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Agriculture Organic farming, remineralization, rock dust, biochar, soil micro organisms and other discussion relating to soil, water and food.

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  #1  
Old 12-29-2012, 02:34 PM
diesel diesel is offline
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Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion

Hi, Does anyone know how Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion proccess works. We have cattle slurry and chicken manure that would give a good NPK fertilizer. Just thinking if we could reduce the volume of slurry and increase the the value through this process it could be come a valuable product for our farm. Any information on how this proccess work would eb appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2012, 02:45 AM
velacreations velacreations is offline
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Basically, you mix manure with straw, cardboard, wood chips, sawdust, or other carbon materials, wet it down well, and keep it aerated. It does the rest by itself! You know it is working because within a few days, it gets real hot.

I do it like this:
4-6 inches of brown material (straw, etc), 1 inch of manure. Then keep making those layers until it is 3-4 ft tall.

I like to make my stacks about 4 ft by 4 ft. I aerate it (turn and mix it up) every week or two. It should be done in a month or so. Keep it moist.
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Old 12-31-2012, 01:30 PM
diesel diesel is offline
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Originally Posted by velacreations View Post
Basically, you mix manure with straw, cardboard, wood chips, sawdust, or other carbon materials, wet it down well, and keep it aerated. It does the rest by itself! You know it is working because within a few days, it gets real hot.

I do it like this:
4-6 inches of brown material (straw, etc), 1 inch of manure. Then keep making those layers until it is 3-4 ft tall.

I like to make my stacks about 4 ft by 4 ft. I aerate it (turn and mix it up) every week or two. It should be done in a month or so. Keep it moist.
Thanks velacreations for your reply. I was talking to a person that knows of a machine that can do this. He had not alot of information for me though. Basically you put the waste liquid into a rotating barrel it is heated to 50 degrees to burn of any bacteria and within a few days the liquid is reduced to a dry solid ready for the land.

I was thinking of building a demo myself. If I got a 50 gal barrel put in a heating element with a temperature gauge, heat it to 50 deg and also install a small motor to linked to an agitator with in the barell. Then give it a few days and see.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:44 PM
velacreations velacreations is offline
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if you let the bacteria do it themselves, they will get it to 50 degrees within a few days on their own, no energy required. In fact, you can use the heat from the pile to heat water or air for your home.

As long as you have the proper feed for the bacteria and moisture levels, they will do the rest.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:54 PM
velacreations velacreations is offline
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I just make a pile and wet it down really good, and it hits 50 degrees in 3-4 days without any effort.

A few years back, we made a long pile, 4 ft tall, 5 ft wide, against the back wall of our house. We wet it down, and covered it with a tarp, leaving a few tubes for aeration. Within 4 days it was up to temp, and lasted for over a month. The heat went through the brick wall into the house, and the wall was 35 degrees day and night. That was a lot of nice, free heat for the house.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:50 PM
diesel diesel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velacreations View Post
I just make a pile and wet it down really good, and it hits 50 degrees in 3-4 days without any effort.

A few years back, we made a long pile, 4 ft tall, 5 ft wide, against the back wall of our house. We wet it down, and covered it with a tarp, leaving a few tubes for aeration. Within 4 days it was up to temp, and lasted for over a month. The heat went through the brick wall into the house, and the wall was 35 degrees day and night. That was a lot of nice, free heat for the house.
We are looking to increase the dry matter of the product that is why we are looking to put it into a rotating barrel that is well sealed. I know there will be some gases from it so we will have to leave some vent. One of the products we are looking to put in is only 12%Dm. We want to increase this to 85-90% we will be also be adding waste that will be between 40-50% Dm. I am trying to do as much research as possible before a build. any info is well appreciated.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:35 AM
velacreations velacreations is offline
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I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to do. It sounds like you want to cook compostable materials with energy input to produce something you can easily produce without energy input. What am I missing?
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:00 AM
diesel diesel is offline
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Originally Posted by velacreations View Post
I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to do. It sounds like you want to cook compostable materials with energy input to produce something you can easily produce without energy input. What am I missing?
From what I understand cooking is the only way to vaporise most of the liquids. We want to have a high dm content so that we can bag it. In some of the waste we want to use there are 80-88% liquid mainly compromising of water. Pig slurry has a high water content because of the water used for washing the floors and stalls. Forgive me if i sound confusing, just trying the best way to figure this concept out.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:10 PM
velacreations velacreations is offline
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Originally Posted by diesel View Post
From what I understand cooking is the only way to vaporise most of the liquids. We want to have a high dm content so that we can bag it. In some of the waste we want to use there are 80-88% liquid mainly compromising of water. Pig slurry has a high water content because of the water used for washing the floors and stalls. Forgive me if i sound confusing, just trying the best way to figure this concept out.

Thanks for your input.
If you mix dry, carbon material with your slurry, your water will be used as the moisture in the compost process. For example, if you have sawdust or straw at 90% DM and mix with your slurry at 12% DM 1:1, the resulting mix is 51% DM. If you mix 2 parts sawdust to one part slurry, you have a resulting mix with 64% DM. Let that compost for a few weeks, and then let it dry out on it's own (the composting process uses water). Your result will be compost around 80-90% DM.

Cooking it is not the only way to do it, and really, it is less desirably, because of the energy input (and required closed vessels). The compost will reach the 50 degrees on it's own and boil out a lot of water vapor by itself. You just need a proper mix of dry material to match your wet material.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:25 PM
diesel diesel is offline
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Originally Posted by velacreations View Post
If you mix dry, carbon material with your slurry, your water will be used as the moisture in the compost process. For example, if you have sawdust or straw at 90% DM and mix with your slurry at 12% DM 1:1, the resulting mix is 51% DM. If you mix 2 parts sawdust to one part slurry, you have a resulting mix with 64% DM. Let that compost for a few weeks, and then let it dry out on it's own (the composting process uses water). Your result will be compost around 80-90% DM.

Cooking it is not the only way to do it, and really, it is less desirably, because of the energy input (and required closed vessels). The compost will reach the 50 degrees on it's own and boil out a lot of water vapor by itself. You just need a proper mix of dry material to match your wet material.
Thanks velacreations. Is there a cut off point in the Dm that can be used for composting. In other word can it be to low or to high. I wanted to use heat to speed up the process is there a danger in doing this ? Most of the imput products we have are low DM and are waste materials. Was searching the net last night I couldn't find to much much info on equipment but came across the following. Rotary Composters, LLC and ASM Group, Organic Recyclates
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:52 PM
velacreations velacreations is offline
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Originally Posted by diesel View Post
Thanks velacreations. Is there a cut off point in the Dm that can be used for composting. In other word can it be to low or to high. I wanted to use heat to speed up the process is there a danger in doing this ? Most of the imput products we have are low DM and are waste materials. Was searching the net last night I couldn't find to much much info on equipment but came across the following. Rotary Composters, LLC and ASM Group, Organic Recyclates
For moisture content, I will have to look it up. I think 40-60% is best (40-60% DM).

Basically moist to the touch, but not dripping wet. Particle size also matters, the smaller the size, the better. So, if you have slurry, it is a small particle already, mix it with sawdust, instead of wood chips.

Do some small tests, like in buckets or something to see how it works for you.

There is a danger of heating it too much and killing the bacteria. You won't speed it up much, anyway. A better option would be to insulate your container really well, so the heat stays in there. If you could set up multiple bins that share a wall, the first pile will get hot, and will help heat the second pile when you add it.

Aeration can affect the speed of composting. If you turn it every other day, mix it up really well, it will go fast. Barrel composters are good for this, because you just turn it and it aerates. The downside is that you are limited to the size of the vessel.

Google hot composting, and you will get tons of low tech and easy ways to do it without adding energy.

Personally, I don't see the point of adding energy to it. I can start a pile today, one tomorrow, etc, etc, and by the time the first one is ready, I will have a daily supply without any added energy.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:58 PM
velacreations velacreations is offline
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here's a contraption for producing heat energy for heating water or whatever. It is basically a rotating compost bin. http://mb-soft.com/public3/globalzl.html

Lots of ways to do it. I prefer the easy, low tech way of just making a pile.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:44 PM
dutchdivco dutchdivco is offline
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I understand

WHAT you are wanting to do, just not WHY; If your going to put the 'stuff' in an airtight container, and heat it, WHY in the world would you want to 'vent' the gas produced to the aptnosphere? It is methane gas, the SAME gas people pay to have piped to their house; USE it. In addition, the resulting liquidy product can be pumped, which is an easier, less labor intensive way of spreading fertiliser; Go to Mother Earth news, (website), and look in their index, for articles on 'Methane Digestion'. I believe they have an article on a pig farmer, (1000 head) in (I believe) South Africa, who ran a diesel engine, 24/7, on the gas produced. he used it to produce electricity, and to run pumps to distribute the liquid fertiliser. Said the MAIN reason he originally did it, was to deal with the fly problem; all the eggs layed in the fertiliser get 'digested' in the process, and the 'odor' is in the GAS, not the fertiliser; hence, no more fly's! And, the odor in the gas means you'll notice if their are any gas leaks, which is good, cause methane is flammable/explosive.
Anywa, just my thoughts,....I seem to recall their are 2 different bacteria; 1 'operates' at about 90-110 degrees, (F.), and the other at about 120-140F. (going by memory here). You can use the gas to heat the unit, or use the exhaust from the infernal combustion engine you use to burn the gas, take your pick.Jim
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:19 PM
velacreations velacreations is offline
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Methane production is not aerobic digestion, it is anaerobic.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:50 PM
dutchdivco dutchdivco is offline
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Your right;

And Diesel, who started this thread said earlier,

"We are looking to increase the dry matter of the product that is why we are looking to put it into a rotating barrel that is well sealed. I know there will be some gases from it so we will have to leave some vent."

Once you 'seal' the container, and start talking about venting the resulting gasses, aren't you moving from aerobic to anerobic? (Fancy term for with oxygen (arerobic) vs. without oxygen (anerobic) speelings probably wrong, but a clarification for any unfamiliar with the terms.

Anyway, based on my reading of Diesels questions, sounds like you are up to your *ss in pigsh*t, and other such materials, and are trying to figure out a way to utilise it. So, should at least keep an open mind, and consider anaerobic digestion as well; certainly worked out well for that pig farmer in South Africa!

Methane gas IS a 'geenhouse gas', and there is more 'greenhouse gasses' produced and released to the aptnosphere every year by livestock operations in the U.S., than by ALL the cars and trucks,....or so i have heard.Jim
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:14 PM
velacreations velacreations is offline
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Yeah, methane is one option here, but personally, I find it easier and less costly to just do good ol' fashioned hot composting. Mixing the manure with some carbon material will reduce the moisture content, and as it composts, it will reduce in moisture even more.

One thing with methane digester waste, is it is very low in DM, like 10% or less. I makes great fertilizer, but it won't solve the problem of being able to sell it dry.

Some people use both processes together. Basically, put your methane digester in the middle of a big hot compost pile. Because the methane digester requires heat, and the aerobic compost produces heat, this is a good strategy.

Google "jean pain" for more info on that.

Another option is to route the pig slurry through BLack Soldier Fly larvae. They will reduce the slurry by 80-90%, and produce a food product for the pigs or another animal (poultry)
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:34 PM
dutchdivco dutchdivco is offline
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Still not clear

what original poster's situation is; not enough info. My understanding is methane digestion is most practical if you have a LOT of sh*t to deal with; the example earlier was a pig farmer with 1000 head, which is a LOT of Sh*t; if you only have a couple of pigs, not so practical.
And again, his mention of a 'sealed container', and 'venting the gasses' got me thinking about methane.
WAnting to bag it and sell it also made me think he was talking about larger quantities of material. Anyway, hope he figures out something that works well,...Jim
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:36 PM
velacreations velacreations is offline
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You could probably make methane with the manure slurry, then use the effluent from the digester to produce hot compost that can keep the digester warm and produce a product to sell.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:30 PM
countryman countryman is offline
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Hi all,

Just came across this site. We looking to get into the municipal waste sludge business. We have looked at our options of dealing with the waste. We send it to a composting site or we just mix it with lime and spread it on the land.

Or we look at drying down the waste. The sludge has a very low dry content it varies between 10 and 15%. The bacteria has to be killed of before it is disposed of. If we pasteurise the waste why not apply more heat and dry the content. It would then be less waste to get rid off.

I have come across few companies that supply the equipment
ASM Group, Organic Recyclates
RDP Technologies Inc. Home

Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2014, 11:53 PM
diesel diesel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countryman View Post
Hi all,

Just came across this site. We looking to get into the municipal waste sludge business. We have looked at our options of dealing with the waste. We send it to a composting site or we just mix it with lime and spread it on the land.

Or we look at drying down the waste. The sludge has a very low dry content it varies between 10 and 15%. The bacteria has to be killed of before it is disposed of. If we pasteurise the waste why not apply more heat and dry the content. It would then be less waste to get rid off.

I have come across few companies that supply the equipment
ASM Group, Organic Recyclates
RDP Technologies Inc. Home

Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

Thanks.
Any thoughts on this, or would anyone know another forum I should use ??
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:46 AM
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Quigon10101 Quigon10101 is offline
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I was thinking why not use a biogas digester set up instead of composting?

- Its a extremely fast process. Heaps take months while it takes hours.
- You mix in only water. The end product is quite reduced in mass. So its really rich in NPK.
- You get loads of free fuel from it. Think of everything you can run on it. From internal combustion engines to gas lights.

I'm preparing to experiment with biogas powered gas lights over my home's solar panel array at night to see if it can produce a significant amount of electricity. Since gas lights are infra red heavy, I'm thinking the results may be good.
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Old 01-30-2015, 03:50 PM
dutchdivco dutchdivco is offline
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To 'Countryman'

or anyone interested in 'municipal waste', I STRONGLY reccomend a book called "Humanure Handbook", by Joseph Jenkins. Could be called "Everything you ever wanted to know about SH*T, and HOW to deal with it, but were too grossed out to ask".
Informative and entertaining read; diagnoses the problem, AND provides the solution; only problem is, far too few people are paying any attention,...Jim
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:24 PM
Stealth Stealth is online now
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In the town next to mine, a hospital is using waste gas from a local landfill to power its lights, heat and other hospital needs. I am not sure if they are using sewage gas as well or not. The last time I was there it seemed to be working great and they had no problems with it. On a smaller scale it should work just as well. A sealed tank (septic) should be able to produce variable amounts of sewage gas (methane), which could be used for lights, heat or to run a generator, just as wood gas does. Although the energy produced by methane is less than propane, it is still a viable option for energy production. I suppose using a pump to condense and pressurize the methane would make it substantially more potent when running an ICE or furnace. I have not built one yet but I have done some research on how it works and the benefits of disposing of our wastes and using them to our advantage. Good Luck. stealth
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:17 PM
dutchdivco dutchdivco is offline
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Words matter;

For instance, er or or as a suffix, usually indicates action, as in who DOES something. So, we use the word 'teacher' or 'professor', and call the other person in the equation the 'student'!
Hard to say how different it would be if we called them the 'learner', and avoided calling the other the 'instructor'.
Anyway, Jenkins explains he came up with the word 'humanure' in order to AVOID using the term 'waste'; need to stop thinking of sh*t as 'waste'; which is something which has no value or use, and so can only be discarded, and instead think of it as a valuabe, useful resource, which is how nature 'sees' it; NOTHING in nature is waste. Its a whole 'mindset' thing.

Anyway, using wind to run a compressor seems like it would be a good way to compress the gas you are talking about.

Actually, in reading his book, and thinking about how I would implement his ideas in my life, it turns out 'blackwater' products, i.e. 'toilet stuff' is EASY to deal with; 'greywater', i.e. the stuff from our sinks and showers, etc. is actually a little more complex.

He presents a totally workable system, both for small scale (homestead) and scaled up (village or larger) way for addressing both black and greywater 'recycling', that will probably NEVER be embraced by humans in a major way.

The problem is 'mindset'; Americans and other 'westerners' will never embrace what he's advocating, as they will confuse it with 'outhouses', and undeveloped countries are all wanting to have the kind of sewage systems developed countries have.

Personally, I think civilisation is a failed experiment, and humans are a pathogenic organism that has infested the planet. (A PATHOGENIC organism is one that infects a host, feeds off the vital nutrients OF the host, proliferates (reproduces) in an 'out of control' manner, releases its waste products INTO the host, and eventually kills its host.

Interestingly, a common responce of the host is to develop a 'fever', which when it gets high enough, kills off the pathogenic organism, thereby preserving the host; perhaps this is what 'Global warming' is?

In any case, I think CIVILISATION is doomed, although just possibly some humans may survive, long term. All our 'problems' are of our own making, and while there ARE obvious solutions which are technically 'doable', its our 'human natures' which prevent them from being implemented.
Cheers, Jim
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:05 PM
alamat alamat is offline
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very helpful

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