and price, and
  • impacts on manure management.

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Copyright Washington State University

Published Febuary, 2018

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