Ohio Biomass Summary of Turning Manure Into Gold
TURNING MANURE INTO GOLD:
Converting Agricultural waste to Energy
Biomass energy is nothing more than energy produced from organic matter: wood, agricultural residues, food wastes - essentially anything that grows! Most folks in the agricultural community are familiar with ethanol, the liquid fuel produced from biomass. However, farmers have a number of other biomass resources available to convert into useable forms of energy. This handbook focuses on the potential for using animal wastes to produce energy.
Using animal waste as fuel offers a number of advantages. Wastes are free as compared to propane, electricity and most natural gas. In fact, there are costs associated with disposing of wastes which can be minimized through its use as a fuel. In addition, there are odor problems, water pollution, and fly infestation problems associated with large livestock operations which must be managed to comply with a variety of environmental laws. Using animal wastes as fuel can help solve these problems, while improving the financial bottom line of the farm operation.
This handbook is built around a checklist which can help you determine whether using wastes to produce energy makes sense for your operation. The handbook describes the various types of wastes and the volumes which are necessary to make a project viable. The handbook also looks at various end-use applications for the energy: space heat, steam, and electricity, separately or in combination, are all possibilities. It discusses the conversion options, such as combustion, gasification, and anaerobic digestion. Equipment options, permitting requirements, and maintenance issues are also included.