New Project Looks at Carcass Disposal by AD

UK - A two-year research project is starting at Harper Adams University College into the suitability of anaerobic digestion (AD) for the disposal of pig carcasses.
calendar icon 28 September 2010
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With the introduction of EU Animal By-Products Regulation 1774/2002 preventing the on-farm burning and burial of fallen livestock, alternative methods of fallen livestock disposal are required. With increasing fuel costs and the potential risk of disease transmission from storing and transporting infected carcases, an on-farm method of storage and bio-reduction is being investigated.

A two-year research project, being conducted by Marie Kirby at Harper Adams University College, is investigating the suitability of anaerobic digestion for the disposal of porcine carcasses.

Anaerobic digestion involves the transformation of organic matter to volatile fatty acids and biogas (methane and carbon dioxide), by a mixed bacterial ecosystem without oxygen. The advantage of this process is that the biogas produced can be used to generate heat or electricity to operate the system and reduce the carbon footprint of carcase disposal.

A varied approach is being taken to analyse different aspects of digester performance, including volume and composition of gases produced, degradation methods of the carcase and the effect of the process on carbon and nitrogen availability within the system.

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