Mechanical Manure Separation Changes Phosphorus Distribution

CANADA - The executive director of the Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative says mechanical separation of manure offers an opportunity to change the phosphorus distribution equation, Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 8 January 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

The Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative (MLMMI) is accepting proposals for research into the economics and operating effectiveness of air flotation and belt filter press manure separation technology.

MLMMI executive director John Carney explains the technology uses a multi-step process to separate manure into a nitrogen-rich liquid stream and a solid stream, which typically contains most of the phosphorus.

John Carney - Manitoba Livestock Manure Management Initiative:

The concept behind mechanical separation of manure is that if we can separate the liquid fraction in the manure from the solid fraction in the manure we essentially create two nutrient streams, a nitrogen rich liquid which typically can be applied on lands near the farm that produces it even in livestock intensive areas where they need the nitrogen frankly.

By doing that then we don't need to transport all the water.

In terms of can the technology work?

We're confident that there's technology out there that can be used to separate manure into two streams, a liquid stream which is intensive in nitrogen that can typically be used on almost any farm versus the solid stream that is rich in phosphorus.

By separating it we change the phosphorus distribution equation so that we're moving the solids only instead of having to move the entire manure which includes a lot of liquid so it reduces the cost of transportation.

Mr Carney acknowledges this technology tends to be expensive which raises the question, what can the industry afford to do economically?

He says proposals are being accepted until 9 January, the hope is to see the project start this month and be completed with results available by mid-year.

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