Fact Sheet #24: Technology Options to Comply with Land Application Rules - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Fact Sheet #24: Technology Options to Comply with Land Application Rules By Alan Sutton, Purdue University, and Frank Humenik, North Carolina State University EPA CAFO Regulations

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Fact Sheet #24: Technology Options to Comply with Land Application Rules

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Fact Sheet #24:Technology Options to Comply with Land Application Rules

By Alan Sutton, Purdue University, and Frank Humenik, North Carolina State University

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EPA CAFO Regulations

  • Require all large CAFO operators to properly apply manure, litter, and wastewater to land under the control of the CAFO

    • Must apply based upon a nutrient management plan (NMP)

    • Generally means application restricted to meet nutrient needs of crops

  • Sufficient land may not be available for manure and wastewater application at agronomic rates.

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Possible Solutions

  • Technology options can treat and process manure and wastewater to reduce

    • Volume.

    • Concentration of nutrients.

    • Organic loading.

  • Result: Reduce the land needed for the CAFO operator to comply with the new CAFO rule.

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Technologies Available

  • Animal ration modification

  • Manure treatment

    • Physical treatment

    • Chemical treatment

    • Biological treatment

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Animal Ration Modification

  • Nutrients in animal diets affect the amount of nutrients excreted in manure.

  • Animal diet can increase the percentage of nutrient retention in the animal and animal products and reduce nutrient excretion.

  • Example: Reducing crude protein and adding synthetic amino acids (AAs) in swine diets can reduce nitrogen (N) excretion up to 50%.

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Digestive Processes

  • Feed intake to provide nutrients

    • Maintenance (endogenous losses)

    • Production (intended purposes)

  • Increasing digestibility (availability) of nutrients will reduce excretion

    • Enzymes

    • Genetically modified feed ingredients

    • Feed processing technologies

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Nutrient Digested



Nutrient Absorbed

Nutrient Excreted

Nutrient Retained in Body Tissues

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Amount Excreted

  • Amount of dietary nutrient consumed

  • Efficiency of nutrient utilization and retention

  • Amount of endogenous losses

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Dietary Factors

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Dietary Factors (cont'd)

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Dietary Factors (cont'd)

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Manure Treatment

  • Designed to reduce constituents in solids and liquids that must be managed on farm

  • Byproduct recovery process may transform wastes into value-added products that can be marketed off the farm.

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Reasons to Treat Manure

  • Reduce odor and ammonia volatilization

  • Remove solids for easier and less cost liquid treatment

  • Convert manure solids to value-added products such as methane, compost, or animal feed

  • Reduce liquid nutrient levels to reduce amount of land needed for application

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Solids-Liquid Separation

Mechanical methods:

  • Gravity settling tanks or channels

  • Sloping screen

  • Vibrating screen

  • Screw press/roller press/belt press

  • Underslat belt systems

  • Underslat scraper systems

  • Centrifugal

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Mechanical Solids-Liquid Separation

  • Gravity tanks and mechanical separation systems commonly remove 15% to 25% solids, N, and phosphorus (P).

  • Separated solids are more stable (less odor) than liquid manure during storage and land application.

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Mechanical Solids-Liquid Separation (cont'd)

  • Separated solids can be further treated by composting with a turner or manure loader.

  • Mechanical system requires maintenance.

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Solids-Liquid Separation

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Other Separation Methods–Belt System

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Belt System Performance

Waste Characteristics


N – 77%

P – 4%

K – 41%

Fecal Matter:

N – 23%

P – 96%

K – 59%

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Other Separation Methods–Belt System (cont'd)

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Michigan State Trough and Scraper System

Six-State Consortium

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Japanese Scraper System Showing Scraped Feces

Six-State Consortium

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Composting Principles

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Temperature ºF



Composting Principles (cont'd)













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Composting Principles (cont'd)

Efficient composting requires

  • A balanced source of energy and nutrients

    • Typically with a C:N ratio between 20:1and 40:1

  • Sufficient moisture

    • Typically between 40% and 60%

  • Sufficient oxygen

    • Typically 5% or greater

  • A pH range between 6 and 8

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Compost Product

  • After composting, reduced solids volume by 40% to 50%

  • Nitrogen is incorporated into bacterial cells.

  • Odors are reduced to a humus-like aroma.

  • Concentrated nutrients in a stable form

  • Easily stored and transported to application areas

  • Can add inorganic fertilizer to balance nutrients.

  • Pelleting the mixture for commercial use is feasible.

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Plant nurseries

Lawn care

Golf courses

Horticulture uses

Mushroom production

Other soil amendment uses outside of the watershed of origin

Commercial Uses of Compost

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  • Chemical flocculants–aluminum sulfate (alum), ferric chloride, magnesium chloride

  • Polymers such as polyacrylamides also work well.

  • Flocculants can remove up to 75% of organic solids and very high levels of P.

  • Can be expensive

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Constructed Wetlands

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Constructed Wetlands (cont'd)

  • Polish runoff from open lots or animal facilities.

  • Treat animal wastewater after solids removal.

  • Reduce P removal over time.

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Constructed Wetlands (cont'd)

  • High N mass removal of 5,870 kg/ha/yr for 270 days/yr at N loading of 25 kg/ha/day

  • Only 10%-15% ammonia volatilization during summer at high N loading rate of 25kg/ha/day

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Constructed Wetlands (cont'd)

  • Nitrification of wetland influent results in about a fivefold increase in N removal.

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Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR)

Large SBR

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SBR (cont'd)

  • In-vessel complete system that can provide soluble nutrient removal and solids settling

  • Cyclic aerobic-anaerobic treatment can result in up to 95% COD, 98% NH3, and 91% total N removal.

  • Concentrate minerals and sludge (97% P)

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Sequencing Batch Reactor

  • Stages include:

    • Anoxic - fill

    • Aerobic - react

    • Anaerobic - react

    • Settling (quiescent) - settle

    • Decant - draw off clarified liquid after settling

    • Sludge removal

    • Idle (sometimes for adjustment)

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  • Land application areas on some AFOs may not be sufficient to meet the requirements of the CAFO rule.

  • Dietary strategies can greatly reduce the amount of nutrients excreted in manure.

  • Potential value-added products can be produced for off-farm transport and utilization.

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Summary (cont'd)

  • Technology options can reduce nutrient concentra-tions to decrease the land base needed for wastewater or manure application.

  • As CAFOs grow in size, these technologies may prove economically attractive versus securing more land for manure and wastewater application.

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Aerobic–microbial degradation with oxygen

Anaerobic–microbial degradation without oxygen

CAFO–concentrated animal feeding operation

Composting–aerobic treatment of solids into a humus product

Definition of Terms

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Definition of Terms (cont'd)

Flocculation–compounds that will precipitate nutrients

Sequencing batch reactor–in-vessel system treating waste aerobically and anaerobically

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Alan Sutton, animal nutrition and waste manage-ment specialist, Purdue University, can be reach-ed at asutton@purdue.edu, and Frank Humenik, Waste Management Specialist, North Carolina State University, can be reached at frank_humenik@ncsu.edu.

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The authors wish to thank John Classen, North Carolina State University; Mark Risse, Universityof Georgia; and John Sweeten, Texas A & M University, for their review of this fact sheet.

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For More Information

Environmental Regulations Related ResourcesEPA CAFO Phone Line–202-564-0766

http://www.epa.gov/npdes/caforule/–To obtain copy of regulations

http://www.epa.gov/npdes/afo/statecontacts/–To obtain state environmental agency contacts

http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/animals.html/–To obtain compliance assistance information from EPA

http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/contacts.cfm?program_id=7&type=REGION/–To obtain EPA Region Animal Feeding Operation contacts

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For More Information (cont'd)

Land-Grant University Resources

The local contact for your land-grant university Cooperative Extension program is listed in the phone book under "Cooperative Extension" or "(county name) County Cooperative Extension."

http://www.reeusda.gov/1700/statepartners/usa.htm/–To obtain state Cooperative Extension contacts

http://www.lpes/–To view the Livestock and Poultry Environ-mental Stewardship (LPES) curriculum resources

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For More Information (cont'd)

USDA Farm Bill Resources

To obtain more information about the Farm Bill 2002, see the USDA-NRCS website at the following URL: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/farmbill/2002/.

You can also contact your local USDA Service Center, listed in the phone book under "U.S. Department of Agriculture," or your local conservation district.

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This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Agriculture Assistance Center; and the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, under Cooperative Agreement Number 97-EXCA-3-0642.

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