Technology for treatment and management – University of Copenhagen

ReUseWaste > Research > WP4 Treatment

Technology for treatment and management

 The aim of this work package is:

  • To develop and test new animal slurry separation technologies.
  • To develop and assess new methods to produce bio-fertilisers

Background

Treatment of animal slurry aims at separating water from organic matter and nutrients in two or more distinct fractions, to reduce the fraction that is transported, to increase the biofertiliser effect (nutrient, organic matter and soil fertility value) and enable conversion into energy. Furthermore, such treatment must reduce the environmental problems related to slurry management such as GHG emissions (Fangueiro et al., 2008a).

Therefore this WP will carry out R&D in a number interrelated compartments of the manure management chain (separation, acidification, composting). The challenge is that these different objectives demand a system approach when such technologies are developed. Reduction of odour and ammonia emissions through e.g. ozonation or acidification of slurry changes slurry characteristics and provides opportunities for new separation methods (Christensen et al. 2009).

Acidification of the liquid fraction may decrease ammonia loss, delay nitrification processes and potentially decrease subsequent nitrate leaching. However, the pH buffer system in slurry is unstable and not much is known about its behaviour in the liquid during and after separation. To achieve this, stability of pH is a highly important factor.

New efficient technology for separation of slurry into a liquid and a dry matter rich fraction will enhance downstream unit operations. Membrane separation has a huge potential but the complexity of the slurry colloidal suspension is a challenge due to fouling, that must be overcome when developing new process and membrane designs (Masse et al. 2007).

The end products from the separation processes need to be improved by treatments producing bio-fertiliser for specific end use. These treatments include composting, which is technology for transforming organic wastes into fertiliser products and substrates. Composting can be a suitable option for manures with economic and environmental profits, since this process eliminates or reduces the risk of spreading of pathogens, parasites and weed seeds (Bernal et al., 1998, 2009). The composted solid fraction could be an important source of organic matter for C depleted soils of S. Europe, providing soil quality improvement and carbon (CO2) sequestration.

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