Manure Processing Technologies

   Rotary Composting
   Impacts of Composting on GHG Emissions

    Constructed Wetlands  (Canada & USA)

      Manure Centrifuges
      Manure Dryers (dewatering)

Assessment / Verification

Dead Stock Management 

Alternative Uses for Manure

Manure Incineration

Managing Sand in Manure Handling Systems

Biochar  new information


International Information

  Roller Manure Press -
  Accent S.S. Manufacturing Ltd.


See Also: 


Treatment: Composting

Guidelines for Compost Quality (Oct. 2005) (PN1340) Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME)  - CCME has revised its Guidelines for Compost Quality (1996) in order to reflect new science and technologies and an improved understanding of composting and compost. The Guidelines will help protect public health and the environment and help composting continue to develop as an important resource/waste management solution.

Transform Compost Systems. A supplier of compost technology for agri-business, municipalities, and industry; specializing in medium and large-scale aerated, in-vessel composting systems; providing research and development for composting and co-composted products. Contact: 34642 Mierau St., Abbotsford, BC V2S 4W8 Canada; Phone: 604-856-2722; Fax: 604-856-8444.   

Gathering of compost experts, by Chantal Foulds  - Ecological Agriculture Projects, McGill University (Macdonald Campus), Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, H9X 3V9 Canada; Telephone: (514)-398-7771; Fax: (514)-398-7621. Everything you ever wanted to know about compost but did not know who to ask should have been the title of the conference on the 2nd and 3rd of March in Victoriaville, Quebec.    

Development of a Farm-Scale System to Compost Liquid Pig Manure (67 KB pdf) Ron Fleming and Malcolm MacAlpine, Ridgetown College, Univ. of Guelph. (Nov. 1999)  A liquid manure composting system has been developed and is now operating at Ridgetown College, University of Guelph, located in Ridgetown, Ontario. The composter is an in-vessel system, with forced aeration and mechanical turning. Liquid swine manure has been mixed with a variety of substrates to produce a material that is compostable. Straw, wood fibre, corn stover, corn cobs, tree leaves and combinations of these materials have been tested. We have had excellent success in controlling odours from liquid pig manure. The ratio, by weight, of liquid manure to substrate ranged from 1.9:1 to 8.1:1 for straw, and was lower for wood fibre (average 1.1:1), corn stover (average 3.0:1), leaves (average1.2:1), and corn cobs (average2.0:1), The amount of manure processed expressed as a function of time and compost channel area has been as high as 28.5 L/day/m2

Development and Demonstration of a Management System for Handling Liquid Swine Manure that Minimizes Odours and Losses of Nutrients to the Environment  (141 KB pdf). Ron Fleming, P. Eng. and Malcolm MacAlpine, Ridgetown College, U. of Guelph, Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0 (May, 2001) - A liquid manure composting system has been developed and is now operating at Ridgetown College, University of Guelph. The composter is an in-vessel system, with forced aeration and mechanical turning. The composter is designed to operate as a batch system, where the channels are filled, the materials composts, and the entire channel of partially composted material is removed from the channels after two to four weeks 

Annual Meeting Papers - Canadian Society for Bioengineering: 1995 - present

Realizing Composting Opportunities in the Western Canadian Hog Industry (1999) [113 KB pdf].  Karen Bolton, Manure Management Specialist, Sask Agriculture and Food (9th Annual Composting Conference, Toronto Ontario, Nov 3-5, 1999) - Prairie hog producers need to be made aware of both the costs and benefits when they consider composting as a manure management option. What is often heard is that composting has to compete with the one cent per gallon land application costs for liquid manure or $2.50 per ton solid manure application costs... However, given costs as high as $100,000 annually for manure application on a 2400 sow farrow to finish barn, the cost of retrofitting and composting might make sense over a 20 year period; the generally accepted time until major upgrades are required for equipment and infrastructure.

Composting Seminar Videos, Global Repair - featuring Larry Breach, Composting Specialist, at July 2001 Composting Seminar, Kerr Farms, Chatham, Ontario.

MARVEL Composting Technology - A System to Compost Liquid Swine Manure (2002) [1862 KB pdf].  Ron Fleming and Malcolm MacAlpine, Ridgetown College,  Univ. of Guelph, Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0 - Studies were recently carried out on two systems to compost liquid manure. In both cases,liquid swine manure was mixed with various materials having a high C:N ratio. The Ridgetown College composter is a pilot-scale composter that has been operating successfully since 1998. The system at the Fritz farm (near Chepstow, Ontario) began operation in August, 2001 and is a full-scale farm composting system.

Composting of Swine Manure Slurry to Control Odour, Remove Water, and Reduce Pollution Potential (July, 1997) [1306 KB pdf].  N.K. Patni and R.G. Kinsman, Centre for Food & Animal Res., Res. Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A OC6  - using the simple, low cost, low technology, static pile passive aeration composting system can be a practical process to remove water from dilute manure slurries when the additional slurry is added gradually to compost piles after they have reached peak temperature. Farm-scale optimization of the process and a determination of the economic feasibility is required for the process to be of practical use at swine farms. 

Impact of the Use of Compost on the Quality of Drainage Water (Oct. 2002) [323 KB pdf].  Ron Fleming, Malcolm MacAlpine and Andrew Everett, Ridgetown College, - U. of Guelph, Ridgetown, ON.   While some information is available on the availability of compost nutrients to crops, there are questions remaining about the potential for leaching of nutrients when compost is spread onto fields. A project was set up at Ridgetown College - University of Guelph, during June and July, 2002, to have a preliminary look into the leaching potential. The main objective was to compare the potential for nutrient leaching between compost, liquid manure and inorganic fertilizer in a typical soil situation.

Reducing Ammonia Emissions From Composted Livestock Manure (Sept. 2003). KURODA Kazutaka National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, Japan - have been searching for microbes which can reduce the level of ammonia or sulfur compounds. They have isolated many microbes which grow in compost and manure, and which take up a high level of N. One strain of Bacillus provisionally described as Bacillus sp. TAT 105 has a high tolerance for ammonium nitrogen. Very similar to Bacillus pallidus, this bacterium is a heat-loving (thermophilic) species which thrives at a temperature of around 65°C. In tests, compost treated with the bacterium emitted less ammonia and had a higher total nitrogen content than the control.

Manure Composting Manual (July 2004). Alberta Agriculture, Food & Rural Development. Manure management includes feed management, collection, transport, storage, handling, treatment, disposal and utilization of manure. This handbook will provide an introduction to agricultural composting and provide additional sources of information for those interested.

Composting Blood (Slaughterhouse Waste) Mixed With Various Substrates (2005) [ KB pdf]. Ron Fleming & Malcolm MacAlpine, Ridgetown College, U. of Guelph, Ridgetown, ON, N0P 2C0 - determine the feasibility of using blood in a composting process. The blood would form a part of a compost recipe, with the balance being materials readily available in rural Ontario.


Treatment: Composting - Rotary Composting   (See International list)

Rotoking Compost Turner, Transform Compost Systems Ltd., Abbotsford, BC  V2S 2J5; Phone: 604-856-2722; Fax: 604-856-8444.   10  x 35 ft Rotary Drum is designed as a continuous feed, taking raw waste in one end and discharging at the other. The material composts for 3-5 days in the insulated drum achieving 55 - 60°C. Odours are collected and biofiltered.  

Reliable, affordable bedding supply Recycling manure in a fully contained rotary drum.  Ag Nutrient Management Editor Karen Lee. Scraped manure, or dewatered flush manure, from a dairy or swine operation is fed directly into an EYS Separator specially designed by DariTech, Inc., to provide the ideal feedstock for the composter, which is made up of manure solids at a minimum of 35 percent dry matter, with 37 to 38 percent preferred.

Rotary composter: United States Patent 6110733 - A rotary composter having a rotatably mounted cylindrical vessel is divided into a plurality of compartments, including a first infeed compartment, a last discharge compartment, and a plurality of intermediate digesting compartments, by baffles. The baffles between each of the infeed and discharge compartments and the adjacent digesting compartments are provided with weirs to retain a supply of microbial inoculant material. The drive mechanism operably powering the rotation of the vessel is variable in speed to permit the rotational speed of the vessel to be selectively varied. Air is forced through the vessel by a variable speed fan for selectively changing the rate of air flow through the vessel from the discharge end to the infeed end.

Mixed organic waste composting using rotary drum composter. Ajay S. Kalamdhad; A.A. Kazmi; Int'l J. of Env. and Waste Management (IJEWM). A combination of vegetable waste, cattle manure and saw dust was utilised for high rate composting in a household rotary drum composter. It was found that temperature remained above 55°C for a period of two days, Faecal Coliforms and Faecal Streptococci decrease from 7.5 × 108 to 5 × 102 and 1.5 × 107 to 5 × 103 bacteria/g, respectively. Negligible VFAs production indicated full aerobic conditions. Nitrification occurred after sixth day i.e., when temperature dropped below 40°C.

Treatment: General

Snowfluent ® Treatment of Liquid Hog Manure - Introduction. Executive Summary. Alberta Agriculture, Food & Rural Development - Snowfluent is a process developed and marketed by Delta Engineering Ltd.. (Ottawa) that has shown very favourable results as a method of treating municipal wastewater. It uses freeze-crystallization to precipitate contaminants and kill pathogens, and has been shown to outperform conventional tertiary treatment methods for municipal effluent. If Snowfluent can show similar treatment results with liquid hog manure, then it would provide a means to treat substantial portions of liquid manure volume during the winter, reducing odour and pathogen problems. The Snowfluent process not only separates the water from the nutrients and organic matter in the manure, but also uses land application as part of its added bonus to Alberta pork producers.....

Waterloo Biofilter ™ - Waterloo Biofilter Systems Inc., 143 Dennis St., Rockwood, ON Canada N0B 2K0. The Waterloo Biofilter™ System (developed at the Earth & Environmental Sciences) is a new single-pass aerobic biofilter (patents pending) designed for treatment of leachate and domestic sewage wastewaters. It serves as a potential replacement for the conventional tile bed or sand filter.

Terratec Environmental Ltd., 4449 Hwy 25 Oakville, ON; Phone:(905) 878-2800; Fax: (905) 878-7332;  - manages long-term programs to utilize biosolids on agricultural lands, in partnership with Municipalities.

  • 25 years of experience in biosolids management in Ontario.
  • Servicing over 18 wastewater treatment plants and storage facilities.
  • Land application of over 700,000 cubic meters of liquid and 50,000 tonnes of solid biosolids material yearly.
  • Land utilization of over 15,000 acres each year with a land reserve of over 75,000 acres.
  • Working with over 300 farmers controlling hundreds of thousands of acres in Ontario.

Ballagh Liquid Technologies Inc., RR#2 Wingham Ontario, Canada N0G 2W0; Toll-free: 877-312-4600; Fax: 519-357-4630; Email:; Manure and Waste Management Products - Tsu rumi Submersible Pumps; Water Powered Chemical Injectors; Solids-liquids separator; Aerators; Direct Subsurface Injection System, High Pressure Pumps; Multiple Hose Reel; Chopper Pump;

International Bio-Recovery Corp (IBR) - 52 Riverside Drive, North Vancouver BC, Canada V7H 1T4; Tel: (604) 924-1023; Fax: (604) 924-1043; Email: - The technology uses thermophilic (heat responsive) microbes to process organic waste over a 72-hour period with zero harmful environmental discharge. The digested waste is converted into organic fertilizer products with high market value in both liquid and dry-pellet form.  IBR's proprietary system keeps biodegradable wastes that cause odours and leachate out of landfills. The organic waste is processed in a completely enclosed system with no offensive odours, no harmful by-products, and the end result is an organic fertilizer high in nutrients and free of pathogens.

Potatoes & Manure: Researchers discover they do mix [179  KB pdf]- Jeffery Carter, Spudman. George Lazarovits envisions a day when liquid swine manure will be viewed in a more positive light - as a pathogen killer, soil energizer and nutrient source. He has discovered that organic amendments such as liquid swine manure can control verticillium wilt in potatoes - and probably many other diseases. More importantly, they discovered why it works in some fields but not in others. It’s a function of the soil pH, Lazarovits says.

Comparison of storage, treatment, utilization, and disposal systems for human and livestock wastes [2084 KB pdf] (Nov. 2002) - Ron Fleming, and Marcy Ford, Ridgetown College, - U. of Guelph, Ridgetown, ON,  N0P 2C0 - The purpose of this report is to briefly describe the main systems in use today in Ontario (and in many other regions) and to put into perspective some of the features of the various systems used for human wastes and livestock manure.

Pilot Scale Study of Hog Manure Treatment Technology (MLMMI 01-01-19) Full Report [180 KB pdf] - System Ecotechnologies Inc. has developed a hog manure treatment process (SEI Hog Manure Treatment Technology) which has the following environmental and economic benefits. 1) Significantly reduces odours from hog manure; 2) Produces recyclable clear water; 3) Produces nutrient-rich biosolids (sludge); 4) Recovers ammonia as a separate product usable as a fertilizer; 5) Eliminates E.Coli in the treated liquid and biosolids; 6) Eliminates the production of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide from manure after treatment; 7) Offers a better control on the use and disposal of treated liquid and biosolids.


Treatment: General: Constructed Wetlands (Canada & USA)

Guidance Manual for the Design, Construction and Operations of Constructed Wetlands for Rural Applications in Ontario, [1379 KB pdf] by Stantec Consulting Ltd, R&TT, Alfred College (University of Guelph), and South Nation Conservation ( Funded by the Canadapt Program of the Agricultural Adaptation Council, Ontario; November, 1999) - The following manual provides a review of considerations and steps required for the design, construction and operation of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment in rural applications (i.e. livestock operations, food processing, septic waste treatment, etc.).

Performance and Design Considerations of Treatment Wetland Systems for Livestock Wastewater Management in Cold Climate Regions in Southern Canada and the Northern United States (Dec. 1999) (81 KB pdf); John Pries , (CH2M HILL Canada Ltd, Waterloo, ON), Robert E. Borer, Ronald A Clarke, Jr., and Robert L. Knight - Considerable interest and acceptance has been expressed regarding the use of wetland technology for polishing high strength livestock wastewater that cannot be economically or practically recycled. Treatment wetland systems are in place or under development in many locations across Canada and the United States.

Constructed Wetlands for Feedlot Runoff Treatment in Manitoba - (65 KB pdf) (March 2001) - John Pries, CH2M HILL Canada Ltd, Patrick McGarry, Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, 180 King Street South, Suite 600, Waterloo, Ontario N2J 1P8 - Two treatment wetlands were designed and then constructed in the Interlake area of Manitoba to demonstrate and monitor alternative waste treatment technology for the livestock industry. The treatment systems consist of a runoff collection system, storage pond(s), and wetland treatment cell(s) vegetated with cattails and other emergent wetland species.

Severn Sound Remedial Action Plan: Evaluation of a Vegetated Filter Strip (VFS) for Barnyard Runoff (1997) [406 KB pdf]; Julie P. Cayley, Rural Non-Point Source Severn Sound Remedial Action Plan; Michael R Toombs, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs - A vegetated filter strip (VFS) was constructed to treat barnyard runoff from a 20 head cow-calf operation. Results revealed no increase in any parameters including nitrates in the groundwater. Over the course of the evaluation period the VFS proved to be an economical and environmentally sound treatment system for barnyard runoff.


Treatment: Separation

Vibratory Shear Enhanced Processing (VSEP)-New Logic Research, Inc., 1295 67th St., Emeryville, CA 94608-1120; Phone: 510-655-7305;  Fax: 510-655-7307; Email:;  outperforms conventional liquid-solid separation systems; Uses intense shear waves at the membrane surface to prevent the age-old problem of membrane fouling. The shearing action actually sweeps away foulants from the membrane surfaces, making rapid filtration possible, even with high solids. There isno product loss (as in a centrifuge or filter press) and the system requires no flocculant additions (as with rotary drum filters and clarifiers) and no high energy costs (as with evaporation and biological equipment).

Evaluation Of A Mechanical Solid-Liquid Separator For Swine Manure [111 KB pdf]  Rob Jamieson (NSDAF), Robert Gordon (NSAC), Laurie Cochrane (NSDAF), Hubert LeBlanc (PNS), Steven Tattrie (NSDAF), Bryan White (NSDAF) - Dec., 2001.A mechanical TR solid-liquid separator was tested on a commercial swine operation on six occasions during the summer and fall of 2000 and 2001. The system uses a combination of physical processes, including screens and a corkscrew press, to achieve solid-liquid separation. The economic benefit of using a mechanical solid-liquid separator to process swine manure will largely depend on the potential for solids reuse and value recovery.

Evaluation of mechanical liquid/solid manure separators [1460 KB pdf] (July 2003). Ron Fleming and Malcolm MacAlpine, Ridgetown College, U. of Guelph - study to investigate the effectiveness of 6 mechanical manure separators, using 3 manure types - low dry matter liquid hog manure, medium dry matter liquid hog manure, and liquid dairy manure. 3 separators being currently used on farms, 3 prototypes - considerable differences in performance, depending on manure used.

Precipitating swine manure phosphorous using fine limestone dust(2004) S.F. Barrington1, S. Kaoser1, M. Shin1 and J.B. Gélinas; 1Dept of Agric. & Biosystems Eng., Macdonald Campus, McGill U., 21111 Lakeshore, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC  H9X 3V9; Can. Biosystems Eng. 46: 6.1 - 6.6. The effectiveness of fine limestone dust in precipitating swine manure total phosphorous (TP) and total solids (TS) was measured using 3-L volumes and a 1.30 m3 volume. The addition of 2% limestone improved TP and TS precipitation by 4% and greatly improved sludge density and sludge separation from the supernatant.

Manure Treatment Systems. ATD Waste Systems Inc., Vancouver BC, Canada; Tel: 604-736-4474; Fax: 604-736-4493; Email: - A screw press performs the initial separation, followed by a polymer/settling step, then a stripping process to capture ammonia for fertilizer use. Waste water is sterilized by UV. Solids are dried and converted into fertilizer pellets, by adding appropriate components.


Treatment: Separation: Manure Centrifuges

Use of a Centrifuge for Liquid/Solid Manure Separation [417 KB pdf]. Manitoba Conservation. The centrifuge technology is currently used in Québec to achieve this separation process on pig operations. The centrifuge used in this project was brought in from IRDA (Institut de Recherche et Développement en Agroenvironnement) in Québec. The centrifuge is installed in a mobile trailer equipped with a mixing tank, laboratory and control panel.


Treatment: Separation: Manure Dryers  (Canadian and international)

Wyssmont Turbo -DryerTM, Wyssmont, 1470 Bergen Blvd., Fort Lee, NJ 07024; Tel: 201-947-4600; Fax: 201-947-0324;  - Dryer consists of a stack of slowly rotating circular trays. Material is fed onto the top tray. After one revolution the material is wiped onto the next lower tray where it is mixed, leveled, and then after one revolution, is wiped to the next tray where the operation is repeated. The trays are contained in an enclosure in which heated air or gas is circulated by internal fans - suitable for drying manure. In Canada - Stenning & Assoc., 1641 Spruce Dr., Caledon, ON L0N 1C0; T. 519-927-5237; Fax: 519-927-9471;

AST (Air Swept Tubular) Dryer, Scott Equipment Co., 605 4th Avenue NW,  New Prague, MN 56071; Tel. 800-264-9519;Fax - 952-758-4377; Email:;  can dry materials ranging from 98% liquid slurries to fine powders. The unit provides agitation that mixes hot air with the wet product entering the dryer inlet, reducing the drying time and breaking up lumps. The dryer can reduce a slurry’s moisture content from 95% to 1% in a single phase. The unit’s adjustable paddles and air dams facilitate a change in retention time and allow for variations in the drying process - used for poultry manure.  

The Air Swept Tubular Dryer, Atritor Ltd., Box 101, Edgwick Park, Coventry CV6 5RD, UK. Tel. +44 (0) 24 7666 2266; Fax: +44 (0) 24 7666 5751 - will process anything from low solids slurries to low moisture powders. The flow of material through the dryer is controlled so that the product may be a fine, dry powder or a moist granular material.

Ventilex Fluid Bed Dryer. Ventilex USA Inc., Box 717, Mason, Ohio 45040-0717 - Tel. (866) 265 6823; Fax: (513) 351 5108; Email: - In a Fluid Bed, a product or solid is made fluid by an upward -moving flow of gas. The mechanical movement of the Fluid Bed strengthens this effect. Thus the gas and product are intensively mixed, so that high heat transfer and an optimum physical reaction speed are achieved. By choosing a good combination of gas speed and mechanical movement, you can process granular products with a wide range of grain sizes successfully while forming a minimum amount of dust. Both the static and mechanical Ventilex Fluid Bed can function at temperatures from–15ºC to +600ºC. The gas speed can vary from 0.2 to 3m/sec.

Concentration of pig slurry by evaporation: anaerobic digestion as the key process. A. Bonmatí, U.of Girona, Spain; E. Campos and X. Flotats, Lab.  of Environ. Eng., Dept of Env. & Soil Sci., U. of Lleida, Av. Rovira Roure 177, E-25198, Lleida, Spain - Water Science & Technology 48(4): 189–194 (2003) - Objective:  to study batch vacuum evaporation of pig slurry liquid fraction, to evaluate the economic feasibility and to evaluate condensate quality as a function of both pH (4, 5, 6) and pig slurry type (fresh slurry and anaerobically digested (AD) slurry). Results showed that condensate characteristics ammonia -N, VFA, COD) were strongly dependent on these variables. Previous AD presented clear advantages: it provided a fraction of the required energy and it removed organic matter, preventing its volatilisation in the evaporation process and providing higher quality condensates. These advantages make the combined treatment strategy economically more feasible than the evaporation process alone.


Treatment: Assessment / Verification


Canadian Environmental Technology Advancement Centers (CETAC)

  1. CETAC-West,  715, 5th avenue SW, Suite 420, Calgary, AB  T2P 2X6; Tel.: (403) 777-9595; Fax: (403) 777-9500
  2. Enviro-Access Inc. 85 Belvédère St. North, Suite 150, Sherbrooke QC J1H 4A7; Tel. : (819) 823-2230; Fax : (819) 823-6632 email:;  serving Eastern Canada

Advanced Manure Management Technologies for Ontario (AMMTO) - AMMTO is a Healthy Futures-funded project from OMAF running from fall 2001 - summer 2003. The focus of the AMMTO project is to provide a scientifically evaluated information base from which decisions regarding advanced manure management systems can be made.



Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program - US EPA - develops testing protocols and verifies the performance of innovative technologies that have the potential to improve protection of human health and the environment. ETV was created to accelerate the entrance of new environmental technologies into the domestic and international marketplace. ETV is also verifying monitoring and treatment technologies relevant for homeland security. 


Dead Stock Management

When the BSE crisis hit Canada, dealing with large numbers of cull animals and deadstock quickly became a top priority issue.  One of the approaches to processing deadstock, receiving increasing attention, is the use of high-tech incineration or gasification technology. While this technology certainly is a workable solution to the disposal problem, while generating renewable energy, there is a definite downside from a sustainable production viewpoint. In most cases, nutrients in the deadstock, when incinerated, end up in fly ash, which normally is not returned to agronomic uses, but is more likely to end up in landfill, or as filler in cinder blocks, etc. As an important principle in sustainable agriculture, nutrients derived from agronomic sources should be recycled back to crop production.

Deadstock Disposal (OMAFRA) - developed new regulations for the disposal of deadstock in Ontario. The Dead Animal Disposal Act (1968) was replaced by the Disposal of Dead Farm Animals regulation under the Nutrient Management Act and the Disposal of Deadstock regulation under the Food Safety and Quality Act. The new regulations came into force on March 27, 2009. They provide more disposal options for livestock producers and meat plant operators, with measures that will protect the environment. In Ontario, OMAF regulates the disposal of dead farm animals through the Dead Animal Disposal Act (Ontario);

New Methods for Dead Pig Disposal. W.E. Morgan Morrow, Dept of Animal Science; Peter R. Ferket, Dept of Poultry Science, NSCU Extension Swine Husbandry, Raleigh, NC.  It is time the swine industry stopped wasting money trying to dispose of its waste. Our industry must convert its current waste products into useful byproducts. Recycling our waste will save us money and enhance our reputation.

Mortality Management - Manitoba Agriculture and Food - disposal sites, composting, protocols 

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development

Finnish Expert Report on Best Available Techniques in Slaughterhouses and Installations for the Disposal or Recycling of Animal Carcasses and Animal Waste [726 KB pdf] (2002). Finnish Environment Institute - objective of this report is to provide information about the Finnish slaughterhouses and the installations for the disposal or recycling of animal carcasses and animal waste, including the rendering plants and the fur animal feed production plants, in Finland for the preparation of the Best Available Techniques Reference Document (BREF).

Managing Livestock Mortalities [PDF], Sask. Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization. Operators of livestock operations are responsible for the proper utilization of the manure produced and for the acceptable disposal of dead animals. Owners also have the responsibility to determine if there are other waste products associated with their enterprise that require special attention for handling and disposal. Several acceptable management systems are discussed.

A Cost Comparison of Composting and Incineration as Methods for Mortality Disposal (Jan. 1999) - North Carolina Coop Extension Service - The results of this study indicate that incineration of poultry mortality can be a viable alternative for an operation. It is true that a case could be made to alter the assumptions made in our study for either incineration or composting, but the assumptions were made based upon actual costs experienced in a poultry operations.

Evaluation and demonstration of composting as an option for dead animal management in Saskatchewan (2004). T.A. Fonstad1, D.E. Meier1, L.J. Ingram1; J. Leonard2;1 Dept of Agric. & Bioresource Eng., U. of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A9; & 2Dept of Agric., Food & Nutritional Sci., U. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P5; Canadian Biosystems  Eng. 45: 6.19 - 6.25 - purpose of this investigation was to determine whether or not composting is viable for dead animal disposal for hog producers in Saskatchewan.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 810/2003 of 12 May 2003 (pdf) on transitional measures under Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards processing standards for category 3 material and manure used in biogas plants .

REGULATION (EC) No 1774/2002 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 3 October 2002 laying down health rules concerning animal by-products not intended for human consumption.


On-Farm Composting of Cattle Mortalities (2006) [68 KB pdf]. Ron Fleming & Malcolm MacAlpine, Ridgetown College, U. of Guelph, Ridgetown, ON, Canada. Objectives: 1. To determine the efficiency and suitability of using sawdust, corn silage and solid manure (three readily-available materials) as media for composting cattle mortalities, in an on-farm study; 2. To determine costs of carcass composting and compare these to other methods of carcass disposal;  3. To document management practices associated with successful carcass composting on operating beef feedlots


Alternative Uses for Manure

Alternative Technologies/Uses for Manure [2500 KB pdf] TechTech Inc., 10306 Eaton Place, Suite 340, Fairfax VA 22030 (prepared for US EPA Office of Wastewater Management), Mar. 1, 2001 - is a compilation of alternative uses for manure from animal feeding operations (AFOs). conversion of manure to value-added products, compost, pelletization, gasification, anaerobic digestion,  methanol - other emerging technologies.

Alternative Waste Management Technologies: Summary of Available Resources [148 KB pdf] (Oct. 1999) James E. Hannawald,  Natural Resources Conservation Service - The report is divided into three sections, “Treatment, Utilization, and Other Management”. Most of the projects are on some type of treatment that ultimately results in land application of the waste as a source of fertilizer. There are a few projects looking at new uses for the manure. Burning and pelletizing the manure are examples of alternative uses. However, we need to look at these technologies closer since they tend to concentrate the phosphorus in the final product.

Manure Treatment Options (Lesson 25) [3700 KB pdf].  Chapter in Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship (LPES) Curriculum - By-product recovery; Composting; Vermicomposting; Energy conservation; Mortality utilization.

How to Select an Alternative Manure Treatment System [35 KB pdf] Kelly Zering, Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics, North Carolina State U.  - provides a brief review of the economics of manure management and some steps for pig producers to take in selecting alternative manure management systems.



Biochar is essentially charcoal created by pyrolysis of biomass (from heating organic material in the absence of oxygen), and an important use is for biosequestration or atmospheric carbon capture and storage. Charcoal is a stable solid rich in carbon content, and thus, can be used to lock carbon in the soil. Biochar is of increasing interest because of concerns about climate change caused by emissions of carbon dioxide CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG). BioChar has a higher heating value than many grades of coal. Like BioOil it is a green fuel that is CO2 neutral.
Since Biochar sequesters CO2, it is quite persistent in soil and increases both the water holding capacity and nutrient storage (cation exchange capacity) in soil to which is it applied, resulting in increased soil tilth and fertility. There is also evidence that biochar suppresses nitrous oxide emissions, derived from animal production, in soil to which it has been applied.
Although there are obvious benefits from producing and using Biochar, it does require measurable input energy to create the product, and if source biomass has to be transported over considerable distances, this can detract from the net benefit.

Is Biochar the Answer for Agriculture? ScienceDaily (Aug. 9, 2010) — Scientists demonstrate that biochar, a type charcoal applied to soils in order to capture and store carbon, can reduce emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, and inorganic nitrogen runoff from agriculture settings. The finding will help develop strategies and technologies to reduce soil nitrous oxide emissions and reduce agriculture's influence on climate change.
Related - Can Biochar Help Suppress Greenhouse Gases? ScienceDaily (Mar. 28, 2011)
            -  Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy May Be Safe for Soil Animals ScienceDaily (June 5, 2011)

International Biochar Initiative - 640 Brook Run Dr., Westerville, OH  43081 USA - Sustainable biochar is one of the few technologies that is relatively inexpensive, widely applicable, and quickly scalable. IBI focuses on the need for quality and sustainability standards and assurances in the emerging biochar industry. IBI encourages and seeks to foster good industry practices to ensure public confidence that the organizations involved in biochar research, marketing, and production adhere to high ethical standards and the products they produce are safe and appropriate for use as intended.
See also: Frequently Asked Questions about Biochar.

Biochar and Sustainable Agriculture - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) - Biochar has the potential to produce farm-based renewable energy in a climate-friendly manner and provide a valuable soil amendment to enhance crop productivity. If carbon offset markets develop, biochar can provide income for farmers and ranchers who use it to sequester carbon in soil. This publication will review the current research and issues surrounding the production and use of this emerging biomass energy technology and explore how biochar can contribute to sustainable agriculture.

Biochar Commercial Agriculture Field Trial in Québec, Canada – Year Three: Effects of Biochar on Forage Plant Biomass Quantity, Quality and Milk Production. (Mar, 2011) [pdf]. Barry Husk; Julie Major, BlueLeaf Inc., 310 Chapleau Street, Drummondville, QC, J2B 5E9 Canada.  A commercial scale biochar field trial was established on a farm in Québec, Canada, in May 2008. The initial purpose of this trial was to evaluate biochar handling and application methods using standard farm equipment, followed by preliminary agronomic performance comparisons over several years. It was further intended as an initial evaluation of the agronomic value of biochar in northerly climates on relatively high quality agricultural soils.

Predicting Biochar Impact On Soil Carbon Dynamics and Soil Quality In EPIC Model. Taras Lychuk et al., Pacific NW National Lab./U. of Maryland, College Park, MD - Abstract, 2011 ASA National Meeting, San Antonio, TX, Oct. 16-19.  
Biochar is viewed as a potential long-term climate adapting / mitigating technique to reduce GHG emissions, improve soil physical properties, moisture, air and nutrient regimes, as well as sequester large quantities of carbon in the soil and increase crop yields.

Impact Of Biochar On Soil Quality, Crop Yields, Carbon Sequestration, And Water Quality. (2008-2010). Agric. Res. Service, USDA. The objectives of the biochar research are to quantify the effects of amending soils with biochar on crop productivity, soil quality, carbon sequestration and water quality.

Application of Fast Pyrolysis Biochar to a Loamy soil: Effects on carbon and nitrogen dynamics and potential for carbon sequestration [pdf] Esben Bruun, Ph.D Thesis, Mar. 2011, Risø National Lab. for Sustainable Energy,  Tech. U. of Denmark.   This thesis has improved the mechanistic understanding of the effects of applying FP-biochar to soil, and shows that wheat-straw FP-biochar has properties beneficial for agricultural soil, e.g. it improves soil WHC, adds minerals, enhances microbial activity/biomass, and increases the N and C turnover dynamics.


Manure Incineration     (See also: Dead Stock Management)

While incinerating livestock or poultry manures may be an efficient means for generating energy and getting rid of excess nutrients, often little (or none) of the valuable nutrients contained in these manures is likely to be recycled for further crop production;  all of the nitrogen in the manures will be exhausted to the atmosphere in one form or another. 

Unlike anaerobic digestion, where approx. half of the carbon in the source manure (non-labile) would remain after processing (about 50% converted into biogas), all of the source carbon would be consumed in the incineration process. Thus the remaining mineral residues (ash) would have little positive impact on soil quality (tilth, structure) if applied to the soil.

Manure incineration should not be considered a sustainable practice in the context of large scale nutrient recycling, nor for maintaining long-term soil quality.

Anaerobic digestion is a preferred practice for optimizing the renewable energy recovery from livestock manures, while conserving the nutrient value of those manures, when recycled for future crop production cycles.

See also: Sustainable Nutrient Management in Agriculture and Closing the Loop on Large-Scale Nutrient Flows

Toxic Hazards Associated with Poultry Waste Incineration (2007). Mike Ewall - When evaluating incineration, one of the first questions becomes "what is going in to the incinerator?" Incineration of poultry waste brings much needed attention to what is in poultry waste and in the chicken and turkey feed itself.

Converting Poultry Litter into Energy in the U.S.  The Foundation for Organic Resources Management, Inc.  There is increasing interest in litter-to-energy options because there are increasing pressures on poultry producers to embrace alternative management practices for surplus litter



Bruce T. Bowman, Archivist
Last Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 10:33:08 AM