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Economic Analysis of Pig Manure Treatment Options in Ireland

14 June 2012, at 12:00am

The technologies investigated were found not to be cost-effective in Ireland, according to researchers at Teagasc. The best option involved transport and spreading of raw manure to a farm within 15km.

An economic analysis was performed on treatment options for pig manure in Ireland by T. Nolan and colleagues at Teagasc Pig Development Department in Ireland and published in the journal, Bioresource Technology. They explain that costs were based on a 500-sow integrated pig farm producing 10,500 cubic metres of manure per year at 4.8 per cent dry matter.

The anaerobic digestion of pig manure and grass silage (1:1 on the basis of volatile solids) was unviable under the proposed tariffs, with costs at €5.20 per cubic metre of manure.

Subsequent solid-liquid separation of the digestate would cost an additional €12.80 per cubic metre. The treatment of the separated solid fraction by composting and of the liquid fraction by integrated constructed wetlands, would add €2.80 and €4.60 per cubic metre manure, respectively, to the treatment costs.

The cost analysis presented showed that the technologies investigated are currently not cost-effective in Ireland, concluded Nolan and co-authors. Transport and spreading of raw manure, at €4.90 per cubic metre of manure – up to 15km from the farm – was the most cost-effective option in the Teagasc study.


Nolan T., Troy S.M., Gilkinson S., Frost P., Xie S., Zhan X., Harrington C., Healy M.G. and Lawlor P.G. 2012. Economic analyses of pig manure treatment options in Ireland. Bioresour Technol. 105:15-23.

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

June 2012