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Project Work

Potential Manure Treatment Options for the


Intensive Pig Farming in Catalonia


vorgelegt von
Josep Maria de Trincheria Gmez
Matr. Nr.: 39558


Erstprfer: Prof. Dr. -Ing. habil Ina Krner
Zweitprfer: Jrn Heerenklage

Hamburg, den 7.05.2010


Institut fr Umwelttechnik
und Energiewirtschaft
ii

Declaration
iii

I. Abstract (numbered with Roman numeral)


iv

II. Index of Chapters (numbered with Roman numerals continued



1. Introduction............................................................................................. 7
1.1 Rationale........................................................................................... 8
1.2 Structure of the Project Work........................................................... 8
1.3 Goals and Objectives......................................................................... 9

2. Methodology........................................................................................... 10
2.1 Description...................................................................................... 11
2.2 Flux Diagram.................................................................................... 12

3. Background............................................................................................. 13
3.1 Geographical Background................................................................. 14
3.2 Administrative Background.............................................................. 15
3.3 Economical Background.................................................................... 16
3.4 Environmental Background............................................................... 16
3.4.1 Temperature..................................................................... 16
3.4.2 Energy............................................................................... 17
3.4.3 Water Resources.............................................................. 18
3.4.4 Emission of Green House Gases....................................... 19
3.4.5 Soil..................................................................................... 19

4. Assessment.............................................................................................. 20
4.1 Characterisation of the Pig Farming in Catalonia.............................. 21
4.1.1 Catalonia as Spanish Autonomous Community................. 21
4.1.2 The Pig Farming Sector in Catalonia................................. 23
4.1.2.1 Stock Evolution (1997-2008).............................. 23
4.1.2.2 Pig Meat Production........................................... 26
4.1.2.3 Structure of the Pig Farming.............................. 27
4.1.2.4 Pig Farms............................................................ 29
4.2 Characterisation of the Pig Manure in Catalonia................................ 32
4.2.1 Manure: the concept........................................................ 33
4.2.2 Slurry: the Catalan concept...................................... ........... 33
4.2.3 Slurry Composition............................................................. 34
4.2.4 Quantity of Nitrogen contained in the Slurry..................... 36
4.2.5 Quantification of the Slurry produced in Catalonia............ 37
4.2.6 Agricultural Land................................................................ 38
4.2.7 Fertiliser economical value of the slurry.............................. 38
4.3 Management of the Slurry in Catalonia............................................... 39
v

4.3.1 Energy Consumption of the pig sector................................ 39


4.3.2 Water Consumption of the pig sector................................. 42
4.3.3 Price of the Energy in Catalonia.......................................... 43
4.4 Environmental Incidence of the Slurry in Catalonia............................ 44
4.4.1 General Effects to the Environment.................................... 44
4.4.2 Specific Effects to the Environment in Catalonia................ 46
4.4.2.1 Water Contamination.......................................... 47
4.4.2.2 Emission of Gases............................................... 47
4.4.2.3 Bad Odours........................................................ 47
4.4.2.4 Soil Degradation................................................. 47
4.4.2.5 Health Issues....................................................... 48
4.4.2.6 Heavy metals contamination................................ 48
4.4.2.7Nutritional Unbalances.......................................... 48
4.5 Manure Treatment Systems in Catalonia............................................ 49
4.5.1 Quantity of Manure Treated................................................ 49
4.5.2 Centralised Treatment Plants............................................... 49
4.5.3 On-farm Treatments............................................................. 50
4.5.3.1 Solid-Liquid Separation..................................... 51
4.5.3.2 Composting........................................................ 52
4.5.3.3 Nitrification-Denitrification (NDN).................... 53
4.5.3.4 Anaerobic Digestion............................................ 54
4.5.4 Case Studies.......................................................................... 58
4.6 Technological Slurry Treatment Improvements.................................... 63
4.6.1 Combination of unitary treatment processes......................... 64
4.6.1.1 Concept............................................................... 64
4.6.1.2 Costs..................................................................... 65
4.6.2 Digestate Treatment............................................................. 66
4.6.2.1 State-of-the-art of the digestate treatment........... 66
4.6.2.2 Characterisation of the Digestate........................ 67
4.6.2.3 Digestate Treatment Technologies...................... 68
4.6.2.4 Cost and Efficiency of the Digestate Treatment
Technologies....................................................... 68
4.6.2.5 Case Study............................................................ 72
4.6.3 Belt Manure Harvesting..................................................... 75
4.6.3.1 Concept............................................................. 75
4.6.3.2 The RE-Cycle Concept..................................... 75
A. Manure Conveyor Belt................................. 76
B. Steam Reforming Gasification...................... 77
C. Recycling of Ash.......................................... 78
D. Recycling of the Nitrogen............................ 78
vi

E. The efficiency of the RE-Cycle Concept...... 79


F. Nutrient Concentration................................. 80
H. Separation Efficiency................................. 80
J. Gasifier......................................................... 81
K. Economic Assessment...............................82
4.6.3.3 The Hercules Project....................................... 83
A. Concept......................................................... 83
B. Manure Conveyor Belt................................ 84
C. Urine Fraction............................................ 85
D. Solid Fraction (urine + straw)...................... 85
E. Separation Efficiencies.............................. 85
F. Emissions: Ammonia................................... 85
G. Nutrient Composition.................................... 87
H. Evaporation................................................... 88
J. Final Products................................................ 88
4.6.3.4 Germany: Qalovis manure removal
system (Qalovis, Farmer Automatic Energy).. 89
4.6.3.5 The Mobile Bottom under the Slat....................... 90

4.6.4 Separation on-source without manure belts......................... 92
4.6.4.1 Filer net and Convex Belt for a mechanised
And manure removal system.............................. 92
4.6.4.2 Concrete slatted floor........................................... 93

5. Discussion................................................................................................... 95
5.1 The Environmental Needs of the Intensive Pig Farming
in Catalonia.......................................................................................... 96
5.2 Critical Analysis................................................................................... 97
5.2.1 Combination of Treatments.................................................. 97
5.2.2 Anaerobic Digestion and Digestate Treatment.................... 97
5.2.2.1 Advantages and Shortcomings
of the Anaerobic Digestion................................. 97
5.2.2.2 The Treatment of the Digestate.......................... 98
5.2.3 Manure Conveyor Belts to separate on-source
urine and faeces.................................................................. 100
5.2.3.1 Advantages of the Separation on-source.............. 100
5.2.3.2 Shortcomings of the manure belts...................... 101
5.2.3.3 The RE-Cycle Concept...................................... 103
5.2.3.4 The Hercules Project......................................... 104
A. Comparison of the convex belt separation
vii

system and solid-liquid separation


with a decanter centrifuge................................... 104
B. Comparison of the Hercules Systems
with other manure treatment systems.................. 105
5.2.3.5 Qalovis

............................................................... 106
5.2.3.6 The Mobile Bottom under the Slat...................... 107
5.2.37 Environmental Performance of the Manure
Harvesting Systems........................................... 107
5.3 Qualitative Evaluation of the Technological Treatment
Options............................................................................................... 108
5.3.1 Alternatives......................................................................... 108
5.3.2 Evaluation Matrix................................................................ 108
5.3.2.1 Treatments Evaluated........................................... 108
5.3.2.2 Dimensions and Criteria........................................ 109
5.3.2.3 Methodology....................................................... 111
5.3.2.4 Results................................................................ 112
5.3.2.5 Global Results.................................................... 113

6. Design and Recommendations............................................................... 114
6.1Recommendations.............................................................................. 115
6.1.1 Combined processes, Anaerobic Digestion
and Digestate Treatment.................................................... 115
6.1.2 Separation on-source......................................................... 115
6.1.3 Treatements to do with the separate d fractions................. 116
6.2 Design of a potentital manure treatment scheme in Catalonia.......... 117
6.2.1 The system........................................................................ 117
6.2.2 The manure conveyor belt................................................ 117
6.2.3 The urine treatment............................................................. 118
6.2.4 The faecal fraction treatment.............................................. 119
6.2.5 Add-value products............................................................ 120
6.2.6 Final Considerations........................................................... 120

7. Conclusions
8. Appendices
9. References





viii

III. List of Figures (numbered with Roman numerals continued



ix

IV. Index of Tables (numbered with Roman numerals continued



xi


xii

V. List of abbreviations

xiii


























1. Introduction
2

1.1 Rationale
Agriculture and pig farming have been complementary activities in Catalonia in the past: pig
excreta were almost the only alternative to fertilise and amend the soil and the agriculture was
the only source to provide feed to the livestock. However, the intensification of both the
agriculture and the livestock has entailed the specialisation of the pig farms and the massive use
of fertilisers to provide the nutrients required for the crop metabolism. During this specialisation
process, the balance experienced between agriculture and livestock have broken (Bonmat, 2001)
and it has been created a new manure management unbalanced situation: pig farms do not have
enough land to reuse and recycle the manure generated by the pigs as a fertiliser (Magr, 2007).
Thus, there is the production of huge volumes of pig manure exceeding the carrying capacity of
the agriculture system to recycle the constituents of the manure via the soil. This fact and the
constant increase of the livestock, the decrease of the agricultural surface and the increase in the
dimension of the pig farms have converted the pig excreta in a waste rather than a resource
(Bonmat, 2001) and it is creating a negative effect to the natural and ecological environment of
Catalonia, i.e. air, soil, water and human health.
To reach safe environmental quality standards require managing the pig manure in an integrated
and approaching as well as working at a different levels and scales. Two important dimensions
which play a key role in the internalisation of the environmental externalities of the intensive pig
farming and exceeding generation of manure are the management measures to reduce on-source
the production of manure and technological treatments approaching the adaptation of the manure
composition to the needs of the surrounding environment, the reduction of its pollutant charge as
well as valorising economically and energetically the manure (Bonmat, 2001). It is precisely in
these two dimensions that this investigation focuses: the reduction on-source of the manure
generated by the pig farming and the technological treatment of the manure generated in order to
alleviate its negative effects to the environment.
This investigation will highlight the environment criteria by means of giving to this dimension a
crucial role and a double weight compared to the other important dimensions in the manure
treatment: the economical, technological and material and energy dimensions. Therefore this
paper wants to identify what treatment technology could improve the environmental effects
related to the exceeding pig slurry in Catalonia
1.2 Structure of the Project Work
This paper is structured by chapters. The chapter 1, the Introduction, describes the basic reasons
that justify this investigation and sets up the research question as well as the goals and objectives
of the Project Work. The chapter 2, the Methodology, discusses the methodology used to achieve
the goal and objectives. The chapter 3, the Background, wants to introduce some basic concepts
about different aspects of Catalonia which could play a role in understanding adequately further
sections of the paper. The chapter 4, the Assessment, characterises and analyses firstly the
3

current situation of the pig farming in Catalonia, secondly the manure generated and its general
and specific environmental effects, thirdly the current manure treatments carried out in Catalonia
to tackle the manure surplus and fourthly the potential technological options that could be carried
out in the Catalan context. The chapter 5, the Discussion, evaluates the different technological
options proposed focusing on the environmental dimension and compare them. The chapter 6,
the Design and Recommendation deals with what and how these technological options could be
implemented in Catalonia. Finally, the chapter 7, the Conclusions, gathers the most important
findings and answers the research question and the goal and objectives of this paper.
1.3 Goal and objectives
The goal of this project is the identification of potential technological treatment options for the
slurry generated by the intensive pig farming in Catalonia that leads the reduction of the
environmental burden of the pig manure surplus in Catalonia. To achieve this goal there is a need
to accomplish the next set of objectives:
1. To realise an exhaustive assessment of the current situation of the Intensive Pig Farming
Industry in Catalonia and the management of its slurry, taking into all the characteristics
that model it as a system. That is, sociological, economical, legislative and environmental
factors.

2. To review and gather the current and potential new technologies to treat the slurry from
the Intensive Pig farming in Catalonia focusing on the environmental dimension.

3. To analyse and evaluate the potential technology options by means of a Qualitative
Matrix in order to determine which of the technological options gathered allow a better
achievement of the goal of this project.

4. To design the ideal situation and suggest recommendations to implement these
technologies identified by this investigation.


4

2. Methodology
5

2.1 Methodology
The methodology used to achieve the goal and the objectives as well as to answer satisfactorily
the research question can be divided in two main parts: the assessment and the design.
During the initial part of the assessment there is a need to assess and characterize the situation of
the intensive pig farming and its manure management in Catalonia as well as the environmental
situation related to this sector. In addition, there is also a need to characterize the current
technologies to treat and manage the manure currently available and assess its use in Catalonia as
well as to find out new technologies that could reduce the environmental burden of the pig
manure in Catalonia. To carry out the assessment, the main tool used was the literature research.
In addition, there were performed two different interviews and a field visit to an Intensive pig
farm in Catalonia. The interviews were performed to a pig farmer which owes a pig farm in
Catalonia and the author of one of the technological improvements proposed in the investigation.
There have also been in contact with representatives of the Catalan government and different
agencies directly related with the manure treatment in Catalonia. Finally, the international
conference Progress in treatment of manure and digestate (IBBK, Heiden, Germany) was
attended. In the final part of the assessment, all the data and new technologies were gathered and
analysed. To evaluate them it was carried out a qualitative multicriteria evaluation matrix (see
XXX) taking into account criteria of four different dimensions, the environment (double weight),
the technological, economical and the material and energy dimension.
The second part of the paper consists of designing a potential implementation of a manure
treatment in Catalonia that facilitates the internalisation of the environmental externalities caused
by the manure surplus as well as it also suggests different recommendations to achieve the
reduction of the environmental burden of the intensive pig farming activity.

2.2 Flux Diagram
The figure 1 is a diagram of the methodology used in this paper.


6



























3.1 Decision about what the technologies
most suitable for the manure treatment in
Catalonia are
4.1 What manure treatment and
how should be carried out in
Catalonia and why?
A
S
S
E
S
S
M
E
N
T

3. Decision
&Evaluation
4.
Recommendation
/Design
2.1 Identification of all the current
technologies implemented in
Catalonia
1.1 Gathering of information about the
Intensive Pig Farming Manure
Management and Treatment in
Catalonia
2. Analysis
D
E
S
I
G
N

1. Literature
Research &
Data
Collection
1.2 Gathering of information about
Technological Options for the Manure
Treatment
3.2 Qualitative Evaluation of the best
manure treatment focusing on the
environment
2.2 Identification of potential
options for the Manure Treatment
in Catalonia
Figure 1: Diagram of the methodology used in this investigation. Own source
1.3 Visit to an Intensive Pig Farm in
Catalonia + Interviews with pig farmers and
the author of one manure conveyor belt
7

3. Background

8

3.1 Geographical Background


Catalonia is located in the Iberian Peninsula, on the North-East of the Spanish State at the
coordinates 4149N 128E (GeoHack, 2010) bordering Andorra and France on the North, the
Spanish Autonomous Community of Aragon on the West, the Valencian Community on the
south and the Mediterranean Sea along all its eastern coast.













Even though the weather is considered Mediterranean at a macroscale, Catalonia has a large
variety of complex microweathers due to its latitude position: between the warm and tropical
climatic zones, between two Seas and two continents and with a huge geographical variety
within the Catalan territory (DMAH, 2008).

Catalonia is a small Mediterranean region with a total surface area of 31.895 Km
2
(GEC, 2010)
and a population slightly higher than 7.2 Million of people/inhabitants (IDESCATa, 2009) (out
of 45.000.000 inhabitants in Spain). The average population density in Catalonia is relatively low
when compared to the average of the World, 218 inhabitants per Km
2
in 2008 (EURLEX, 2010).
However there are huge variations of this value within the Catalan territory. Thus, the population
density of the metropolitan area of Barcelona is 4994 inhabitants per Km
2
whereas in Lleida has
a value of 35 inhabitants per Km
2
(IDESCATa, 2009).

Figure 2: Geographical Situation of Spain (left) and Catalonia (right) Source: (CIA, 2010), (GEC, 2010)
and (XTEC, 2008)
9

3.2Administrative Background
Spain is a Constitutional Monarchy divided in 17 Autonomous Communities and 2 Autonomous
Cities. Catalonia is one of these 17 Autonomous Communities.
Each Autonomous Community is divided in Provinces. Catalonia has 4 Provinces: Barcelona,
Girona, Lleida and Tarragona. Each Province also is divided in different Regions. Catalonia has
41 different Regions (ICC, 2009).
.














Similarly, each region is divided in several municipalities. There are 946 municipalities in total.
Catalonia is highly concentrated along the coastal zone. The coastal municipalities have an
average density of 1479 inhabitants/Km
2
(DMAH, 2008). This value is 6.7 times higher than the
Catalan average. The area of highest population concentration is the so called metropolitan area
of Barcelona. Thus, 43% of the population lives in 10 out of the total 946 municipilaties. 70% of
the population lives in no more than 60 municipalities. On the other hand, 79% of the
municipalities have populations lower than 5000 inhabitants (IDESCATa, 2009).
Figure 3. Division in Provinces and Regions of Catalonia (left)
and Spanish Autonomous Communities (right). Source: (ICC,
2009)
10

3.3 Economical Background


The Catalan GDP is 195.284 Million Euros and the average GDP per capita is 27.824 (2006).
This value is higher than the Spanish value (22.152 ) and also higher than the European Union
average value (23.500 ). The average GDP per capita of Catalonia also beats the GDP of
countries like Finland, Sweden, France or Germany (DMAH, 2008).
As in the rest of the developed countries, the weight of the primary sector within the Economy is
very low, with a value of 3% (DMAH, 2008) out of the total number of active workers.
However, there are sectors like the cava (sparkle wine), wine, fruit and pork meat which compete
at a worldwide scale. The agricultural and livestock production revenue values were 1.290 and
2.294 Million respectively in 2005 (DMAH, 2008).

3.4 Environmental Background
3.4.1 Temperature
Catalonia has a warm weather with annual mean temperatures relatively high. The average
annual temperature varies between 5C and 16C (EUREG, 2010). As it can be noted in the
figure 4, in most of the Catalan regions the mean annual temperature are between 12C and 20C
(DMAH, 2008).
The weather in Catalonia is dry, with winters and
summers with low rainfall values and autumn and
springs with torrential rainfall episodes. The average
annual rainfall varies between 350mm to 1250mm.
65% of the territory shows a water shortage equal to
100 mm (EUREG, 2010). As it is shown in the figure
4, there is a huge central zone in Catalonia with very
low rainfall values, between 250mm to 400 mm per
year (DMAH, 2008). The most humid zones are in the
Northern Central part of Catalonia. Actually, this zone
is a transition zone towards the Atlantic Weather.



Figure 4: Annual Mean Temperature
Distribution Map 2006. Source: (DMAH,
2008)
11











3.4.2 Energy
Most of the energy production is in the form of Nuclear Energy (86.3%), which is focused in the
Southern area of Catalonia. The second type of the energy most produced is the group formed by
the Renewable Energies (9.7%). Hydraulic Energy is the most important within this category,
which has the highest share (4.4%). Biogas production in Catalonia, comprising all types of
biogas generation [livestock manure, municipal organic waste and landfilling wastes, has a value
of the 0.6% the total energy produced (DMAH, 2008)].









Energy Production Consumption
ktep % ktep %
Total 6.873 100 26.515 100
Petrol 137 2 12.759 48.1
Natural Gas 0 0 6.150 23.2
Nuclear 5.930 86.3 5.930 22.4
Renewable Energies 666 9.7 630 2.4
Hydraulic 303 4.4 303 1.1
Coal 82 1.2 298 1.1
Urban Solid Wastes 118 1.7 118 0.4
Forest Agricultural Biomass 93 1.3 93 0.3
Biogas 41 0.6 41 0.2
Biofuels 73 1.1 38 0.1
Wind 27 0.4 27 0.1
Solar 12 0.2 12 <0.1
Figure 5: Annual Rainfall Distribution Map 2006 (right) and Water Shortage
Distribution Map (left). Source: (DMAH, 2008) and (EUREG, 2010)
Table 1: Values of Energy
Production and Consumption
in Catalonia 2006. Source:
adapted from (DMAH, 2008)
12

The total energy consumption in Catalonia was 15.874ktep in 2006. This consumption is
characterised by the use of fossil fuels, natural gas and electricity. Petrol is the energy source
most consumed in Catalonia, with almost the 50% out of the total. However, natural gas shows
the steepest growth in the Energy consumption between 1995 and 2006, with a total value equal
to 6.150 ktep (DMAH, 2008). This value is three times higher than in 1995. The Biogas Energy
consumption amounts 0.2% out of the total Energy consumption in Catalonia in 2006. The
thermal solar energy is also an important renewable energy source consumed in Catalonia












3.4.3 Water Resources
Catalonia is a country with typical irregular dry and wet periods which have short recurrence
time and severe droughts with much higher recurrence time. The last dry period finished in 2007,
when the water reservoirs were at one of the lowest values never registered, 28.21%. (DMAH,
2008). From that moment, it started a wet period, which still lasts. In the year 2010, the water
volume in the reservoirs is 73% of the total (ACA, 2010).
As it can be shown in the table 2, the activity which consumes more water resources is the
agriculture by far (70%). The livestock sector is the sector with the lowest demand, 2% out of the
total. However, it is important to highlight that a significant share of the livestock producers do
not use water from the reservoirs but from groundwater (private or public wells). In the case that
the wells are private, the Catalan Water Agency cannot have any kind of register of the water
used by the livestock farmers.

Figure 6: Shares of Energy Production and Consumption in Catalonia 2006 Source: adapted
from (DMAH, 2008)
Consumption(%)
Petrol
NaturalGas
Nuclear
RenewableEnergies
Hydraulic
Coal
UrbanSolidWastes
ForestAgricultural
Biomass
Biogas
Biofuels
Production(%)
Petrol
NaturalGas
Nuclear
RenewableEnergies
Hydraulic
Coal
UrbanSolidWastes
ForestAgriculturalBiomass
Biogas
Biofuels
Wind
Solar
13











3.4.4 Emissions of Green House Gases (GHG)
Spain is the fifth country with highest GHG emissions out of the 25 State Members of the
European Union (EU25) with a share equal to 9%. Moreover, the rate of GHG emission has
increased 52% in Spain and 47% in Catalonia during the period 1990-2005 (DMAH, 2008).
The agriculture sector has increased its emissions during the same period a value equal to 13%.
This value corresponds to 8.34% of the total GHG in Catalonia (DMAH, 2008). It is important to
stress the fact that the pig is the animal which produces relatively lower methane emissions.
Thus, the main contribution to the GHG emission comes from the indirect N
2
O released from the
fertiliser to produce the feed of the pigs and the CO
2
emitted by the fossil fuel consumption used
in the transport, manufacturing and distribution of the pork and its derived products. In addition,
the methane emissions from the manure decomposition are also a very significant contributor to
the global GHG emissions, with a value of 10Mt [4% of the anthropogenic global emissions,
(3tres3a, 2009).
The livestock activities emitted to the atmosphere 12.74 Mt CO
2
equivalents in 2006. These
emissions come from methane emissions (70%) produced during the legally mandatory storage
to adjust the manure production to the requirements of the agricultural soil and to reduce the
concentration of pathogens as well.

3.4.5 Soil
The most important soil degradation processes in Catalonia are desertification, erosion,
acidification and soil contamination (DMAH, 2008). This is mainly due to the pressure exercised
by human activities, amongst them the livestock agriculture, which is directly related to soil
pollution causing accumulation of heavy metals and salinization and acidification.
Demand Total
hm
3
%
Domestic 573 18.3
Industrial 283 9.1
Urban 856 27.4
Irrigation 2202 70.5
Livestock 65 2.1
Agriculture 2.267 72.5
Total 3123 100
Table 2: Total Reservoir Demand
per Sector 2006. Source: adapted
from (DMAH, 2008)
14


The arable zones occupy 32.6% of the total land surface and the forest surface 59.3% out of the
total surface (DMAH, 2008).












The soil in Catalonia can be considered the typical one found in a semi-arid climate. In its
majority, is calcareous, with a strong buffer capacity. Most of the ancient best zones in terms of
fertility, i.e. those close to the rivers or on the alluvial zones, have been occupied by human
settlements. The other zones available for agriculture have continuously been used during
hundreds of years. Since the second half of the 20
th
century, the introduction of the modern
agriculture techniques and the developments in the chemistry spur on the modern agriculture
revolution. These agricultural intensive practices in addition to the edaphic and climatic
conditions of Catalonia have caused that the large majority of soil available for agriculture is low
in inorganic matter with a high mineralisation rate, which leads to poor physical conditions. As it
can be noted in the figure 7, Catalonia is considered a region between moderate and high severity
human-induced soil degradation.


Figure 7: World Soil Fertility Degradation Map. Source: adapted from (DMAH, 2008)
15

4. Assessment

16

4.1 Characterisation of the Pig Farming in Catalonia


4.1.1 Catalonia as Spanish Autonomous Community
In 2008, Catalonia is the Spanish autonomous community with the largest pig stock, with a share
equal to 25% out of the total. The total average number of
pigs in Catalonia is 6.427.417 heads. Due to this large
number, Catalonia is the sixth European Region with a larger
pig stock, after the regions of the Southern the Netherlands,
Brittany, the Lower Saxony, Flanders-Brussels and Northern
Rhineland (EUROSTAT, 2010). The regional data of the pig
stock production in the European Union is more useful for
illustrating the pig stock distribution than the national data.
The main productive region comprises the geographical basin
from Denmark to Vlaams Gewest (Belgium). The other
important regions are Catalonia and Murcia (Spain),
Lombardy (Italy), Brittany (France), and zones of central
Poland and northern Croatia (3tres3, 2010).













SPANISH
AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITIES
(AA.CC.)
Total Pig Livestock
December
2008
Average
2008
%
Cantabric Region 3.812 2726 0.01
Asturian Region 20.011 21213 0.08
Vascian Country 32.357 31963 0.13
Madrid 29.193 38520 0.15
Canarian Islands 61.085 75412 0.30
Balearic Islands 69.239 70706 0.28
La Rioja 135.808 132533 0.52
Navarra 559.543 520828 2.05
Galician Region 1.066.130 926701 3.65
Valencian Region 1.103.151 1195990 4.72
Castilla y la Mancha 1.395.359 1451667 5.72
Extremadura 1.300.827 1417016 5.59
Murcia Region 2.084.784 1948329 7.68
Andalucian Region 2.427.440 2468946 9.73
Castilla y Len 3.656.583 3433253 13.54
Aragon Region 5.432.062 5198875 20.50
CATALONIA 6.648.288 6427417 25.34
Total Spain 26.025.672 25362099 100.00
Table 3: Spanish Stock Number of Pigs in 2008. Source: adapted from
(MAPA, 2010)
Figure 8: European Regional
Distribution of the pig herds.
Source (3tres3, 2010)
17

0
10000000
20000000
30000000
PigHerdSize(2008)perAutonomous
Community
The other Spanish AA.CC with larger pig stocks are Aragon (20%, 5.2 Millions), Castile y Len
(13%, 3.5 Millions), Andaluca (10%, 2.5 Millions) and (8%, 2.0 Millions), as it is shown in the
figure 9. It is important to stress the fact that 45% out of the total number of pig heads is
distributed between Aragon and Catalonia. These two regions are neighbouring communities and
share one of the most important rivers of Spain, the Ebre river, which is the main source of
agricultural water for the northern east part of Spain (MAPAa, 2009).










Even though the pig farming is a
common activity practiced all over
Spain, it is not equally distributed
but strongly concentrated in the
few autonomous communities
mentioned previously, as it is
shown in the figures 9 and 10. The
same situation occurs in Catalonia,
where also exists a strong
concentration of the pig farming at
the provincial and regional level,
as it is shown in the figure 8. The
Spanish provinces with the largest
pig herd size in 2008 are Lleida,
situated in the western part of
Catalonia, with 3.483.977 pig head
(MAPAa, 2010). After Lleida,
Figure 9: Regional European (left) and Spanish Pig Geographical Distribution (right) (2008).
Source: adapted from (MAPAa, 2010) and (EUROSTAT, 2010)
Figure 10: Spanish Autonomous Communities Pig Stock Distribution
(2008). Source: adapted from (MAPA, 2010)
Stock Pig
Distribution in Spain
(2008, Million)
Regional
European
pig density
distribution
(2008)
18

Huesca, Murcia, Zaragoza and Barcelona are the Spanish regions with larger stocks. The 53% of
the total Pig Stock is concentrated in these 5 regions.

4.1.2 The Pig Farming Sector in Catalonia
The pig farming is a key integral part of the Catalan livestock agriculture and food sector. In
Catalonia there are 6.6835 pig farms with more than 6.4 Million heads (IDESCATd, 2009)
which produce 16.7 Million of pigs to slaughter every year. The pig production is 1/3 of the total
in Spain, which in addition to the pig meat manufacturing and distribution and supply systems
are the components most valuable of the agriculture and food system in Spain, and as an
extension, a vital sector for the Catalan and Spanish economy.
4.1.2.1 Stock Evolution (1997-2008)
The Catalan pig stock number has overall increased between 1997 and 2009. From the figure 10,
it can be noted that in 1997 there was a considerable increase which culminated in 1999, when it
occurred an episode of a generalised pig epidemic which caused a significant decrease in the
head stock, -7.7% with respect to 1998 (Teira, 2008). From that moment, the pig stock remained
stable until there was a steep increase from 2006 to 2008. However, from 2008 to 2009 there is a
stabilisation of this tendency showed by a slight decrease in the pig stock number in 2009.











Figure 11: Total Catalan Evolution of the Pig Stock. Source: adapted from (DARb,
2010)
4,500,000
5,000,000
5,500,000
6,000,000
6,500,000
7,000,000
EvolutionofthePigStockinCatalonia
19

Lleida and Barcelona are the provinces with the highest pig stock, 3.5 millions (55%) and 1.7
Million (26%). Girona and Tarragona have a significantly lower pig herd, 0.9 Million and 0.5
Million respectively.
In Catalonia as a whole there are 0.9 pigs per
one Catalan and 207 pigs per Km
2
. However,
the indicators pig density and pigperson density
give more accurate figures. Thus, according to
the population and area registers in 2009 (GEC,
2009), in Lleida there are 8 pigs per one person
and 289 pigs per Km
2
. In Barcelona, there are
0.3 pigs per person and 222 pigs per Km
2
. In
Girona, 1.22 pigs per person and 154 pigs per
Km
2
. Finally, in Tarragona there are 0.7 pigs
per person and 87 pigs per Km
2
.













These variations in both the pig herd size and density that Lleida shows are in part related to the
huge increase in the pig stock experimented in this province. Thus, there has been a 75%
increase of the pig heads during the last 10 years in Lleida. The only Catalan province which
shows a decrease in the pig herd size is Tarragona, with a 9% decrease.

BARCELONA GIRONA LLEIDA TARRAGONA CATALUNYA


1997
2008%
7% 12% 75% 9% 33%
2008 1.712.104 898.653 3.483.977 553.529 6.648.263
2007 1.672.327 719.175 2.995.323 495.787 5.882.612
2006 1.669.338 664.589 3.037.168 484.619 5.855.714
2005 1.670.702 772.727 3.206.822 549.289 6.199.540
2004 1.778.807 872.819 3.298.339 555.481 6.505.446
2003 1.780.504 796.200 3.051.752 575.290 6.203.746
2002 1.618.591 906.785 2.928.787 539.838 5.994.001
2001 1.759.906 898.563 2.776.812 513.005 5.948.286
2000 1.732.251 909.415 2.753.290 490.429 5.885.385
1999 1.706.072 862.145 2.920.959 530.456 6.019.632
1998 1.702.103 791.875 2.537.424 525.821 5.557.223
1997 1.596.239 819.484 1.985.790 577.240 4.978.753
Table 4: Catalan Evolution of the Pig Stock per Provinces. Source: adapted from (DARb, 2010)
Figure 12: Pig Stock Provincial Distribution. Source:
adapted from (MAPA, 2010)
0
2,000,000
4,000,000
6,000,000
8,000,000
P
i
g

H
e
a
d
s
CatalanProvinces
20

















As it can be noted in the figure 13, the Catalan pig farming is concentrated at both the provincial
and regional scale. At the provincial scale, Lleida has the 52% out of the total pig population in
Catalonia. Barcelona is the second, with 26%, followed by Girona (14%) and Tarragona (8%)
(DARb, 2010). At the regional scale, the figure 12 also shows the geographical distribution of
the Catalan regions with higher numbers of pig stock in 2007. The darker zones point regions
with pig stock higher than 100.000 heads. This situation occurs in 16 Catalan regions out of the
total 41 and it comprises of both the North of Catalonia and the Southern and Central part of
Lleida. This zone creates a belt that crosses in diagonal the entire Catalan territory from North-
East to South-West.
Out of the total number of Catalan regions, 6 of them (Segri, Osona, La Noguera, Bages, Pla
d'Urgell, and l'Urgell) have 60% total number of censed pigs. However, only Segri (16.25%)
Osona (14.71%) and the Noguera (12.2%) account for more than 43%. There are also important
the regions of Bages (5.73%), el Pla de lUrgell (5.46%) and lUrgell (5.14%). Therefore, it can
Figure 13: Regional Pig Stock Distribution (2007). Source: adapted from (DARb, 2010)
Pig Head Number
21

be concluded that there is a high regional concentration of the pig herd size in Catalonia (DARa,
2009).
4.1.2.2 Pig Meat Production
The total pig meat production in Catalonia in 2008 was 1.348.840 Tonnes, increasing 57.7%
respect to 1997. The final destination of the pig meat produced and consumed in Catalonia is
shown in the figure 15, having the highest number in Barcelona, where most of the population is
concentrated.


















4.1.2.3 Structure of the Pig farming
TotalPigMeatConsumptionperSectors(Tonnes)
Year Piglets
RestofthePigs
Total
DirectCons. IndustrialCons. Total
1997 5.048 306.355 467.112 773.467 778.515
1998 353 336.681 570.841 907.521 907.875
1999 190 398.583 539.547 938.130 938.320
2000 88 378.753 537.982 916.735 916.823
2001 215 479.838 467.845 947.684 947.898
2002 255 555.637 455.292 1.010.929 1.011.184
2003 177 599.882 505.829 1.105.711 1.105.887
2004 199 641.184 506.182 1.147.366 1.147.564
2005 278 708.279 516.370 1.224.648 1.224.926
2006 351 657.748 569.440 1.227.188 1.227.539
2007 175 786.962 523.465 1.310.426 1.310.602
2008 308 929.017 419.515 1.348.532 1.348.840
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
T
o
n
n
e
s

(
T
h
o
u
s
a
n
d
s
)
PigMeatProductionin
Catalonia
0
1000
2000
T
o
n
n
e
s

(
T
h
o
u
s
a
n
d
s
)
DestinationofthePigMeat
Figure 14: Catalan Pig meat production
Evolution. Source: adapted from (DARb,
2010)
Figure 15: Destination of the Catalan Pig
meat production. Source: adapted from
(DARb, 2010)
Table 5: Catalan Pig meat production Evolution in tonnes. Source: adapted from (DARb, 2010)
22

In the province of Lleida, the fattener pig sector is the predominant one. The production cycle
starts in the Catalan regions which have the highest number of piglets due to the fact that they
have held a significant number of sows. These regions are mainly Osona and Segri. The piglets
are also imported from northern-west Spanish regions and from Europe, mainly Holland. The
piglets generated are sent to the fattener farms, where the most significant share of feed,
materials and energy are consumed to fat the pigs. The fattening sector is the most important in
Catalonia and is the articulator of the pig farming sector (Teira, 2008).




















Year Piglets FatteningPigs BreedingPigs Catalonia
2008 1.907.636 4.166.487 574.140 6.648.263
2007 1.752.724 3.970.366 581.262 6.304.352
2006 1.508.265 3.766.572 580.880 5.855.717
2005 1.687.263 3.942.116 570.162 6.199.541
2004 1.575.527 3.822.314 573.228 5.971.069
2003 1.479.988 4.130.589 593.169 6.203.746
2002 1.392.176 3.890.893 614.471 5.897.540
2001 1.448.049 4.069.474 591.085 6.108.608
2000 1.369.672 3.925.601 590.111 5.885.384
1999 1.537.722 4.243.262 566.471 6.347.455
1998 1.236.855 3.780.036 540.332 5.557.223
1997 1.264.325 3.220.462 493.966 4.978.753
0
1,000,000
2,000,000
3,000,000
4,000,000
5,000,000
6,000,000
7,000,000
P
i
g

S
t
o
c
k
EvolutionPigStockpertype
Breeding
Fattening
Piglets
Table 6: Evolution of the Simplified Pig Structure in Catalonia.
Source: adapted from (DARb, 2010)
Figure 16: Graphical Evolution of the Simplified Pig Structure in
Catalonia. Source: adapted from (DARb, 2010)
23


Pig Stock in Catalonia
2008
Provinces and
Catalonia

Total

Piglets
<20Kg

Piglets
<50Kg
Fatteners Pigs
Total live
weight
50-79Kg 80-109 Kg
> 109
kg
Catalonia 6.648.288 1.907.637 1.634.584 2.531.928 1.188.378 1.292.901 50.650
Lleida 3.483.977 1.003.897 869.553 1.334.696 527.143 799.970 7.582
Barcelona 1.712.128 569.416 420.038 537.850 347.292 188.527 2.031
Girona 898.653 186.724 189.341 461.058 182.979 239.503 38.576
Tarragona 553.529 147.599 155.651 198.324 130.963 64.901 2.460
Provinces and
Catalonia


Boars
Breeding Pigs
Total Sows
Never Mothers Mothers at least 1 time
Never
Covered
Covered 1
time
Covered
>1time
Breeding Sows or
resting
Catalonia 8.384 565.756 63.431 53.789 329.392 119.145
Lleida 5.327 270.505 30.346 30.229 157.933 51.997
Barcelona 2.007 182.817 16.830 11.217 118.077 36.692
Girona 607 60.922 12.850 6.043 28.437 13.593
Tarragona 443 51.512 3.405 6.300 24.944 16.863









Table 7: Detailed Pig Structure in Catalonia. Source: adapted from (MAPAa, 2010) and (DARe, 2009)
24

4.1.2.4 Pig Farms


The number of pig farms has significantly decreased as it can be noted in the table 8. This is due
to the intensification process of the pig farming, which amongst other factors implies a reduction
of the number of small farms (i.e. farms with the lowest pig herd sizes). Simultaneously to this
reduction in the number of farms, there is an increase of the number of pig heads in the medium
and big size farms (DARa, 2009).
.
Numberof
PigFarms
1999 2009 %19992009


Barcelona
2.433 1.850 -23.9
Girona
1.861 1.320 -29.0
Lleida
3.181 3.112 -2.1
Tarragona
490 461 -5.9
CATALONIA
7965 6743 -15.2












The number of pig farms has experienced a strong reduction during the 1990s and the 2000s,
which meant the disappearance of more than 40% of the smallest pig farms (FAC, 2002). In
Catalonia, 99.7% of the pig farms are intensive pig farms (MAPAc, 2009).

Table 8: Variation in the pig farms number. Source: adapted from
(IDESCATb, 2009) and (DARc, 2010)
Figure 17: Evolution in the number of the pig farms. Source: from
(IDESCATb, 2009) and (DARc, 2010)
Farms
N
u
m
b
e
r

o
f

f
a
r
m
s

P
i
g

H
e
r
d

S
i
z
e

Pig Head
25

Table 9: Intensification of the Pig Farming Structure in Catalonia.


Source: adapted from (IDESCATb, 2009) and (DARc, 2010)
Total
2000-2007
Size of the Farms Number of Pig Farms
Category Range of Places 2000 2007
Variation
(%)
Variation
(places)
0 1to4 330 77 -77 -253
1 5to9 836 239 -71 -597
2 10to19 1.122 284 -75 -838
3 20to49 1.703 547 -68 -1.156
4 50to99 1.122 481 -57 -641
5 100to199 1.198 733 -39 -465
6 200to399 1.372 976 -29 -396
7 400to999 2.251 2.119 -6 -132
8 1000 1.437 1.772 23 335
Total 11.371 7.228 - -4.143
Total
2000-2007
Size of the Farms Number of Sows
Category Range of Places 2000 2007
Variation
(%)
Variation
(places)
0 1to4 961 190 -80 -771
1 5to9 4.060 804 -80 -3.256
2 10to19 13.648 3.080 -77 -10.568
3 20to49 47.756 15.066 -68 -32.690
4 50to99 65.125 29.504 -55 -35.621
5 100to199 114.790 77.622 -32 -37.168
6 200to399 136.066 123.247 -9 -12.819
7 400to999 141.852 203.948 44 62.096
8 1000 83.344 136.908 64 53.564
Total 607.602 590.369 - -17.233
Total
2000-2007
Size of the Farms Number of Fattener Pigs
Category Range of Places 2000 2007
Variation
(%)
Variation
(places)
0 1to4 829 351 -58 -478
1 5to9 6.173 1.469 -76 -4.704
2 10to19 18.321 5.931 -68 -12.390
3 20to49 91.071 38.759 -57 -52.312
4 50to99 184.982 103.883 -44 -81.099
5 100to199 412.424 293.700 -29 -118.724
6 200to399 667.713 512.869 -23 -154.844
7 400to999 1.526.820 1.449.419 -5 -77.401
8 1000 2.378.911 3.108.413 31 729.502
Total 5.287.244 5.514.794 - 227.550

26

In the table 9 is shown the variation of the number of farms and the variation of the herd size of
both sows and fattener pigs. During the period 2000-2007 there has been a significant decrease in
the number of farms with a pig herd size between 1 and 999. However, this decrease is
progressively lower as the number of pig places increases. On the other hand, all the farms with
pig herd size higher than 1000 are increased.

The same situation occurs with the number of sows and fattener pigs. All of these types of pigs
have decreased in the smallest farms. However, this decrease become softer as the size of the
farm increases until reaching both sizes higher than 400 and 1000 pig places, when the pig herd
size of these types of animals increases significantly. These figures show the tendency to the
intensification of the pig farming in Catalonia.




27

4.2 Characterisation of the Pig Manure in Catalonia


4.2.1 Manure: the concept
The Catalan legislation defines manure as the excreta and the waste generated by the livestock,
either separated or combined, even though being previously transformed. Several classifications
can be done depending on the origin of the animal excreta and the dry matter content (ARCd,
2004). According to Burton & Turner (2003) this gives rise of three broad categories:
- Liquid manure (slurry): It is produced when the pig excreta is collected in liquid form.
This is due to the fact that the animals are kept on sloping solid floors that are regularly
swept clear of any excreta with water, which will dilute significantly the pig excreta.
- Mixed manure: Two streams are produced: solid and liquid manure. In this housing
system, the animals are kept on beeding materials but liquids are colllected by means of
the drainage from the bedding and collected.
- Solid manure: Only solid manure is produced due to the fact that aninals are kept on
bedding materials which is collected together with all excreta as solid or farm yard
manure.
4.2.2 Slurry: the Catalan concept
In Catalonia, dealing with pig manure means dealing with pig slurry, which even has its own
word in Catalan, pur. The proportion of manure from housed pigs produced as a liquid is higher
than 95% in Catalonia (Burton & Turner, 2003).
In Catalonia, slurry is understood as a heterogeneous liquid mixture of most of the waste outputs
produced in the pig farm. Firstly, slurry is made from pig manure, which is liquid due to the type
of feeding given to the pigs (high protein and energy content feeds) (Teira, 2008). Secondly, it is
also made from the cleaning of the bed, which in Catalonia currently is made from plastic or
cement and usually in slat configuration. The slurry is made from the feed leftovers as well, due
to the fact that not all the food is eaten by the pigs. Finally, the slurry is made from water. Water
that directly comes from the cleaning of the pig housing, the water not drank by the pigs, looses
in the refrigeration systems and even sometimes and depending on the pig farm, the rainwater
and/or drained water from the surface pig farm area. Due to this fact, the water content in the
slurry is very high, and usually is higher than 90% of the total slurry content (Teira, 2008).
In Catalonia and Spain there is a prevalence to increase the housing system to fully slatted
(Burton & Turner, 2003). However, in 2009 or 2010, there is a new legislation which forces the
pig farmers to allow the pigs to be most their life in the exterior. This legislation will have an
effect in the manure collection. Even though the bed can still be fully slatted out of the farm.

28

4.2.3 Slurry Composition


According to Flotats et al., (2004) and the Agricultural Production Agency of Catalonia [SPA,
(2009)], the characteristics of the manure depend on a large number of factors: the type and the
nutrient composition of the feed, the physiological conditions and stage of the pigs, the pig
species, the type of bed and/or slat, the type of troughs, the cleaning practices of the housing
farms, the type of pig production system, the storage time of the slurry, the stratification of the
pond and the season of the year. Therefore, the composition values are highly variable
characterised by large intervals. However, the composition remains mainly constant at a global
scale annually (SPA, 2009): if there are not significant changes in the manure management of a
pig farm, the amount of slurry produced and the nitrogen excreted is almost the same every year.
The table 10 shows the results in the slurry composition found by Flotats, et al., (2004) which
conducted an analytical study of the slurry from several pig farms of Catalonia. The main
conclusions derived from this table are:
-High water content: The difference between the average of both the total solids and the total
fresh matter content is 937.84Kg, which means that 93.8% of the slurry is water.
-Low organic matter content: This can be concluded taking into account the total volatile solids
(TVS) or the Chemical Oxygen Demand (CDO), which corresponds to the amount of oxygen
necessary to oxidise the organic matter content (Flotats et al.; 2004). Thus, the average value
VS/TS is 65%, which is low if compared with values found in manure from cattle or poultry,
usually higher than 80%. In this case, the huge difference between the maximum and minimum
values is due to the fact that the slurry can be stored for long time under the slat of the pig
housing (Flotats et al.; 2004).
-High ammoniacal nitrogen: As it can be observed in the table 10, the average total
ammoniacal nitrogen can represent 76% out of the total Nitrogen of the slurry. This ammonia
content in addition to the low organic matter content causes that slurry is considered a mineral
fertiliser rather than an organic soil amender.
-Significant Heavy metal content: Cupper (Cu) and Zinc (Zn) are the main compounds found in
the pig slurry. The problem with these compounds is that they accumulate in the soil and can
create phytotoxicity problems at long term. If the concentrations of Cu and Zn are within the
upper range shown in the table 10, treatments which use bacteria can be negatively affected for
these high concentrations. The reduction of these metals in the feed means to obtain a higher
quality manure, which will have a positive effect in the manure management and treatment,
either the manure is applied directly to the soil or treated to economically value the solid fraction
of the manure (Flotats, et al.; 2004).

29

















-Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K): Both are limiting nutrients for the vegetal metabolism.
Phosphorous concentration is especially high in pig slurry when compared to other type of
manure. This means that the pig manure has a high pollution potential if the slurry gets in contact
with surface or groundwater. Due to this fact, in many countries phosphorous is starting to be the
second target in the legislative reforms and there are limits for its application to the soil, as it
occurs with nitrogen. However, oppositely than nitrogen, phosphorous cannot be eliminated from
the slurry but separated or concentrated. Therefore, a key approach to manage phosphorous
should be reduce its content in the feed.
Another important characteristics are:
- Low C/N ratio: Thus, the slurry cannot carry out a spontaneous fermentation aerobically
or if it does, the yield is very low. The slurry is degraded anaerobically at a slow rate
more than ferments aerobically. Therefore, it a fertiliser which has not an organic value
but mineral (Teira, 2008).
Parameter Units Minimum Maximum Mean
Total Solids (TS) g/Kg 13.68 169 62.16
Volatile Solids
(VS)
g/Kg 6.45 121.34 42.33
Percentage
(VTS/STS)
% 46 76 65
Chemical Oxygen
Demand (COD)
g/Kg 8.15 191.23 73.02
Total Nitrogen
Kjeldahl (NTK)
g/Kg 2.03 10.24 5.98
Ammonia
Nitrogen (N-
NH4+)
g/Kg 1.65 7.99 4.54
Organic Nitrogen
(Norg)
g/Kg 0.4 3.67 1.54
Percentage N-
NH4+/NTK
% 57 93 75
Phosporous (P) g/Kg 0.09 6.57 1.38
Potassium (K) g/Kg 1.61 7.82 4.83
Cupper (Cu) mg/Kg 9 192 40
Zinc (Zn) mg/Kg 7 131 66
Table 10: Characterisation of the fresh slurry. Source: adapted from (Flotats
et al., 2004)
30

- Basic pH (buffer capacity due to the carbonates, ammonia and fatty volatile acids) (Teira,
2008).
- High Electrical Conductivity.
- Presence of faecal and pathogens microorganisms.
- The slurry has a value as a liquid mineral fertiliser (Teira, 2008). Its limitations are
similar than any mineral fertiliser (N, P or K) with the exception of a low concentration
of macronutrients.
4.2.4 Quantity of Nitrogen contained in the Slurry
To calculate the amount of nitrogen produced in a farm is not necessary to analyse the slurry
(Teira, 2008). Moreover, even thought there are standardised and official methods to analyze
nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium or heavy metals in food, water and soils, there is not a single
standardised method to analyse specifically the slurry. In addition, the slurry has high ammonia
contents, which evaporates almost completely in the drying process. Thus, the results will vary
significantly whether the sample is fresh or not (Teira, 2008). In addition, the concentration of
nitrogen in the slurry will largely depend on other different factors more: the type of troughs and
its management, the protein content and mineral salts of the feed, the cleaning system, the
canalisation of rainwater, the refrigeration system, the evaporation and weather conditions
depending on the season and the structure and geometry of the collection and storage of the
slurry (Teira, 2008). As stated previously, the result is a large variability in the slurry
composition and the nitrogen concentration.
The amount of slurry produced in Catalonia cannot be easily quantified (Teira, 2008). There are
no standardised parameters about the amount and the concentration of nitrogen excreted, as it
happens with the actual general composition of the slurry. Even though there are unitary
normative figures regarding the amount of slurry produced (volume of slurry generated per pig
place) and the concentration of nitrogen contained in the slurry (kg N/m
3
) created by the Catalan
Government, there is a large variability in the results because these figures are no accurate
regarding the type of pig and the amount of manure produced per pig.





31

There is a table made for Flotats et al., 2004, which summarises the results of a huge literature
review regarding the amount of slurry produced by the pigs in Catalonia.


4.2.5 Quantification of the Slurry produced in Catalonia
The three main sources of nitrogen in
Catalonia are the livestock manure, the
chemical fertiliser and at a minor extent,
the sludge from the wastewater treatment
plants. Catalonia produced in 2007 16
Million m
3
slurry containing 120.000
Tonnes of Nitrogen (ARCa, 2009) from
all types of animal manure. The pig
sector produces 43% out of the total
(ARCa, 2009), i.e. 51.600 Tonnes of N.
To quantify the total quantity of nitrogen
applied per ha and year, there is a need to
divide the quantity of nitrogen generated
in every Catalan region between the
agricultural available surface, i.e. the land
where the slurry can be applied. In the
figure 18, it is shown that 15 out of the
42 regions of Catalonia experience a
strong pressure with regard to the
Nitrogen application per ha and year. The
regions of Osona, Pla de lEstany and
Valls Oriental are the ones with the highest generation of nitrogen per area. It is important to
highlight that in those regions it is not allowed more than 170 kg N/hayear. Thus, these regions

Kg
N/placeyear
Slurry
m
3
/placeyear
Manure
t/placeyear
Closed cycle Sow (mother+ descendants until the
weaning)
57.60 17.75 -
Sow + piglets <6Kg 15.00 5.1 5.4
Sow + piglets <20Kg 18.00 6.12
Replacement Sows 8.50 2.5 2.75
Piglets 6<Kg<20 1.19 0.41 0.6
Fattening Pig 20<Kg<50 6.00 1.8 -
Fattening Pig 50<Kg<100 8.50 2.5 -
Fattening Pig 20<Kg<100 7.25 2.15 2.4
Boars 18.00 6.12 -
Table 11: Amount of nitrogen generated: Source: adapted from (Flotats et al., 2004)
Figure 18: N-Total per agricultural available surface (Kg
N/hayear) and the nitrogen vulnerable zones (right at
the top). Source: from (ARCa, 2009)
32

are not accomplishing the current legislation and either they are paying to other companies to
treat the slurry, or paying the transport costs to regions with lower values of Nitrogen per ha or
simply not accomplishing the law. The result is that every year the levels of nitrates in the
groundwater and surface water increase. Due to this fact it is logical to take into account the
possibility that the current values are not low enough and that is necessary even lower values in
the vulnerable and not vulnerable zones.
The amount of exceeding slurry in 2007 in
Spain was from 5 to 7 Million tonnes. Catalonia
has a mean slurry production per surface unity
equal to 400m
3
/Km
2
(Teira, 2008). It is very
difficult to calculate with accuracy the amount
of surplus nitrogen in the entire Catalonia due
to the fact that the there are different sources of
Nitrogen, the high variability of the slurry
composition and the differences in the
accounting of the agricultural available surface
to apply this nitrogen. However, there are maps
that indicate the zones where it is estimated to
be a surplus, even though there is not reliable
numerical data for the entire territory. In
addition, every year the nitrogen contamination
of the water bodies keeps increasing every year
and the nitrogen vulnerable zones have also
increased since the 1990s.

4.2.6 Agricultural Land
The agricultural available surface in Catalonia is 1 Million Ha. 37% are cereals, 30% wood crops
(olive tree, vineyard, etc.) and 33% irrigated land (Bonmat, 2008).
4.2.7 Fertiliser economical value of the manure
The economical value of the fertilizer capacity of the slurry is in 2008 11.08 /m
3
. It has
increased 72% its economical value from 2006 (Vzquez, 2003).




Figure 19: (Top) Surplus of Nitrogen (Kg
N/hayear) Source: from (ACA, 2010)
33

4.3 Management of the Slurry in Catalonia


The Catalan Agency of the Wastes is in charge to supervise the management of that fraction of
the slurry that must be treated before the application.

In the figure 20, it is shown the
geographical distribution of the
manure treatment plants in Catalonia
(also see 4.5). When the slurry is
treated, it can be done either on-farm,
i.e. that is in a facility located in the
own farm or ex-situ. In the latter case,
the management is carried out for a
third stakeholder, usually a private
company, which from the moment he
gets the slurry is responsible for its
management. In Catalonia this
companies either they compost the
slurry, eliminate the nitrogen fraction
or use it to obtain energy in a
cogeneration plant.
When the treatment is done in-situ, the
main treatments that are carried out are
the solid-liquid separation,
nitrification-denitrification (NDN),
anaerobic digestion and the
combination of all of them (ARCb,
2009). This management on-farm has to be done taking into account the performance of the
treatment and/or the volume of nitrogen as well as the management of the final fractions
obtained after the treatment. The Government is promoting the anaerobic treatment of the slurry
in Catalonia through the Biodigestion Slurry Plan of Catalonia (2008-2012). The goal of this
plan is to reduce the GHG emissions of the agriculture and livestock sector, especially CH
4
and
promote the construction of anaerobic digestion plants at both farm and collective scale (ARCb,
2009).

Even though the main final use of the slurry is the direct application to the soil and that the main
sub-products of the treatment plants are also applied to the soil, this practice involves a set of
difficulties, limitations and shortcomings. First of all and most importantly is the lack of
agricultural available soil to apply the slurry in Catalonia. This situation clearly affects the entire
management of the slurry in Catalonia. However, these other factors are also important:

Figure 20: Slurry treatment plants in Catalonia. Source:
adapted from (ARCa, 2009)

34

a) The high water content of the slurry, with values higher than 90%, causes the transports
cost are very high. In this way, the price that a pig farmer must pay to bring the slurry to
some other area where can be applied is very high and determines the availability of this
practice.
b) The application of the slurry must be done according the crop needs, i.e. the system soil-
crop. This requires taking into account the relation N-P-K needed for each crop and the
N, P and K content in the slurry, which is highly variable as stated in the point 4.2.2.1. In
any case, the current application of the slurry to the soil in Catalonia is only carried out,
in most of the cases, taking into account the nitrogen parameter. This means that not only
the relation P and K of the slurry is forgotten, but also the fertility requirements of the
soil where is applied.
c) The slurry stratifies during the storage time forming a three layer compound: sedimented
material at the bottom, liquid fraction in the middle part and a solid crust at the top. This,
in addition to the highly variable nutrient composition makes very difficult to apply the
correct dose to the soil.
d) In Catalonia, sanitary criteria are only applied in cases of animal epidemics. However, the
pathogens presence is obvious and should be minimised. Boixadera & Teira (2001) state
that due to the fact that the relation C/N is especially low in the slurry, this does not
spontaneously ferment. Thus, there is not a heat generation to kill the pathogens.
Therefore, the pathogens survival is much higher than in other types of manure. The
transmission mechanisms of the pathogens through the slurry are of relevance among the
pigs in the same farm and for the soil, the water and air contamination, which can affect
until 5 Km (Teira, 2008). On the other hand, pathogens find in the soil unfavourable
conditions which are not adequate for them. Factors like the pH, temperature, solar
radiation, natural toxic substances, soil antibiotics and antagonist organisms reduce
dramatically the initial concentration in 2-3 months. Boixadera & Teira (2001) also notes
that the pathogens presence is not an inherent risk to the slurry application to the soil as a
fertiliser because there is a need to take into account other factors: the virulence of the
microorganism, the survival during the storage time and/or in the soil and the pathogen
concentration in the crops or pasture in. However, it is necessary to follow the following
precaution rules:

The manure or slurry must be treated to reduce as much as possible the presence
of pathogens.
The preferred use of the slurry must be used as a fertiliser of the agriculture soil
The slurry must not be applied to eatable crops but if the minimum time
necessary to kill the pathogens is respected.
When the slurry is applied on pastures, it must be stored for a time period higher
than 60 days before the application. In addition, the livestock will only be allowed
to graze 30 days after the application.
35

Avoid the application in zones closer to human settlements with both high
population or livestock densities.

Boixadera & Teira (2001) suggest that states that there is not a need to hygienise
specifically the slurry. However, there are some treatments that can carry out or
accomplish these requirements. These are: composting, anaerobic digestion, termophilic
anaerobic, the thermal drying and the pasteurisation. Oppositely, mesophilic treatments
do not hygienise the slurry.


4.3.1 Energy consumption of the pig sector
According to Maneja (2008), the 80% of the energy consumption of the pig farm is produced to
supply heat to the sows when they bear the piglets as well as for the piglets themselves and their
breastfeeding stage. The total energy consumed for the pig farming sector in Catalonia is
17.691.419 kWh per year equivalents a 1.521 tep. The value of this energy is 1.158.970 per
year.

The total average energy consumed per pig is 49kWh per year. The share of electrical energy
corresponds to 7.8 kWh per pig and year and the thermal energy consumed is 35.4 kWh per pig
and year. Thus, 82% of the energy consumed in the pig farm corresponds to thermal energy. The
pig sector consumes 80% out of the total energy consumed by the livestock sector in Catalonia
(Maneja, 2008).

The total average energy consumption value per year is 261 MWh. 42% of the pig farms
consume not more than 200 MWh/year, 39% between 200 and 400 MWh/year and the rest more
than 400 MWh/year. Similarly, the 40% expends between 10.000 and 20.000/year (Maneja,
2008).













Figure 21: Energy Consumption Distribution in the Catalan pig
farming. Source: adapted from (Maneja, 2008)
Gasoil Electricity Propane
36

4.3.2 Water consumption of the pig sector



The total water consumption in Spain is 30.400 Hm
3
per year. The irrigation share equals to
24.200 Hm
3
per year (80%). This data include part of the water consumed by the pig sector, but
not everything because a significant share of the livestock farmers have their own wells and then
there is not any type of control about the water consumed.

In Catalonia, 49% of the water consumed comes from the irrigation water supply. 26% comes
from the municipal water supply. The rest comes from other sources, which are mainly private
wells located in the farms (25%) (Babot, 2007).

The water consumption on the pig farm is directly related to the volume of the slurry generated.
According to Babot (2006), a reduction of the 25% of water implies a reduction of the 31% of
the slurry production. The water is mainly used for the animal itself, the cooling of the animals
and the cleaning of the pig housing.

Type of water used Mean Water Use
(L/day)
Sow 11.6
Fattening 12.0
Gestation 15.6
Breeding 19.4
Cooling 1.0
Cleaning 3.1
Total mean Value 10.45


Most of the water consumed by the pig is excreted with the urine. The faeces are between 62%-
79 water, and it is between 8-9% of its weight dairy the production (Babot, 2007). The slurry is
generated by the addition of the water to clean the pig housing. That water is used to soak the pig
housing, and clean the yard, pen, cages and feeding troughs. This water is usually used with
detergents. 40% of the water used in the pig farm is due to the cleaning and disinfecting of the
pig housing. The common hoses are the systems most used. The period with highest water
consumption is the breeding, 208 L per period. During the gestation period is 53 L per day. The
average value for all the phases is 76.5L/period (Babot 2006, 2007).



Table 12: Main distribution of the water consumption in a Catalan Pig
Farm. Source: (Babot 2006, 2007)
37

4.3.3 Price of the Energy in Catalonia


Gasoil: 0.603 /L (DARc, 2010)
Electricity: 0.0519/kWh (DARc, 2010)
Water
Water
(/m
3
)
2008 2009 % 2008-2009
Barcelona 1.38 1.49 7.9
Girona 1.07 1.14 6.5
Lleida 0.92 0.97 5.4
Tarragona 1.20 1.25 4.1







.










Table 13: Price of the Water (November 2009). Source: (DARc, 2010)
38

4.4 Environmental Incidence of the Slurry in Catalonia


4.4.1 General Effects to the Environment
The slurry is not applied exclusively in the soil but in the entire agricultural system (Teira, 2008).
This implies that any action carried out in a part of the system has its consequences in the rest of
the system. Therefore, when the slurry is applied without taking into account these interactions
or simply it is applied exceeding the carrying capacity of the system, there is a negative effect in
the system.
The nitrates are considered in Catalonia and Spain as the substance most problematic to manage
and treat. The nitrates, due to its solubility, lixiviate. Thus, they can be fast and easily washed
from the soil, being drained to the zone where they are not any more accessible to the roots of the
crops, then being a potential contaminating substance of the groundwater (Burton&Turner 2003).
However, the slurry has positive and negative
effects to the environment:
Positive effects: Manure has been regarded
historically as a material beneficial to soil since it
is an effective fertiliser and provides organic
matter that improves the soil physical properties
(Burton&Turner 2003). Thus, it can have a
fertiliser effect, i.e. a release of nutrients to the
soil (improvement of the crop yield) and it is also
a soil amender, i.e. increasing of the porosity,
water retention capacity, strength and erosion
resistance because it builds up structure (Flotats et al., 2004). In addtion, it can help to stabilise
soil aggregates which also prevents erosion. It also improves the structure of soil promoting good
tilth, good moisture retention in drought areas and good drainage in wet areas (Burton&Turner
2003). It has been shown that pig slurry used for up to 12 years on agricultural calcareous soil
used for cereal crops, fruit trees and almond trees, under irrigation in a semi-arid climate,
improved the soil fertility by increasing the organic matter, organic-C, total-N and total-P of the
soils (Burton&Turner 2003).
Negative effects: Oppositely, the impact of pig manure goes beyond the pollution created by the
nitrogen (Burton&Turner 2003), even though the Catalan and Spanish legislation focus in this
parameter to develop the action and impact plans. Thus, the pollution hazards related to the pig
manure production, which are summarised in the table 14, may be grouped in three impact areas,
soil, water and air (Burton&Turner 2003). Soil pollution is caused by the exceeding manure
application to the soil causing an overload of nutrients to the soil, which can create negative
effects to the plant growth. Water pollution is caused by the direct runoff or infiltration after the
Figure 22: Potential environment pollution
from manure spreading. Source: from
(Burton&Turner 2003)
39

Table 14: Negative Impacts to the Environment related to the Slurry. Source: from
(Martnez&Burton, 2003)
field application, leaking of earthen manure stores and contamination of poorly sealed wells.
Finally, air pollution can be caused from odours and gases created by manure decomposition,
microbial agents and dust from feed systems and the animals (Burton&Turner 2003).
Environmental
Concern/issue
Environmental and
other impacts
Scale of agricultural
contribution
Scale of
impact
Nitrate (NO
3
-
)
Water quality.
Eutrophication. Health
Economic loss to
farmers.
Cost of removal.
Major source
Local: on-farm surface
waters.
Regional: surface waters;
catchment; aquifers
National/international:
maritime waters
Nitrite (NO
2
-
)
Water quality.
Fish stocks and health.
Major source
Local: on-farm surface
waters.
Regional: surface waters
and wells.
Ammonia
(NH
3
)
Acid rain.
Acidification of soils.
Eutrophication of
natural systems.
Direct toxicity
Major source (>85%)
Local: on-farm
deposition.
Regional: deposition on
natural ecosystems
National/international:
cross boundary transfer of
NH
3
and deposition
Nitrous oxide
(N
2
O)
Greenhouse gas.
Global warming.
Ozone interactions
Substantial (likely to
increase in importance
as other sources
decrease)
Global
Nitric oxide
(NO)
Tropospheric ozone
precursor.
minor ? Global
Phosphorus
(P)
Water quality.
Eutrophication.
Health.
Toxins from algal
bloom.
Economic
Cost of removal
Substantial increasing
as industrial point
sources decrease
Local: on-farm surface
waters
Regional: surface waters,
catchments
National/international:
maritime waters (cross
boundary transfer)
Methane
(CH
4
)
Greenhouse gas.
Global warming
Substantial Global




40

4.4.2 Specific Effects to the Environment in Catalonia


Catalonia belongs to the Mediterranean climatic zone, which is characterised regarding the pig
farming by firstly its landscape, predominantly mountainous and hilly lands. Secondly by having
mild wet winters and hot dry summers. This fact together with an irregular rainfall distribution
along the year causes a limited availability of water for irrigation. Finally, the Mediterranean
soils are in a middle desertification process and they have a strong demand for soil amenders
(Burton&Turner, 2003).
The Agriculture and Livestock in the Mediterranean countries is challenged by the following
factors:
The temperature range is very high.
Strong water shortage, which currently is compensated with irrigation.
Nutrient loss from fertilisers applied in agricultural zones which causes serious
environmental problems in specific spots of the ecosystem.
Soil degradation processes like desertification, erosion, salinisation, organic matter loss
and changes in the soil practices (Teira, 2008).
The potential negative effects to the environment of the slurry, the characteristics of the
environmental background of Catalonia and the manure management practices creates some
environmental dimensions as a especially vulnerable environmental dimensions.










Figure 23: Vulnerable zones with regard the nitrogen pollution and its effects to the
groundwater reservoir (left at the top) and the surface water (right at the bottom).
Source: from (ICC, 2009)
41


4.4.2.1 Water Contamination
35% of the water consumption in Catalonia comes from groundwater reservoirs. The vulnerable
zones with regard the nitrate pollution (see attachment I) comprise 6237 Km
2
and are zones
where the water can infiltrate to deeper zones thus inducing the pollution of groundwater and
surface water.
The nitrogen concentration of the water bodies of both the vulnerable and non-vulnerable zones
is increasing during 2004-2007 (IDESCATc, 2009). 4655 farms are in these vulnerable zones
which produce between 7 and 13 Million m
3
slurry.
It is important to include that the Ebre, the most important river for the agricultural practice of
Catalonia also takes the water from Arag, the second autonomous community with the highest
values of pig heads and volume of exceeding manure.
4.4.2.2 Emission of Gases
Green House Gases (GHG), i.e. the livestock sector in Spain emits 9.8% of total GHG emissions
(3tres3a, 2010). These GHG gases are mainly methane, nitrous oxide and the combustion of
fossil fuels to provide energy to the farms. On the other hand, the ammonia volatilisation also has
a significant effect. All these gases are also toxic for human health.
4.4.2.3 Bad Odours
They are caused by the decomposition of organic substances. The bad odour caused by the
manure, either in the pig farms or the application to the soil is a major problem in pig farms
and/or crop fields near villages or cities.
4.4.2.4 Soil degradation
It is created by the surplus of Copper, Zinc, Phosphorous, Nitrogen and Potassium. The
manifestations are:
- Soil Acidification: It is caused by the nitrification process of the ammonia, which
produces a change in the pH of the soil with consequences to the entire agricultural
system. However in Catalonia most of the soils are basics have a strong buffer capacity.
- Soil Salinisation: This causes a decrease in the fertility of the soil.
The main zones related to the intensive pig farming are calcareous soils, conglomerates and
sandstone. Thus, these types of soils are vulnerable to pollution because they do not retain
pathogens and other pollutants like fine-textured soils (clays, silts). These types of soils, with
coarse texture and fracture rocks, like sand, sandstone and limestone soils with cracks provide a
relatively poor barrier against pathogens and pollutants (3tres3, 2008).
42


4.4.2.5 Health Issues
It is cause by microbial and chemical contamination of components contained in the slurry into
the food chain as well as spreading of diseases. The legislation does not take into account the
environmental risks associated to the slurry regarding zoosanitary products, i.e. antibiotics and
hormones, disinfectants, phenols, and products derived from the decomposition of pig proteins
like ammonium, nitrates, fatty acids and PCSs (3tres3, 2008).
4.4.2.6 Heavy metals accumulation
Some of them, like Cu and Zn, can be toxic above certain limits.
4.4.2.7 Nutritional unbalances
The nutrient proportion contained in the fertilisers is variable and not always proportional to the
crop requirements.



43

4.5 Manure Treatment Systems in Catalonia


4.5.1 Quantity of Manure Treated

The manure is applied directly to the soil in Catalonia. Out of the 16.000.000 m
3
generated in
Catalonia annually (ARCa, 2009), 93.9% is applied directly without any kind of treatment but
the storage and in some cases the additions of additives. The remaining 6.1%, approximately
927.000 m
3
are treated before being applied in the soil (ICAEN, 2010; Boixadera, 2010). The
amount of exceeding slurry in Catalonia is estimated as 1.75 Million Tonnes (Teira, 2008).















4.5.2 Centralised Treatment Plants
In Catalonia there are 6 centralised plants to treat pig slurry. All of them are cogeneration plants,
and they are located in Lleida (4) and in Barcelona (2). Out of these 6 cogeneration plants, 3 of
them carry out anaerobic treatment and the other 3 NDN processes (ICAEN, 2010; Boixadera,
2010).
Company Municipality
Slurry Capacity
(t/year)
Tracjusa Juneda (Lleida) 110.000
VAG Juneda (Lleida) 110.000
VAG Miralcamp (Lleida) 110.000
Anaerobic digestion Solid-Liquid Separation pH adjustment Evaporation
Drying
DDP Alcarrs Alcarrs (Lleida) 115.000
DDP Voltreg Masies de Voltreg (Barcelona) 115.000
DDP Corc Santa Maria Corc 115.000
Nitrification and Denitrification Physical and Chemical AdditiveEvaporation
Drying

Table 15: Centralised co-generation plants in Catalonia. Source: (Bonmat, 2008)
Figure 24: Distribution of the Slurry
Management and Treatment in Catalonia
2007. Source: adapted from (ICAEN, 2010;
Boixadera, 2010).
93.9%
6.1%
Managementoftheslurry
Directlytothesoil
WITHOUTtreatment
Directlytothesoil
WITHtreatment
44

Other common characteristics


of the 6 centralised plants are:
Capacity: 110.000-
115.000 t per year.
They are funded by the
Government.
Solid fertiliser as a
final product.
Total authorised
capacity: 675.000 t
per year
Total slurry treated:
555.000 t/year (82%).


In Catalonia it is difficult to locate centralised anaerobic treatment plants due to fact that they
have a very low social acceptance (Bonmat
a
, 2008)
4.5.3 On-farm treatments
In 2010, the total number of livestock farms which carry out individual treatments of the manure
is 95 (Bonmat
a
, 2008; ICAEN, 2010; Boixadera, 2010). This is 1% out of the total number of
livestock farms in Catalonia. The total number of treatment systems is 116.
Barcelona is the province with more farms which carry out on-farm treatments: 77 (85%),
followed by Lleida 11, (9%), Girona (6) and Tarragona (1). The region with more treatments in-
situ is Osona (69), followed by Valls Oriental (4), Pl dUrgell (6) and Segri 2. (Bonmat
a
,
2008; ICAEN, 2010; Boixadera, 2010).
The type of treatment more common is the composting. However, in this type of treatment pig
manure or the solid fraction of the slurry is not the only substrate. The other manure treatments
carried out in Catalonia are the Solid-Liquid Separation, (NDN) and Anaerobic Digestion.

Figure 25: Centralised co-generation plants in Catalonia. Source:
(Bonmat, 2008)
45











4.5.3.1 Solid-Liquid Separation
Number of pig farms: 38
Individual treatment 16. As a complementary 22
Type of solid-liquid separation: mechanical separation (natural decanting, screw press
and belt-press) plus chemical additives

Variable efficiency
The values depend on the manure characteristics (storage time, water content, etc.), the
calibration of the system, the type of running of the system (continuous or non-continuous)
and the use of chemical additives (polyelectrolytes). The data, which must be included in the
management plan of the livestock farm, is not public. However, usually there are reached
values equal to the 20% out of the initial volume and between 15 to 30% nitrogen in the solid
fraction (Teira, 2008).

Liquid fraction:
-Application to nearby lands.
-Further treatment (Anaerobic Digestion and NDN).

Solid fraction
-Application to distant lands (lower transport costs).
-Further treatment (composting).
-Transfer to another system (an external waste manager).
Anaerobic Digestion
Solid-Liquid
Separation
(32%)
Nitrification-
Denitrification
Composting
55%
Figure 26: On-Farm Treatment Systems in Catalonia. Source: adapted from (Bonmat, 2008)
12.5%
0.5%
46




























4.5.3.2 Composting
There are 64 facilities which carry out a composting process from livestock manure. The
technology used is composting trough forced aeration 33 (17 Confined, 18 Open) and rotary
piles 31 (19 Composting, 14 Pre-composting). The maxim authorised capacity of manure
composting is 241.000 t per year (Bonmat, 2008).
The two types of manure used in Catalonia for composting are the cattle manure and/or the solid
fraction of the pig slurry as well as the poultry manure. The treatment system most used in
Catalonia is the static systems with forced aeration. The quality of the compost is limited by the
heavy metals Cu and Zn. In some cases there is also Cd, Cr and Hg (Bonmat, 2008).
Figure 27: Solid-Liquid Separation Treatment in Catalonia. Source: (Bonmat, 2008)
47

Under the current legislation, the final product does not have legal problems to be
commercialised. The technology is highly consolidated in Catalonia, mainly carried out as a
complementary treatment by third stakeholders.



4.5.3.3 Nitrification-Denitrification (NDN)

In 2008 there are 11 farms which
carry out the nitrification-
denitrification process but 4 of
them have stopped this activity
temporarily due to two reasons:
technical control usually carried
out by an external person and the
operational costs are high
[oxygenation, (Bonmat, 2008)].

The Solid fraction is applied to
distant agricultural lands. It can be
also further treated or transferred to
a third external waste manager.
Figure 28: Composting Treatment Process in Catalonia. Source: from (Bonmat, 2008)
Figure 29: Nitrification-Denitirifcation Treatment in
Catalonia. Source: from (Bonmat, 2008)
48

The liquid fraction is applied directly to


nearby lands. This technology is relatively
consolidated in Catalonia.
In Catalonia there is a continuous NDN
located in la Caseta den Grau (Osona).
This farm treats the liquid fraction of the
slurry generated in the farm.
Other farms that carry out this process take
benefit of the manure storage tanks to run
the process. Even though it is cheaper, the
system is more difficult to control (Teira,
2008). In addition, there is a Sequencing
Batch Reactor (SBR) pilot case in
Catalonia (Teira, 2008).

4.5.3.4 Anaerobic Digestion
One of the objectives of the Energy
Plan of Catalonia (2006-2015) is
that the renewable energy
consumption reaches 9.5% out of
the total by 2015, i.e. 2.949 ktep
(DMAH, 2008). In 2006, this value
is 2.4% but it has increased from
443.7 ktep in 1995 to 630.3 ktep in
2006 [42.1% of increase, (Flotats,
2009].
In Europe, the primary energy
produced by anaerobic digestion in
2006 was approximately 5.35
Mtep. 1.28 Mtep was produced in
anaerobic digestion plants from
manure and urban organic waste
fraction. Spain contributed in 0.33
Mtep, with a value equal to 25.8
tep produced from manure and
municipal organic wastes (Flotats,
Figure 30: Liquid fraction in a NDN Treatment in
Catalonia. Source: (Bonmat, 2008)
Figure 31: Municipal Biogas Potential
Distribution Map. Source:
(Samuelsen&Medrano 2007)
49

2009).
The potential biogas production in the primary sector using manure from the pig, poultry and
cattle sector is estimated to be 1.5 Mtep per year. The intensive pig farming sector has a potential
of 0.82 Mtep per year (Flotats, 2009).
The profitability of manure biogas plants in Spain, according to the selling prices of the
electricity stipulated in the Royal Order 661/2007 is highly sensitive to the biogas production per
tonne of digested manure. Thus, there will be positive results when the specific production is
higher than 30m
3
per tonne. This figure will also depend on the inversion costs, which behave
according to a marked economy of (Flotats&Sarquella, 2008).
Pig slurry shows productivity values between 10 and 20 m
3
per tonne, due to the fact that it has
low organic matter content. This value can be even lower if the storage time is significantly high.
Therefore, the method preferred to increase the productivity is the mixing with different types of
highly organic content wastes. These co-substrates, in the Spanish and Catalan case are mainly,
vegetal oils and margarines (800 m
3
per tonne), soils used in the filtering process of oils (300-
400 m
3
per tonne), pulp fruit (70-120 m
3
per tonne) or sludge from the food processing industry
(50-70 m
3
per tonne) (Flotats&Sarquella, 2008).
The practical experiences of the anaerobic treatment plants at any level are limited in Catalonia.
Currently there are 3 centralised plants within a cogeneration scheme, 2 in Juneda (Lleida) and 1
in Miralcamp (Lleida). The slurry of 150 pig farms is dried with the residual heat from the
generation of electricity with natural gas and biogas.










Municipality
Type
of Zone
Number
of farms
Electrical
Performance
1.Vilasana
(Lleida)
Vulnerable 1 382kW
2.Torregrosa
(Lleida)
Vulnerable 1 191kW
3. Artesa de Segre
(Lleida)
Non vulnerable 1 365kW
Montargull
(Lleida)
Vulnerable 1 365kW
5. Cass de la Selva
(Girona) Can Molin-
Vulnerable 1 365kW
6. Juneda
(Lleida)
Vulnerable 55 1,3MW
7. Juneda
(Leida)
Vulnerable 40 1,3MW
8. Miralcamp Vulnerable 55 1,2MW
Table 16: List of the Anaerobic Treatment Plants of Catalonia.
Source: adapted from (ICAEN, 2010; Boixadera, 2010).
50


On the other hand, there are 5 individual anaerobic co-digestion treatment plants, which treat pig
slurry and organic wastes. These farms have a cogeneration motor that produces electrical
energy. This energy can be used either in the farm and/or be sent to the electrical grid. The
residual thermal energy is used in the farm as a heating for the farm and a greenhouse facility.
According to ICAEN (2010); Boixadera (2010) and Bonmat (2008), the main characteristics
regarding the anaerobic treatment in Catalonia are highlighted:

The centralised cogeneration anaerobic plants focus in the drying of the slurry, not in the
biogas final production. To dry the slurry it is used the biogas generated during the
anaerobic digestion process plus natural gas from a commercial supplier company.
The treatment capacity is from 110.000-115.000 tonnes per year.
It is used 90% pig slurry and 10% organic food wastes.
The temperature regime is mesophilic.
The technology used in all of them is the VALPUREN

process (see case study II)


Two reactors each with 2.500 m
3
.
The Standard Residence Time is 20 days.
Combined Heat Power (CHP): 1 MW
e
+14MW
e
.
This latter represents the main source of energy for the drying process.
The digestate is evaporated, dried and used for as a fertiliser after a pelletisation
process.
The subsidy for the energy production in plants with electrical potency higher than
500 kW is 13.06c/kWh.

The individual farms realise the anaerobic digestion as a key process to obtain Biogas.
The individual treatment capacity is from 10.000 to 23.000 tonnes per year.
Due to the fact that pig slurry has a low Biogas production yield, in most of the cases
there are included co-substrates from organic municipal waste and sludge from
wastewater treatment plants in different proportions, between 20-30% of the overall
treatment.
The temperature regime is 37C (mesophilic conditions).
The standard residence time is 40 days.
Biogas production is 40 m
3
.
CHP: 300 kW
e

The subsidy for the energy production for electrical potency lower than 500 kW is
9.86c/kWh.

The technology is extensively described in the attachments V.

51

The digestate obtained in the process is used directly as a soil application without any
type of treatment with the exception of:

Artesa de Segre facility: before the agricultural application, there is a process of solid-
liquid separation plus a NDN to reduce the nitrogen concentration in the final
fraction.
Under the current legislation only it is allowed by law to treat the pig slurry of the own farm.
This is done to prevent the spreading of diseases. In addition, the anaerobic treatment process
would not be interesting for the livestock farmers if the government would not pay 9.9c per kW
produced there were not special funding to cover the construction costs (Can Molin, 2010).



In the last 3 years there has been a steady but progressive increase of the on-farm treatments. In
addition, and due to the electrical bonus and the government aids for the construction of the
plants, anaerobic digestion is the most promising alternative of future. However, the economic
factor is still the most determining limitation factor due to the high capital and operation costs.
The percentage of anaerobic treatment plants, either individual or centralised is very low in 2010
though. When compared to the number of pig farms is 0.12%. Taking into account the total
Figure 32: Decentralised Anaerobic Treatment Plants in Germany. Source: (UPC, 2007)
52

production of slurry, these plants treat 2.4% out of the total slurry generated and 5.5% of the
surplus slurry (ICAEN, 2010; Boixadera, 2010 and Teira, 2008).
As a summary, the main technological treatments currently used in Catalonia to treat the pig
slurry are: ponds, additives to ponds, solid-liquid separation, composting, nitrification-
denitrification and anaerobic and aerobic digestion. These processes can be combined in order to
achieve specific(s) objective. Currently, these combinations focus in the elimination of nitrogen
and the reduction of volume by means of thermal concentration in the Catalan market (Flotats et
al.; 2004).
4.5.4 Case Studies
I. Individual Anaerobic Co-digestion Plant; Can Molin (Cass de la Selva, Girona)
General remarks from the owner of the pig farm (Can Molin, 2010)
Number of pigs: 1400 sows. Every sow has 2.4 births per year (every 114 days).
The excreta is collected in a septic tank. The dung stays on the slat. Then, the slat is
opened, and the faeces are dumped with the urine plus the water to clean the pen.
300 ha to apply the digestate in a soil nearby the farm.
The water comes from a well. They do not pay any kind of fee and there is not
governmental control about how much water is used. The fields are irrigated with this
water as well. Thus, if there is pollution of any kind, this pollution is going from the
excreta of the pigs, to the soil, and then to the pigs again. The cycle is closed, but the
cycle of pollution.
The slurry has a very low biogas production capacity and there is a need to add
wastewater sludge, which increases the nitrogen content of the final digestate and
diminishes the available surface to apply it.
In Catalonia it is not allowed to mix the slurry of two farms to process on-farm due to
prevention of disease transmission. The treatment plants centralised must be at least 1
kilometre far from the farms.
In 2007, the Spanish Government increases the price of the kW per hour. Thus, it is much
more cost-efficient to produce Biogas.
The hot water of the generation motors can be connected to the heating of the pig farm.
The nutrients are stabilised, homogenous, and more proportionate: the manure quality is
increased.
There is less bad odour generation.



53

Data Obtained (Can Molin, 2010)


9.000 m
3
slurry per year + 6.200 tonnes of wastewater sludge.
The slurry is 90% liquid
Water: at least 3.500 L water per day. This is 2.5L per sow and day.
The farm needs to work 15-20 kW per hour and pig.
For heating purposes: 8.000 L gasoil per year.
The Biogas plant generates 245 Kw per hour (360 Kw per hour is the total potency)
The technology comes from Germany: 2 digesters. No ammonia sequestration. Two
digesters of 1500m
3
; 19m diameter and 6 meter high.
During the 1
st
digestion is produced 90% biogas. During the 2
nd
digestion, 10%. There is
a need to add a stabilizing compound and bacteria.
8000 hours of working with 2.9 Million Kw produced.
The price of the electricity depends on the market. However, it is funded with 7 c per
kW. This means that only with the funding they win 140.000.
2% of the raw slurry volume decreased. However, there is a liquefaction of the digestate.
Costs: >800.000

II. Individual Co-generation Biogas Plant PORGAPORCS S.L. (VilaSana, Lleida,
Catalonia)
General Remarks (ECOBIOGAS, 2007)
Number of pigs: 4000 fattener pigs plus 612 sows.
Amount of slurry produced: 11.500 m
3
slurry per year (40.560 Kg N)
Amount of gas produced: 765.000 m
3
per year
Cost: 98.00 (30% government funding)
Reduction of the odour charge: 95 times
Feed-stock: sludge from Wastewater treatment plants, Organic Waste from homes and
vegetal oil used: 4250 t per year.
Data Obtained (ECOBIOGAS, 2007; ICAEN, 2008)
Production data
Digestate area of spreading: 324 ha.
Thermal power of the gas engine: 215 kW.
Electric power of the engine: 191 kW.
Generated thermal energy: 1.712 Mi jWh/year.
Generated electric energy: 1.528 MWh/year.
54

Power consumption of the plant: 80MWh/year.


Annual delivery to electric grid company: 1.528 MWh per year.

Technical plant description
Digester 1 and 2: 1360 m
3
.
Digested sludge storage: 3.700 m
3
.
Gas accumulator: 1240 m
3
.
Residence time in the digester: 30 days.











III. Centralised Co-generation Plant; The Tracjusa Plant (Juneda, Lleida, Catalonia)
General remarks (Burton&Turner 2003)
Juneda had a local nutrient surplus equal to 1.710 tonnes nitrogen per year and 730
tonnes phosphorous per year. The plant treats pig slurry from 55 pig farms at a weighted
average distance of 5.6 Km. Inversion costs are 16.8 million and depending on the price
of the natural gas, it is expected to be amortised in 8 years.
The Juneda plant, which has two twin sisters in Juneda and Miralcamp (both in Lleida), is
based on the VALPUREN process, a Spanish slurry treatment patented. This process
consists of an anaerobic digestion followed by water evaporation and drying of the
Figure 33: Process Scheme of the Case Study I and III. Source: from (ECOBIOGAS,
2007)
55

digestate using the waste thermal energy from an electrical power plant. The electricity is
generated using a mixture (90/10) of natural gas and the biogas produced from the slurry.
The process starts with a homogenisation of the raw slurry until 6.5% solids
concentration. The pig farms pay 1.5 per m
3
to the plant for collecting the slurry on-
farm and treating on the plant.
After shredding and sand removal, the slurry is pumped into several storage tanks of
1.200 m
3
. Then, the slurry is degraded anaerobically in two digesters of 3.000 m
3
which
are mechanically stirred at mesophilic temperature with a 20-day retention time.
The digesters are connected with a membrane biogas holder with a capacity of 500 m
3
.
The Biogas production is expected to provide 13 MWh per year using only pig slurry.
Co-digestion is expected to increase this yield to 32 MWh per year.
The remaining slurry is degassed in a stirred buffer tank. After addition of the
polyelectrolyte (chemical additive), the slurry is centrifuged obtaining on one hand a
solid fraction for further drying and pelletization and on the other hand a liquid fraction.
The pH of this liquid digestated is acidified to values lower than 6 and concentrated in a
low-temperature vacuum evaporator.
The 16.8 million should be amortised through selling the electricity generated to the
electrical grid as well as for the charging of farmers to transport their manure and treat it
in the plant. From the 16.3 MW, most 15.6 MW are sold at subsidised 8c per kWh. The
amortisation period could be less than 8 years depending on the price of the natural gas.









Data Obtained
Charachteristics of the plant (ICAEN, 2006)
Electrical potency: 16.344 kW (6x2.724 kW)
Volume capacity: 110.000 tonnes per year
Figure 34: VALPUREN

process scheme. Source:


from (Burton&Turner 2003)
56

Diary slurry input: 330 m


3
per day.
Occupied surface: 15.000 m
2
.

Estimated production
Gross electrical performance: 130.800 MWh per year.
Electrical production with natural gas: 119.900 MWh per year.
Electrical production with biogas: 10.900 MWh per year.
Useful Heat produced: 85.000 MWh per year.
Electrical Surplus: 124.300 MWh per year.
Global Electrical yield: 40%.
Slurry dry produced: 5.500 tonnes per year.
N/P/K ratio expected: 8/5/10.
Nitrogen recovery: >96%.
Energetic consumption
Natural gas: 329.600 MWh per year (91.2% out of the total)
Biogas: 29.000 MWh per year (11.3 times less)

Emissions to the atmosphere

NO
x
<500 mg/Nm
3
3.

CO <1000 mg/Nm
3
.
Total Costs: >15.000.000 .

IV. Biological Treatment of the Pig Slurry by intensive NDN at a simple SBR cycle; Farm
Can Feliu (Girona, Catalonia)
General remarks (Busquets, et al., 2008)
Construction year: 2004
Reception Pond: 1000 m
3
stirring process.
Pre-Activation Tank: 330 m
3
.
Filters: Step screen auto cleaning (2004-2006) and Screw Press (fan type, 2006).
Lamella Decanter: 6 m
3
(static type with lamellas).
SBR reactor: 600 m
3
, semicircular and semi-buried, aeration and submerged stirring.

57

Functional Capacity
Ideal Flow: 40 m
3
per day.
Actual Flow: 25-30 m
3
per day.
SBR cycle: 2 feed cycles per day, Ae-Anox proportion 60-40%.


.



Figure 36: Process Diagram of a NDN treatment plant in Catalonia. 1: Homogenisation pond;
2: Mixing and pre-activation tank; 3: Filtration; 4: Decantation; 5: SBR reactor (NDN); 6: Final
Storage. PA: Effluent slurry; LM-P: Mixture liquid pre-activation tank; FLF: Filtered Liquid fraction;
FS: Solid fraction: FLA: Liquid fraction and sedimented; LM_NDN: Mixture liquid NDN; ELF: Final
liquid effluent. Source: from (Busquets, et al., 2008)
Figure 35: Efficiency of a NDN treatment plant in Catalonia. Source: from (Busquets, et al., 2008)
Parameter
Parameter
Efficiency (%)
Pre-treatment Biological Treatment
58

4.6 Technological Slurry Treatment Improvements


4.6.1 Combination of unitary treatment processes
4.6.1.1 Concept
The combined slurry treatment processes are combination of unitary processes already described
in the attachments I aiming to tackle at least one of the characteristics of the slurry to reduce the
difficulties involved in its management. This investigation will focus in the combined treatments
with the specific goal to recover or eliminate the nitrogen, due to the fact that the concentration
levels of this element in the environment are very high as well as it is the priority target under the
current Catalan legislation. Combined processes which approach the recovery of phosphorous
should also be taken into account but this investigation exclusively will approach the nitrogen. In
addition, there will be highlighted the combined treatments which include a final step of
evaporation and/or drying due to the fact that in Catalonia have a relatively high acceptability in
the market and there are already several examples of this type of final step treatment process.

In the figure 37 (a) and (b), it is shown two treatments that are based in the stabilization of the
organic matter by means of the anaerobic digestion with biogas production. This process is
further combined with a stripping/absorption process to recover the nitrogen and/or with an
evaporation/drying process to be able to export the final product with a high nutrient content and
a lower weight (as well as lower transport costs). Oppositely, the treatment (c) is based in a NDN
process combined with a composting process followed by a drying/evaporation process.

An important remark is that all the processes that require a drying/evaporation step need a cheap
energy source to dry the slurry or the digestate. Currently in Catalonia are only feasible within a
cogeneration scheme plant (Teira, 2008)




(a)




59

Figure 37: Combination of Slurry Treatment Processes. Source: (Teira, 2008)



(b)

(c)



4.6.1.2 Costs
The general costs for a combined treatment cost in Catalonia range from 1.5 to 7.0 per m
3
of
slurry. The cheapest corresponds to a Solid-Liquid Separation, partial NDN of the Liquid
fraction. Oppositely, the most expensive corresponds to a Solid-Liquid separation, total NDN of
the liquid fraction and a composting of the Solid fraction (Flotats, et al., 2004)
The same combined processes but with energy recover by means of anaerobic co-digestion is
2.7/m
3
treated slurry (Teira, 2008).
60

4.6.2 Digestate Treatment


4.6.2.1 State-of-the-art of the digestate treatment
In Catalonia there is no a significant share of digestate treatment, which is carried out
specifically in only one anaerobic co-digestion plant (ICAEN, 2010; Boixadera, 2010).
Therefore, it is more anecdotic than a rule of thumb.
Germany is one of the countries with greatest digestate treatment at all levels, i.e. actual
implementation and research and development (R&D), as it is shown in the table 17. Germany
also is a country with a high interest in the digestate treatment because the number of anaerobic
digestion plants from manure is high.
State-of-the-art of the Anaerobic Digestion in Germany (End of 2009) Agency of Renewable
Resources (FNR)
Electrical
Performance and
Actual and
Potential
production
4,500 plants (1650 MW
el
)

10 Billion kWh (1.6
% of the German
electricity
consumption)

Potential 417 PJ/a , (8 %
total electricity
consumption in Germany,
(25% comes from animal
manure)

Use of biogas,
Funding and Jobs

Various uses of biogas
(electricity, heat, fuel;
actually mainly use of
decentralised combined heat
and power generation (CHP)

Funding of R&D
(since 2000)
170 projects: 47.1
million )
Funding of R&D in
the field of digestate
14 projects (funding:
8.3 million )

Approx. 11,000 jobs



The number and the performance of biogas
plants is foreseen to increase and thereby the
quantity of digestate (Schsseler, 2010). Due
to this fact a regional digestate surplus will
occur. Therefore, the treatment of digestate
is of particular importance for regions with
intensive animal husbandry and large scale
biogas production.
The different treatment technologies
available are very similar to the manure
treatment technologies (see attachments V).
Table 17: State-of.the art Biogas and Digestate Situation in Germany (2009). Source: adapted from
(Schsseler, 2010)
Figure 38: Number of Plants and Electrical
Performance of Biogas in Germany (2009). Source:
(Schsseler, 2010)
61

The conditioning of the digestate is a cost-intensive practice (5-10 /t) and there is a need to
reduce the energy consumption and the costs (Schsseler, 2010).
There are two different classification of the digestate treatment, the partial treatment, i.e. when
the solids are separated and the liquid phase is reused or send it to another treatment
compartments, and the total purification, i.e. when the solids are separated from the digestate to
produce a concentrate which is rich in nutrients and the liquid phase is purified to meet water
discharge limit standards (Drosg et al., 2010).
4.6.2.2 Characterisation of the Digestate
According to Bakx (2010), the digestate and the raw slurry show similar results in the nutrient
composition with the exception of the organic matter. However, in the digestate, the fraction of
the nitrogen has partially mineralised and the phosphorous and potassium concentration are
relatively high, as it is shown in the figure 39. The digestates have a mean calorific value of
1.6245 J/g (Frstaller, 2010).







Figure 39: Composition and Distribution of the Nutrients in the digestate. Source: (Bakx, 2010)
62

In the liquid phase, there is nearly all the nitrogen ammoniacal (95%) and K (80%). Phosphorous
can reach a maximum value of 50%. The solid phase consists of 10-20% out of the total volume,
100% fibrous matter, from 50 to 99% phosphorous and 95% nitrogen organic.
4.6.2.3 Digestate Treatment Technologies
According to Wulf & Dhler (2010), the main technologies currently available in the market are
classified between physical, chemical and biological. The physical are: solid-liquid separation,
drying, evaporation, membrane technologies and stripping of ammonia, the chemicals are:
addition of chemicals to flocculate and/or precipitate and the biological are: composting and
nitrification-denitrification (NDN). Separation is precondition for all following treatment
technologies.
Another classification can be carried out according to the type and the goal of the treatment
process involved. In this way, there are mechanical processes to separate the fraction (screw
press, decanter, etc.), processes to increase solid removal (vibration sieve, vibrating curved sieve,
flocculation/precipitation and flotation), process to stabilise the solid fraction (composting,
drying), processes to concentrate the liquid phase (membrane separation and evaporation) and
finally additional processes to remove nitrogen (ammonia stripping, biological processes, ion-
exchange, struvite precipitation, nitrogen elimination in membrane contactor processes) (Drosg
et al., 2010). Additionaly, there are alternative processes like stripping with gypsum, pyrolisis,
anammox, moving bed reactor, membrane bioreactor, and solar drying in greenhouse, amongst
others (Bakx, 2010).

4.6.2.4 Cost and Efficiency of the Digestates Treatment Technologies
According to Wulf&Dhler (2010), as a
rule of thumb, separation is the simplest
technique with the lowest costs. The
volume of the liquid fraction is
decreased by less than a 20%. The solid
fraction can be dried by means of a belt
drier which gives less than 10%
dischargeable water or air. On the other
hand, treatment technologies for the
liquid phase are not well developed yet.
Amongst them, the membrane
technology is the furthest advanced but
still remains the challenge of reducing
the energy demand. Due to this fact, it is
Figure 40: Mass Balance of the main digestate
treatments. Source: (Wulf & Dhler, 2010)
63

highly cost intensive (treatment costs, energy costs, transport costs).


Evaporation and stripping are not well adapted to permanent operation, thus the technical risks
are still high and it is not possible to assess thoroughly the profitability of these technologies. In
both cases the vapour contains ammonia, and the concentrate has a high concentration of
nutrients and salts, due to this fact it needs further treatment (Wulf&Dhler 2010).







As it is shown in the figure 40, the most expensive treatment is the membrane technology,
followed by the belt dryer, evaporation and stripping process. This is due to the high energetic
requirements that these process imply.
In addition, the Solid-liquid separation is the only technology with enough reliable data applied
to the field (Kellner et al., 2010; Block, 2010). It is noted that total transport and processing costs
of a 150 kW biogas plant are much higher than for plants with higher electrical production. Thus,
this technology shows a marked economy of scale (Block, 2010).
Amongst the different treatments within the solid-liquid separation, the decanter centrifuge is the
one which implies higher costs, followed by the press belt and the centrisieve. According to
Kellner et al., (2010), the total cost of the digestate treatment is 14/m
3
in a 150kW plant.
However, this cost decreases with the size of the plant, due to the economy of scale. Thus, the
costs of transport and processing are higher than application without treatment for small and
medium plants (Kellner et al., 2010).




Figure 41: Specific Costs of the Digestate Treatment. Source:
(Wulf & Dhler, 2010)
64

In the figure 41, it is shown a detailed example


of the costs of the solid-liquid separation plus
the treatment of the liquid fraction.
With the treatment carried out in the last plant,
it can be achieved 50 m
3
of clean washing
water per day and a reduction of the digestates
from 50.000 m
3
per year to 7.500 tonnes solids
as well as 8.000 tonnes of liquid fertilizer. The
Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis stage is
the most expensive, with the 50% of the the
investment and running costs (Block, 2010).


In the figure 43, it is shown some of the treatment technologies combinations that can be used.










In general, the capital costs (digestate storage, machinery hall and treatment technologies) of
these technologies have an amortisation time equal to 10 years. Other costs that should be taken
into account are the operational costs (electric power, chemicals, maintenance, human labour),
the wastewater treatment costs when required and the application costs of the treated digested as
a fertilizer, including the transport costs, which for slurry and water rich digestates have a mean
value of 6-8 per tonne (Brauckmann et al., 2010). In addition, there is a need to take into
account the potential revenues of selling the dried solids as well.
Figure 42: Specific Costs of the Digestate
Treatment. Source: (Block, 2010)
Figure 43: Digestate Treatment Technologies Combinations. (Block,
2010)
65











In the figure 44 it is shown the transport costs of the membrane technology (15/m
3
), the
evaporation without thermal energy (10/m
3
) and the separation by means of the screw press
(>5/m
3
) (Drosg, et al., 2010).
The figure 45 shows an evaluation of the mass balance and effects to the environment of
different combinations of treatment technologies carried out by Bakx (2010).


Figure 44: Transport Cost of three Digestate Treatment Technologies.
Source: (Drosg et al., 2010).
Figure 45: Efficiency and Environmental Analysis of different Digestate Treatment
Technologies Combinations. Source: (Bakx, 2010)
66

As a summary, it is observed that the techniques allowing a reduction of the nitrogen content of
over 50% are the membrane filtration, stripping with acid scrub, evaporation, struvite
precipitation and the biological treatment. In addition, the methods allowing a conservation of
nitrogen are the membrane filtration, stripping with acid scrub, evaporation and struvite
precipitation. The techniques requiring higher energy consumption are the membrane filtration,
stripping + combustion and biological treatment (electricity) and the evaporation and belt dryer
(heat). An important point is that even if nitrogen content is reduced, the total storage and
spreading volumes do not change significantly. Thus, the only technologies which have a
significant effect in the reduction of volume are membrane filtration and the evaporation/drying
technologies.
Regarding the emissions into the environment, the treatments which have a positive balance
when compared to the direct application are membrane filtration, stripping + acid scrubbing,
evaporation, precipitation and belt dryer. This is carried out because an immobilization of
ammonium and reduction of ammoniac emissions are produced. On the other hand, the stripping
+ combustion, the biological treatment and the composting technologies have a negative balance
due to the nitrous oxide (N
2
O) emissions. The techniques which are simpler are the screw press
separator, the centrifuge and the biological treatment. The other techniques are too complex for
farm scale application.
Therefore, the techniques which are adequate to carry out at on-farm level are the screw press
separator, the centrifuge, the composting and the biological treatment with special concern for
the nitrous oxide emissions and the energy consumption. In centralized biogas plants, positives
techniques with regard to emissions are more conceivable, like membrane filtration, stripping +
acid scrubbing, evaporation, precipitation. These technologies allow a conservation and/or
concentration of nitrogen and lead the export of nutrient to other regions. Finally, the only
technique which allows a reduction of the volume are the membrane filtration and the
evaporation.

4.6.2.5 Case Study: Digestate Solar Assisted Drying Plant
A. General Remarks (Maurer, 2010)
This Biogas plant with digestate treatment is located in Germany. It has two digester tanks with a
volume of 2.200 m
3
each. It also has a combined heat and power unit (CHP) with 320 kW
el
and a
microturbine with 65 kW
el
.
These types of solar drying plants to treat the digestate can work 100% with solar energy.
Actually, there is currently one running in Mallorca (Spain). These type of treatment can
contribute in the reduction of the storage and output costs until 2-3/m
3
and the transport costs
until 2-3/m
3
(10Km) and 6-8/m
3
(50Km) (Baumann, 2010).
67

B. Data Obtained

.








Drying area of 480 m.
Canopied with a bubble wrap.
Under the roof 10 solar recuperators and 10 ventilators are installed
Exhausted air from the micro turbine is injected on the front site
Turn over with the electric mole.
The energy consumption is supplied 15% solar energy, 18% mircroturbine and 67%
CHP. However, the ration of solar energy could be improved in a country like Catalonia.










Figure 46: Digestate Solar Drying .Source: (Maurer,
2010)
Figure 47: Digestate Solar Drying Schematic Diagram Source: (Baumann,
2010)
68

Table 18: Economical Assessment of the Drying solar Technology: Source: adapted from (Baumann,
2010)







Economica Data
Assumptions

Amortisation

Costs

Earnings

Revenues

Plant size:
650 m
Investment:
400.000
Annuity (approx.):
32.000 /year

Dried material 1.030
t/year

Savings storage
and Output (5 /t)
12. 350 /year

Performance
(25 %): 3.500
tonnes/a
Durability: 20
years
Operating costs
(approx.): 20.000
/year

Earnings (80 /t) 82
400 /year

Gross
Total: 94.750 /

Labour: 20
/h
Dried material: 80
/t
Total: 52.000 /year

Evaporation 2.470
t/year

Total: 42.750 ,
amortization 9-10
years
Figure 48: Liquid Digestate Fraction before (left) and after (right) the solar treatment.
Source: (Baumann, 2010)
69

4.6.3 Belt Manure Harvesting


4.6.3.1 Concept
The manure belts are devices that run under a partly slatted floor. Either the convex shape or the
angle of these belts enable the separation of urine and faeces on-source. Subsequently treating
the urine and solid excreta by different methods can result in organic fertiliser products for
agriculture that can be applied in a more precise and specific way into the soil.
As far as this research concerns, there are, at least, four different technologies which use a
manure belt to separate on-source the pig excreta. Firstly, the RE-Cycle Concept [U.S, North
Carolina State University (van Kempen, 2001, 2003,2004; van Kempen, et al., 2003, 2004; van
Kempen
a
, et al., 2003; Koger, et al., 2005). Secondly, the Hercules project [Denmark, Wogingen
University, (Ogink & Koerkamp, 2006; Ogink, et al., 2000; Ogink & Aarnik, 2007; Willers, et
al., 2000, 2003, 2004; Bram Bos&Grin, 2007; Bram Bos, et al., 2003; Burton & Turner, 2003;
Rudrum, 2005). Thirdly, the Qalovis manure removal system [Farmer Automatic Energy, Germany
(Qalovis, 2010), and finally, the Mobile Bottom under the Slat (Spain, Engineering School of
Madrid (Vzquez, 2003; Ovejero Rubio, et al., 2004).
The common characteristic of these four technologies is that the urine and faeces are separated
on-source and collected separately using a conveyor belt placed under the slat.










4.6.3.2 The RE-Cycle Concept
According to van Kempen (2003), the RE-Cycle system converts the animal excreta into energy,
feed-grade minerals, and a commercial grade fertilizer while eliminating odour and ammonia
Figure 49: Schematic Diagram of a manure conveyor belt. Source: (Schuchardt, 2009)


70

emissions. The faeces are converted into energy and ash by means of a steam reforming
gasification and/or liquefaction treatment processes. The energy obtained can be captured in
form of electricity or a liquid fuel such as diesel or ethanol. The ash can be used as a mineral
supplement in swine feed, eliminating phosphorous as an environmental concern. The approach
of this system is an integral combination of a group of technologies with the goal to improve the
sustainability of the intensive pig farming. The key element is a conveyor belt that harvests the
urine and faeces excreted by the pig to store them
separately. The belt is located below the pens in which
pigs are housed. The floor of these pens is slatted and
the pig excreta drop through the slat of floor to the
conveyor belt below. The belt is positioned at an angle
so that liquid waste flows to a gutter positioned
alongside the belt.
Urine is continuously removed from the building using
gravity. Ammonia is then captured on-farm by means
of a reversible chemisorption system for ammonia an
ion-exchange process yielding zinc-ammonium-
sulphate. This compound is transported to a centralized
processing plant and turned into ammonium-sulphate,
which can be sold as a fertilizer (van Kempen et al.,
2003). The faeces stay on the belt, which brings the solid waste to the end of the pens and the
outside of the farm. Complementary to the RE-Cycle concept is the gasifier and the recovery of
the nitrogen by means of a chemical sequestration of the ammonia. The final products of this
system are gas, sterile mineral ash and waste heat (Koger, et al., 2005). There is also a significant
reduction of ammonia, methane and bad odours emission. Remaining water is used for irrigation
(van Kempen et al., 2003).
A. Manure Conveyor Belt
The basis of the RE-Cycle system
is a modified pig housing system.
The conveyor belt is made from a
high density polyethylene (1 mm
thick) and is located under a two
thirds solid floor, one third slatted
floor pen with a slope of 4%. This
two factors allows the urine to run
off the belt into a collection gutter
installed at the low end of the belt
connected to a into a closed
Figure 51: Main parts of the manure conveyor belt in the
RE-Cycle concept. Source: (Koger, et al., 2005)

Figure 50: Manure Conveyor Belt of the
RE-Cycle system. Source: (Rice, et al.,
2005)
71

storage container out of the building (van Kempen, 2010). The conveyor belt also relies on pig
behaviour, who defecate against back walls of pens or against open partitions between pens
(van Kempen et al., 2003). The belts have a width of approximately 2 m. These belts are
located in the existing flush-gutter such that the highest end of the belt is against the back wall
sloping inward at approximately 4C. The gutter is installed at the low end of the belt or the belt
is bent back upwards to generate a urine gutter (van Kempen et al., 2003). The belt system was
timer-operated, requiring no labour other than cleaning the scraper (van Kempen et al., 2004).
An overview of the other components of the RE-Cycle
Concept will be given but this investigation focuses in
the manure conveyor belt and the separation efficiencies
of the pig excreta.
B. Steam Reforming Gasification
The steam reforming gasification is a thermal
decomposition technology in an environment with very
low or non concentration of oxygen which converts
biomass into low molecular weight combustible gases.
The faeces of the pig are heated to very high
temperatures (800C). At this temperature, the material
decomposes into H
2
, CO, CO
2
, and CH
4
. Mineral ash
containing is also formed during the process (van Kempen, 2004). One advantage of the
gasification is that the solid waste of the pig is sterilised. In this way, any bio-active compound,
such as antibiotics, prions, or viruses,
should be destroyed (Koger, et al., 2005).
The emission of NO
x
and SO
2
are low. In
addition, N is converted to NH
3
that can be
scrubbed from the product gas stream in
the reduced environment. Another
advantage is that the tars are eliminated in
the combustion process and the gas can be
combusted to sustain the process (Koger,
et al., 2005). Waste heat can be used for
different purposes. These flammable
gasses can then be used as an energy
source or as chemical building blocks for
the production of value-added compounds
such as ethanol (van Kempen, 2004).
.
Figure 52: Detailed of the partial
slatted area. Source: (van Kempen, et
al., 2004)
Combustion chamber
Gasification chamber
Ash chamber
Door
Combustion chamber
Gasification chamber
Ash chamber
Door
Figure 53: Gasification Step Process in the
RE-Cycle system. Source: ( van Kempen, 2004)
72

Gasification technology is more environmentally friendly than regular combustion processes


(van Kempen, 2004). Although gasification is a combustion process, during gasification both
temperature and oxygen availability can be controlled. This control is responsible for the lower
levels of pollutants. For example, dioxins are formed at temperatures well above 1000C. NO
x

emissions are also temperature dependent with production becoming pronounced at temperatures
over 700C and becoming of concern over 1000C (Koger, et al., 2005).
C. Recycling of Ash
As the ashes have been hygienised, Koger, et al., (2005) states that at least from a disease
perspective it is perfectly safe to feed this ash back to pigs because the P, K and Ca
concentration is relatively high. This author also states that according to experiments carried out
under laboratory conditions these ashes are bioavailable and the digestibility of the ash is
equivalent to the mineral digestibility in commercial sources of these minerals, like limestone or
dicalcium phosphate).The non-odorous ash has an added value and can be transported cost-
efficiently (van Kempen et al., 2003). The ash remaining after gasification is a good source of
minerals for swine feed, but can also be used as a fertilizer or concrete amendment (van Kempen,
2004).
D. Recycling of the Nitrogen
A reversible chemisorption system
such as the ammonia recovery process
shown in the figure 54 is proposed for
van Kempen (2003) to trap the
ammonia from the urine. Thus,
ammonia is removed from urine using
an ion-exchange column on-farm.
Subsequently, [ammonia is removed
from this column using a concentrated
zinc-sulphuric acid resulting in a zinc-
ammonium-sulphate solution. This
solution is processed centrally using a
furnace, resulting in ammonia and zinc sulphate. The zinc sulphate is used to regenerate the ion-
exchange column. Ammonia is reacted with sulphuric acid to form ammonium sulphate, a
commercial-grade fertilizer] (Koger et al., (2005). In summary, by means of this process the
nitrogen contained in urine can be converted either to harmless nitrogen gas or to nitrogen
fertiliser (van Kempen et al., 2003).


Figure 54: Main parts of the Nitrogen Recovery process of
the RE-Cycle system. Source: (Koger et al., 2005)
73

E. The efficiency of the RE-Cycle Concept


-Dry matter
Swine waste solids are 1 to 10 % dry matter (DM) under the conventional pig housing systems
(Koger, et al., 2005). The faeces are separated, dried passively on the belt and finally collected at
6.00 am each day, timing when the dry matter content is the highest, 54 9 percent dry matter.
(van Kempen et al., 2003). At 50% DM, the faeces are dry externally with a moist core present
in larger pieces. It does not clump or pack during handling and it has minimal odour. The energy
content is 19.7 MJ/kg DM, which is similar to the wood (Koger et al., 2005).
-Belt emissions: Ammonia and Methane
The belt emissions of ammonia and methane are reduced to averaged 1.0 0.2 kg NH
3
/pigyear
and 1.05 0.26 kg CH
4
/pigyear respectively. This suggests a 73% reduction from the literature
value of 3.7 kg NH
3
/pigyear for conventional barns (Doorn et al., 2002 quoted from Koger et
al., 2005). The low levels of NH
3
are attributed to the minimal contact time between urea and the
fecal microbes that metabolize it to NH
3
and CO
2
(Rom, 1995 quoted from Koger et al., 2005)
and to the rapid sequestering of the urine in closed containers.

Subsequently, ammonia is extracted by
chemisorption using a zinc-sulfate column.
Efficiency of ammonia extraction was
99.7% when the column first went into
use, decreasing to 90% as the column
became saturated, at which time the
column was regenerated and ammonia was
recovered. The ammonia was then
processed into ammonium sulphate
fertilizer (Van Kempen et al., 2003).
Depending on the extent of the pen
fouling, there can be reductions in the
ammonia content in the range of 65% to
80%. Actual ammonia concentrations
measured in a facility with a ventilation
rate of approximate 50m
3
/hpig place were 2-3 ppm. A benefit of removing urine from the
building is a marked reduction in odour as odour is linked to aging urine. In experiments with the
belt, the improved air quality has resulted in a 5% improvement in feed efficiency compared to
animals in conventional facilities (van Kempen et al., 2003).

Figure 55: Ammonia and Methane Emissions. Source:
Koger et al., 2005
74

The dust near the facility is 33 g/m


3
compared to the 2500 g/m
3
found in the scientific
literature (Koger et al., 2005). The H
2
S near facility is 2-6 ppb compared to the literature value
of 100-200 ppb (van Kempen
a
, et al.,, 2003). The odour 1.9 OU/s/pig compared to 4.7 OU/s/pig
(van Kempen
a
, et al.,, 2003).
F. Nutrient Concentration
According to Van Kempen et al., 2003, 15% of the feed mass is converted to dry swine faeces.
Pigs excrete approximately 70% of waste nitrogen in urine, mainly in the form of urea. The ash
contains most of the minerals that were in the swine feces in either oxide or carbonate form.
Exceptions are sulphur, chloride, and nitrogen, which are trapped in the wash liquid of the
product gas. The ash is rich in elements such as Ca (11.5%), P (13.3%), and Mg (5.8%) as these
minerals are predominantly excreted in the faeces. Sodium (2.8%) and potassium (12.2%) are
mainly excreted in the urine and they are not the predominant minerals in faeces. For Cu and Zn,
however, the situation is just the reverse; it seems that more of these nutrients have been
recovered than were provided to the animals. Perhaps some copper could have been added
through contact of the drinking water with copper pipes (Van Kempen et al., 2003).

Experimental Parameters and Animal Performance Data for Belt-Based Housing Trials
Trial 1 Trial 2 Belt Conventional Housing
Entry Weight (kg/pig) 27 23 24
Exit weight (kg/pig) 55 51 52
Daily feed intake (kg/pig) 1.52 1.72 * 1.84 *
Daily gain (kg/pig) 0.76 0.82 0.83
Feed/gain 1.99 2.09** 2.21**
Fecal output (kg DM/pig/d) 0.26 0.22 ND
Water utilization (l/pig/d) ND 3.6 2.6
Urine output (l/pig/d) 1.1 1.5 ND
* p < 0.10 **p <0.05 ND = Not determined



H. Separation efficiency
With the belt sloped 4%, it is recovered a volume of urine equal to 1.5 0.4 L per pig per day
(data for 80 grower pigs) (Van Kempen et al., 2003). In addition, 42% of the water intake is
recovered (van Kempen et al., 2004). Rice et al, (2005) states that the amount of excreta
separated is 0.84Kg per pig and day (solid waste) and 0.36 Kg pig per day (liquid waste).
Table 19: Selected Performance Parameters of the Manure Conveyor Belt.
Source: adapted from (van Kempen, et al., 2004)
75

Finally, the table shows other set of results obtained by van Kempen
a
et al., (2003). Cross-
contamination of the urine and faeces was estimated at less than 1%, based on mineral profiles.



J. Gasifier

The faecal material performed well as a gasifier feedstock. Tests yielded a product gas with 28%
H
2
, 25 % CO, 23 % alkanes, 11 % N
2
, and 12 % CO
2
. Using such a system on a farm with 5.000
grow/finish pigs would result in a total heat output of approximately 0.55 MW. A portion of this
heat can be harvested in the form of hot water, or it can be converted to electricity (van Kempen,
2004).






Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5 Average
NH
3
, kg/p/y 1.08 0.80 0.84 1.20 1.24 1.032
CH
4
, kg/p/y 1.27 1.06 0.75 1.39 0.76 1-046
Urine, l/p/d - 1.05 1.54 1.27 1.42 1.32
Faeces dry, kg/d 0.23 0.26 0.22 0.34 0.26 0.26
Dry matter, % - 52 54 43 46 48.75
Figure 56: Detailed pictures of the separated urine fraction (first), faeces on the belt (second and
third) and urine gutter (fourth). Source: (van Kempen
a
, et al., 2003)
Table 20: Separation efficiencies of the manure conveyor belt. Source: adapted from (van
Kempen
a
, et al., 2003)
76

K. Economic Assessment
The integral system is thought for the intensive pig production. In Kempen et al., (2003), it is
considered at least 500.000 grow-finish pigs area within a 15 to 20 Km radius from the
centralized processing plant to minimize transport costs and as well to calculate the energy
balance and the economic costs.
According to van Kempen et al., (2003), regarding the energy, this system can process 250 t of
dry faecal material per day, which is equivalent to an energy input of 58 MW. Presuming an
efficiency of 40%, electricity output is 23 MW and based on 8000 h of operation, 186 GWh per
year. This is roughly equivalent to the electricity requirement of 20.000 households. If the end
product is a liquid fuel such as ethanol, total production is estimated at 23 million litres per year.
The economics of the RE-Cycle are not fully investigated. However, on a yearly basis, the costs
of adapting the belts to the barns are 5.62 per pig place. This is based on individual farms with
4 barns each holding 1200 pigs and includes the costs of urine processing and faeces storage
(van Kempen
a
, et al.,, 2003). Transport cost for the faeces and zinc-ammonium sulphate are
estimated at 1.12 to 2.25 per pig place per year (van Kempen
a
, et al.,, 2003).
The cost of centrally processing the faeces and zinc ammonium sulphate is estimated at 8.6 to
9.0 per pig place. Revenues from fuel, ash, and fertilizer are estimated at 17.25 to 21.25 per
pig place. Thus, in the worst-case scenario, the RE-Cycle system will yield a profit equivalent to
conventional pig production systems (van Kempen
a
, et al., 2003), while in the best-case scenario,
the net profit is 5.2. Assuming that 2.25 can be avoided per pig place with regard to manure
disposal, the increase in revenue from the RE-Cycle system ranges from 2.25 to 5 per pig
place per year. It is important to stress the fact that since the RE-Cycle system is not currently an
operational system, these costs and revenues are estimates (van Kempen et al., 2003). In
addition, the investment required for the belt system is: belt 0.29 per pig place, for the pit 2.77
per pig place and for the drives 2.56 per pig place. The human labour is not calculated (van
Kempen
a
, et al., 2003).
The economics of the RE-Cycle concept also depends on the value of the end products,
especially energy. In this case, this value depends on the value of the energy produced and
whether other energy sources can be replaced for the energy generated in the
gasifier/liquefaction. In addition, the avoided cost for manure disposal using conventional
methods, the avoided penalties for exceeding emissions (e.g., ammonia, nitrogen, Clean
Development Mechanisms) and the improvements in animal performance should be also
included in the economical analysis (van Kempen, 2004).
The belt has a life span of 8 years and runs unattended. However, the scraper has to be cleaned
daily and the belt tracking verified. The drives of the belt are usually outside the animal areas
and easily accessible. When the belt has to be changed, the replacement procedure can be carried
out without entering the pit (glued onto old belt, and pulled through). Based on several
77

assumptions, including 2.7 turns/year through the facility and typical energy and supply costs,
market animal values, etc., the system (with one building) was estimated to provide an annual
return before income taxes of $6.239 and would require 4.9 m
3
of Liquid Petrol (LP) gas heating
fuel and 52.000 kWh of electricity per year to operate under New York weather conditions (van
Kempen et al., 2001).

4.6.3.3 The Hercules project
A. Concept
The goal of this system is to create a chain from the animal feed via digestion by pigs to fertiliser
production from separately collected faeces and urine (Ogink, et al., 2000, 2006). This chain
starts with the input materials in a pig farming system, air, water, feed and bedding. To carry out
their metabolic activity, the pigs consume some of the air, the water and the food, converting
them to body mass, heat, carbon dioxide, urine and faeces. When the pigs have reached the
desired level of metabolic activity (i.e. to grow until a certain level), they become the primary
products of the system. However, as these primary products are formed, there are also formed
wastes, which are necessary to carry out the metabolic activity of the pigs (Rudrum, 2005).
The core of the Hercules system is the separation and collection on-source of the faeces and
urine by means of a convex conveyor belt: the faeces dropped through the slatted floor
accumulate on the belt and they are removed by running the conveyor belt and the urine flows
from the belt into a gutter collection system.
In addition, the use of the metabolic energy from the feed input is also a basic part of this system
(Ogink et al., 2006). This metabolic heat is produced by the pigs and removed from the pen via
air ventilation. This removal is achieved partly by an increase in ventilation air temperature, and
partly as latent heat of evaporated water. In this way, [as the ventilated air is not saturated it can
be used to evaporate the urine to produce a higher concentration of nitrogen fertilizer. The main
final products of this process are the stabilisation of both solid and liquid fractions as well as the
increase of the market value of the both fractions produced, which is achieved by concentrating
nearly all the P excreted in the solid fraction and the N-inorganic in the liquid fertiliser] (Ogink
et al., 2006). This concentration is carried out by two main processes: faeces are composted and
urine is concentrated by water evaporation. In this way, the water unsaturated exhaust air from
the pig house is used for evaporation in a packed bed scrubber. The urine is acidified with nitric
acid to scrub ammonia from the air. Thus, a concentrated N+P fertilizer is produced from urine
and ammonia is removed from the pig house exhaust air (Willers, et al., 2003).The faeces and
bedding material are composted to obtain a dry and sanitised fertilizer. Ammonia emitted from
the composting process is scrubbed in the urine evaporating process that also scrubs the
ventilation air. To further increase urine evaporation the heat emitted from the composting
process can be used to increase the temperature of the urine (Rudrum, 2005).
78


















B. Manure Conveyor Belt
The key part of this modified pig housing is a convex manure conveyor belt which allows the
separation and collection of the urine and the faeces in the animal pen separately (Ogink, et al.,,
2000).










Figure 57: Basic Flow Diagram of the Hercules System. Source:
(Ogink&Koerkamp, 2006)
Figure 58: Sketch of the manure conveyor belt in the Hercules Project.
Source: (Ogink, et al., 2006)
79

This convex belt is located under the slatted floor which dairy removes the solid. In this case, the
belt has a globe shape to both sides so that urine could run off continuously (Ogink&Aarnik,
2007). The slope of the polypropylene conveyor belt is 10% and runs at a speed of 2 meters per
minute.

C. Urine fraction
According to Willers, et al., (2000), the pig urine contains 40% the excreted nitrogen fraction
and a very low concentration of P. Thus, by a concentration process it is possible to produce a
liquid N+P fertiliser. This concentration process is carried out by means of the evaporation of the
water contained in the urine using the metabolic heat energy from the pigs. By doing this the
urine is concentrated by an average value of x5. In addition, by lowering the pH of the pig urine
before evaporation, ammonia is retained in the liquid phase and simultaneously scrubbed from
the exhaust air in the evaporation process.

D. Solid Fraction (urine + straw)
The solid fraction is stabilised by aerobic degradation and drying in a composting reactor under
restricted oxygen supply to produce a stable product with 60-70% dry matter content utilising the
heat from the degradation process of the drying (Ogink, et al., 2006, Willers, et al., 2000).
E. Separation Efficiencies
The testing of the system was carried out in one compartment with 4 partly slatted pens with 20
pigs each during 2 fattening periods. The amount of solid manure and runoff urine was weighed
and analysed. Mean solid manure production was (1.310.45) Kg per day and pig and (1.86
0.46) Kg per day and pig in the first and second fattening period, respectively. The amount of
runoff urine was (2.170.70) Kg per day and pig and (1.920.44) Kg per day and pig in the first
and second fattening period, respectively.
The solid manure contained approximately 73% faeces and 27% urine. One important
observation is that the runoff urine is very little fouled with faeces, however, the faeces are
contaminated a lot with urine (Ogink & Aarnik, 2007) (Willers, et al., 2003). Expressed as
percentages of the total excreted dry matter of urine and faeces, the separated faeces fraction
contained 89% (mean value of measurements) (Ogink, et al., 2000).

F. Emissions: Ammonia
This process achieves a significant elimination of the dust and the ammonia emissions. The
reduction of this latter compound is in the range of 75-95% (Ogink, et al., 2006).
80

Ammonia emission was on average 6.9 and 9.2 grams per day and pig during the first and the
second fattening period, respectively. When compared to regular partly slatted floor systems,
ammonia emissions are lower (Ogink & Aarnik, 2007).


The experiments were conducted using a pilot scale packed bed scrubber in an experimental pig
house. The ammonia scrubbing efficiency and the evaporation rate were determined during one pig
fattening round of 112 days (Willers, et al., 2003). Thus, the ammonia scrubbing efficiency was
determined 5 times and ranged from 68 to 95% at pH 4. The efficiency decreased at higher salt
concentrations of the urine implying that the total salt concentration in the liquid is an important
factor in the ammonia removal efficiency (Rudrum, 2005).
Willers, et al., (2003) states that in a broad survey on housing types in the Netherlands, the exhaust
air ammonia concentration of housed with finishing pigs on slatted floors averaged 12.9 grams per
m
3
.

The overall reduction level of the emissions has a value of 90%, which comprises a reduction in
the emissions of ammonia, odour, green house gases and dust, through optimal pen design and
air scrubbing and combined evaporation of water.

Figure 59: Ammonia removal related to conditions of scrubber liquid and pig house exhaust
ventilation air. Source: (Willers, et al., 2003)
81


G. Nutrient Composition
44% of mass, 67% of Nitrogen, 93% of Phosphorous, 50% of Potassium, 88% of dry matter, and
70% of ashes were removed out of the total manure. The runoff urine contained approximately
96% urine and 4% faeces (Ogink & Aarnik, 2007).













Figure 61: Composition of pig urine and acidified concentrated pig urine. Source:
(Willers, et al., 2003)
Figure 60: Nutrient Composition in the urine and faeces fraction using the convex conveyor belt.
Source: (Willers, et al., 2000)
82

The average composition of the collected pig urine was 4.4 grams nitrogen per Kg, 6.6 grams
potassium per Kg and 0.03 grams phosphorus per kg. In addition, the volume of urine was
reduced by a factor 6-7 resulting in a concentrate composition of 91.3 grams per Kg total
nitrogen (including nitrogen added as nitric acid), 46.5 grams per Kg potassium and 0.2 grams
per Kg phosphorus (Willers, et al., 2003).
The concentration of acidified pig urine in the scrubber yields a liquid containing almost 10%
nitrogen and 5% potassium by weight. The phosphorus content was below 0.2%. This
concentrate is a brown liquid with a characteristic odour that is less pungent than the odour of
pig slurry. The concentrate has a conductivity of 250 mS/cm and a density of 1.2 kg/L. In a field
experiment the concentrate proved a suitable N/K fertilizer on a potato crop (Rudrum, 2005).
Willers et al., (2000) found that the separation efficiency of the waste collection system ranged
from 47% for potassium to 98% for phosphorus. The average compost composition in the
experiments was 10g N/kg, 8.2g P/kg, 14.6g K/kg and 575g TS/kg. The concentrated urine
fraction (concentration factor 3.9) contained 62g N/kg, 0.1g P/kg, 36g K/kg and 346g TS/kg.

In another experiment carried out by Ogink, et al., (2000), the nutrient composition regarding the
ashes, phosphorus, total nitrogen and potassium were 67%, 98%, 64% and 49%. It was also
found that the frequency of removing manure, varying between once and 12 times daily, did not
significantly effects the separation result. The results also showed that collected urine was hardly
contaminated by faeces as shown by the high recovery rate of phosphorus in the solid fraction. A
low degree of contamination with faeces facilitates the use of urine as a scrubbing agent in the
modified air scrubber.

H. Evaporation
The average value of the evaporation rate was 28 Kg/day at inlet air conditions of 74% relative
humidity and at a temperature of 19C. The inlet air of the scrubber was relatively more humid
(74%) (Ogink, et al., 2000).
J. Final products
The main products of the Hercules system are two different types of high quality fertilisers
(Rudrum, 2005) made from urine and faeces (Ogink, et al., 2006). One product is a nitrogen rich
liquid fertiliser whereas the other is a stabilised solid fraction containing all the phosphorus and
organic matter (Ogink, et al., 2000).This process achieves a significant elimination of the dust
and the ammonia emission. The reduction of this latter compound is in the range of 75-95%
(Ogink et al, 2006).


83

4.6.3.4 Germany: Qalovis

manure removal system (Qalovis

, Farmer Automatic Energy)


In this system the urine runs through a perforated polypropylene belt, and is drained off to one
side of the stall. The dung remains on the belt and is transported to the other side of the stall
where it is removed by the conveyor belt system (Qalovis, 2010.) The belt has no slope.









One important advantage of this system is that can be integrated into any existing building. The
control system is equipped with sensor-controlled belt monitoring. The conveyor belts
themselves are around 130 cm wide and are available in various lengths from 20 to a maximum
of 50 meters. As the belt length varies due to the different temperatures in summer and winter, a
special belt tensioning sys-tem is installed in addition to the drive system and ensures that the
belts remain tensioned at all times. In this way, the automatic removal of manure is guaranteed in
different weather conditions (Qalovis, 2010).





Figure 62: Diagram of the Qalovis system. Source: (Qalovis, 2010)
Figure 63: Sketch of the Qalovis Manure Removal System. Source:
(Qalovis, 2010)
84

To clean the conveyor belt, another rim is located at the bottom of the belt which scrubs the
remaining manure.

Benefits with a system that combines drying with heat air from the heat of the pigs and burning of the
solid excrements at 250C are 12.40 per pig (Qalovis, 2010).









4.6.3.5 The Mobile Bottom under the Slat
This system was ideated in 1999 and also separates the urine and faeces from pigs by means of a
conveyor belt under the slat. This technology is a modular system. Thus, the modules are
independently built one each other and they contain 200 pigs. This prevents sanitary problems and
spread of diseases through the belt. On the other hand, the conveyor belt is used only each 50-60
animals, which makes the whole system independent from mechanical problems (Vzquez,
2003).







Figure 64: Ammonia emissions of the
Qalovis system. Source: (Qalovis, 2010)
Figure 65: Sketch of the Mobile Bottom under the Slat. Source:
(Vzquez, 2003)
85

One characteristic of this system is that the belts are adjustable belts. In addition, there is the
option to include an absorbent dispenser in the starting point of the conveyor belt which in
addition to different adjustments to the angle of the conveyor belt will let to the prevention any
kind of liquid effluent. Thus, in the same farm, there can be exploited either simultaneously or
alternatively different manure treatment options. These options are firstly the mixing urine +
faeces + absorbent, secondly the urine + faeces without absorbent and finally the urine and faeces
separately (Vzquez, 2003).










Additionally, the belts are completely removable, thus there is not any difficulty for cleaning,
repairing or carrying out maintenance operations. Another important feature is that system needs
that the entire pig housing is raised. This is meant to allow the fast and easy removal of the belts
under the slats and also makes the system reversible with the conventional system. Thus, the
manure conveyor belts can be replaced by the traditional septic tanks any time (Vzquez, 2003).
Finally, the floor has a partial slat, which helps to reduce the ammonia emissions and the costs.
The cleaning of the belts is done firstly in dry with scrubbers and after with water at elevated
pressure. If this water is collected separately and stored, it can be easily treated because it should
have lower contamination levels (Vzquez, 2003).




Figure 66: Frontal and Side Diagram of the Spanish System.
Source: (Vzquez, 2003)
86

4.6.4 Separation on-source without manure belts


4.6.4.1 Filter Net and Convex Belt for a mechanized filter and manure removal system

There are other systems which separates the urine without a conveyor belt. Firstly, there is a
combined system for the separation and removal of dung and liquid in piggeries. The system
separates the faeces and urine, directly after production, by a filter net situated under the slats
which is removed from the pens daily. About 35% of the total production of faeces and urine is
separated as a solid and this is easy to store and transport. The remaining liquid contains only
25% of the original BOD
5
and is less polluting than the original mixture. The system allows the
use of straw to improve animal comfort and to reduce heating costs in winter (Kroodsma, 1986).
























To remove the faeces, the synthetic nets and the convex belt are pulled from underneath the
slatted floor with a hand operated winch. The faeces can be scraped manually off the inclined
plane. The urine is, dependent on the system, collected in one or more troughs (Kroodsma,
1986).
Figure 67: Three different separation methods without conveyor belt: The urine was
collected in trough and the faeces were collected (top) n a filter net (middle) a on a
convex belt and (bottom) on an inclined plane Source: (Kroodsma, 1986)
87





35% of the total faeces and urine is removed as a solid. The separation rates of P
2
0
5,
CaO, MgO
and Cu, amounts to more than 90%. Nitrogen and potassium are separated in smaller amounts,
about 60% and 35% respectively being retained in the solid.
In this system all the faeces, with dry matter contents varying between 25% and 35%, are
retained in the original form. Only a very small part is lost at the moment when the urine is
produced and filters by the net.

4.6.4.2 Concrete slatted floor
A concrete slatted floor with
5mm-wide gaps and a
trapezoidal profile without
sharp edges shows a good
percentage of faeces drainage
(0.36%) and a good urine
drainage performance. This
results will achieved with a
slope bottom design gradient
of 20 with a surface coated
with fine cement. The floor
design is able to separate
faeces and urine immediately
and effectively after
excretion, preferably on the slatted floor. In addition, the separated urine should be collected
quickly to avoid unnecessary emission and maintain indoor air quality and reduce the
environmental impact. In practice, pig faeces do not drop through the gaps of slatted floor
Figure 68: Average Composition of faeces and urine after separation by a
filter net (0.78 x 0.78 mm). Source: (Kroodsma, 1986)
Figure 69: Cross-section of the concrete slatted floor Source: (Ye, et
al.,2007)
88

completely. Faeces remain on the surface of the slatted floor, between the gaps and under the
slatted floor (Ye, et al.,2007).


89

5. Discussion


90

5.1 The Environmental Needs of the Intensive Pig Farming in Catalonia


The types of post-treatments needed in Catalonia are those which focus in the recovery of N and
P. Thus, concentration treatments (evaporation and drying), recovery treatments
(stripping/absorption, MAP process, etc.) and in the last case and as last resource, elimination
treatments (NDN), should be the tools to approach this objective. The recovery options are
preferred because make possible to reuse the nitrogen and phosphorous. Nitrogen is important
because there is a massive importation of this element in the pig feed. Thus, if it is possible to
recover it, at least it can be used as a fertiliser, it can be transformed to feed for the pigs (van
Kempen, 2003) or even return it at the countries of origin, in this way, equilibrating the cycle of
nitrogen and not concentrating it at the areas which import it. On the other hand, the phosphorous
is a non-renewable element near to the peak production. Thus, the recovery is important both at
environmental and economical level, because the extraction will increase with time as well as the
extraction efficiency and quality of the phosphorous will decrease. In addition, both components
have direct and indirect negative effects to the environment when there is an exceeding discharge
to the environment and/or it is used at application rates that exceed the crop requirements.
In addition, there is a need to include in the management of the slurry approaches dealing with
other environmental problems caused by the slurry in general, and specifically in Catalonia:
water shortage, limited agricultural land, very high concentration and intensification of the pig
farming, high costs related to the fertilisation with slurry (Ovejero Rubio, et al., 2004), bad
odours, soil fertility, biological contamination, accumulation of heavy metals, introduction of
antibiotics and hormones to the food chain. In addition, low-cost treatments highly cost-efficient
and material and energy low intensive should be prioritised.
Finally, when a manure treatment must be carried out, previously it is necessary to take into
account the goals and objectives desired to accomplish, the suitability of the treatment with the
objectives, the sub-products obtained in the treatment system and finally the final destination of
these sub-products (ARCd, 2004). However, the dominance of the economic criteria in order to
chose the best manure treatment alternative causes that the current slurry treatment techniques
focus in pure economical terms instead of solving the unbalance of the flows generated by the
intensive pig farming. In this way, the manure treatment techniques are chosen depending on the
reduction of the current costs produced by the slurry, like the transport costs to use them as
fertilisers or the investment costs.




91

5.2 Critical Analysis


5.2.1 Combination of Treatments
The combination of treatments will be further discussed in the point 5.2.3.8. Nevertheless, a
basic overview of the reasons why these treatments are not recommended in Catalonia will be
given. The combinations of unitary treatments are very efficient treatments that can perfectly
tackle any negative environmental effect of the slurry. In the case of Catalonia, this would be the
recovery or elimination of the nitrogen and phosphorous basically in the form of liquid and/or
solid organic fertilisers as well as soil amenders. However, these treatments are not cost-
efficient: require high capital, operational and treatment costs. Moreover, these types of
treatments are highly materials and energy intensive. That is, to carry out the process they
require large amounts of materials and energy to treat the slurry and obtain small volumes of
final product. In addition, it is difficult that this type of treatments can be carried out at on-farm
level because they require sophisticated technology, technical expertise and a significant area
where carry out the treatment. Thus, the centralised treatment of the slurry of several pig farms
by means of combination of treatments could be a solution for this problem, which in addition,
would decrease the costs of treatment for the farmers. However, even at a centralised level, the
third company which would treat the slurry is forced to make pay the farmers for the transport
and treatment costs. In addition, the final products of the treatment cannot compete against
chemical fertilisers, neither in price nor in quality. Therefore, it is very difficult for a company to
be economically efficient using combination of unitary treatments because firstly they cannot
charge high fees to the farmers to treat the slurry, secondly the amount of materials, energy and
level of sophistication of the technology involved in the recovery of nitrogen and phosphorous is
very high and finally the quality of the final product is considered in the market as second class
fertiliser apart from the fact that there is not currently a strong market of organic fertilisers from
the pig slurry in Catalonia.
Possible solutions to this situation would be the incorporation of the anaerobic digestion as one
of these unitary treatment processes (see 4.6.1.2). In addition, the costs to internalise the slurry
treatment should be paid by the owners of the pig herds and not for the pig farmers, which are
simply workers that take care of the pigs and put the facilities to fat the pigs. To achieve this, the
government should legislate in favour of the pig farmers and force the owners of the pig herds to
pay for the pollution that their goods are producing. Finally, the government could give subsidies
and funding to the companies and farms which internalise the negative environmental effects of
the pig slurry.
5.2.2 Anaerobic Digestion and Treatment of the Digestate
5.2.2.1 Advantages and Shortcomings of the Anaerobic Digestion
The main advantages of biogas production from pig slurry in Catalonia are partial stabilisation of
the organic matter, hygienisation of the effluent (when carried out at thermophilic temperature
92

Figure 70: Is this the future of Catalonia? In 11


years, 92 times increase of the number of
anaerobic digestion plants in Germany. Source:
(Schuchardt, 2009)
regime), reduction of the bad odours (due to the reduction of the organic matter and emission of
organic volatile compounds), reduction of the GHG and energy production (biogas). However,
the limitations are that the slurry has a low biogas production, the nitrogen content is not
modified, and that only the slurry of the own farm can be legally treated on-farm. In Catalonia it
is not allowed to accept slurry from other farms for sanitary reasons (spreading of diseases).
In addition, it is necessary a further treatment of the digestate in order to recover or reduce the
nutrient concentration, i.e. N, P and K. The anaerobic digestion increases the solubility of P and
the concentration of N, so the runoff increases. Precisely, one of the main problems in Catalonia
related to the intensive pig farming is the nitrate and phosphate pollution of the water and the
soil. Thus, if the digestate is not treated, the anaerobic digestion does not suppose any advantage
but the reduction of the bad odours and the energy production. On the other hand, the reduction
of the organic matter is not an advantage in the Catalonia due to the fact that the soil amender
potential of the slurry is lost. The slurry has other shortcomings with regard to the biogas
production: low biogas yield (10-20m
3
/t), high concentration of ammonia and high buffer
capacity. Thus, apart from the management of the effluent to alleviate the surplus of N and P,
there is a need to enhance the biogas yield production to increase the efficiency of the process.
The anaerobic digestion of the pig slurry is
positive because it is a way to value the manure.
Thus, it adds energetic value to the manure, an
organic waste. In the case of Catalonia, which
has high pig stock numbers and high volumes of
slurry and manure as well as a lack of land
available to spread this slurry, the main problem
is that biogas does not solve the nitrogen and
phosphorous pollution problem. Therefore,
there is a need to further treat the digestate.
Moreover, the anaerobic digestion of the slurry
does not reduce the water used by the pig
sector. On the other hand, the anaerobic
digestion and anaerobic cogeneration of energy
are both water intensive technologies (see
attachments I).
In Catalonia, the only government plan affecting the management of the slurry is the
Biodigestion plan, which wants to achieve the anaerobic digestion of 1.35 Million m
3
of slurry
by 2012 because this will imply the reduction of 255 Kt of CO
2
equivalents per year. This figure
means to increase 2 times the amount of slurry treated with respect 2010. It also wants to achieve
the reduction of the digestate volume and their valorisation as organic fertilizers (GESFERb,
2009). In addition, the Energy Plan of Catalonia foresees to increase the Biogas Production from
23.000 tep in 2003 to 206.000 Thousand tep in 2015 (UPC, 2007), which means a potential 9
93

times higher. However, such increase in the biogas potential and the willing to reduce the
digestate volume and valorise it, it is not accompanied by an increase of the facilities to treat the
digestate. In this way, as the anaerobic digestion does not have a significant effect in the volume
nor the nutrient concentration of the slurry, the environmental problems related to the intensive
pig farming and the exceeding quantities of slurry generated will not be solved. Therefore,
Catalonia will still have a manure and digestate management problem with direct negative
implications to the environment.
5.2.2.2 The Treatment of the Digestate
The digestate treatment implies a big effort at all levels and stages of the treatment (i.e. costs,
technology, materials and energy) and it is recommended the application of the raw digestate
always when it is possible (Drosg et al., 2010). The digestate treatments are highly cost-
intensive, materials and energy intensive, and with final products with medium-low quality when
compared to chemical fertilisers. Therefore, the situation is very similar to the combination of
unitary processes with the difference that the digestate treatment are more cost-efficient because
there is the possibility to obtain an extra revenue for the selling of energy as well for the re-use
of the thermal residual heat in the treatment process.
The state-of-the art of the digestate treatment in 2010 is that the only reliable technology is the
solid-liquid separation. Thus, it can be concluded that the digestate treatment is at a research and
development stage (R&D). Thus, appears reasonable to be concerned about what will occur
when the biogas technology is implemented in all Europe as a consequence of the current socio-
technological tendency as well as to try to find alternative slurry treatment technologies.
The digestates need to be treated because according to Wulf & Dhler (2010) there is a need to:
export the nutrients contained in these effluents, mainly in nutrient surplus (N, P) areas, reduce
the costs of storage and application, be able to improve the nutrient utilisation and commercialise
them as fertilisers, reduce the volume of the effluent, reduce the negative environmental effects
and gaseous emissions, reduce the odours and inactivate the pathogens and weed seeds. In
addition, the author suggests that it is necessary to recover the water contained in the slurry and
take into account the antibiotics, hormones, heavy metals, sulphurs and chemical compounds
from the raw and digestate slurry, biogas cleaning, biogas processing and the co-substrates added
in the co-fermentation processes (in Catalonia with sludge of wastewater treatment plants).
The main digestate treatments can be classified as follows: recovery of nutrients and carbon,
degrade or removal of unwanted compounds, mechanical separation, precipitation, filtering,
flotation, stripping, evaporation, membrane technology, biological nutrient removal, composting,
thermal drying and pelletising (Paavola, 2010).
In addition, in the calculation of the costs of these treatments are not usually included all the
economical costs involved from a systemic and life cycle analysis point of view. Thus, the
economical assessment only focus in specific parts of the digestate treatment and the results are
94

Figure 71: Nutrients in pig and urine faeces


Source: (Schuchardt, 2009)

not accurate because they do not take into account the whole process. Thus, the costs that are
actually available in the literature have a wide range, from 5-10/m
3
(Schsseler, 2010) to
60/m
3
(Vzquez, 2003). In addition, there should be also included other parameters apart from
the economic to assess whether a technology is suitable or not. The dimensions that should be
included are the efficiency of the processes from a material and energy point of view as well as
the effects to the environment of the technology in an integral and holistic way.
5.2.3 Manure Conveyor Belts to separate on-source urine and faeces
5.2.3.1 Advantages of the Separation On-Source
Any strategy to treat the manure should contemplate the on-source minimisation of the waste
production. In the pig slurry case in Catalonia, this must be understood as the reduction of the
slurry volume as well as the minimisation of the costs, materials, energy and environmental
effects of the slurry. Currently, there is an economical and environmental justification to do this.
Economical because the inversion costs of the treatment plants is proportional to the volume to
treat (Vzquez, 2003) and environmental because the intensification of the agriculture in
Catalonia is having a negative environmental effect which is not being efficiently tackled so far:
the water and soil pollution increases, bad odours nuisance and uncertain effects not
contemplated yet by the Catalan legislation and the public in general, i.e. the introduction to the
feed chain of antibiotics, hormones, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals; phosphorous depletion and
socio-environmental issues like ecological unequal global trade and environmental justice and
equity [there is a cheap import of pig feed (nitrogen and phosphorous) from the developing
countries, but the costs of this feed do not include the cost of depletion of the natural resources of
those countries nor the internalisation of other types of environmental externalities produced to
generate this feed].
The environmental problems of the pig farmer in
Catalonia are, in a nutshell, the manure surplus and
the low quality of the manure, ammonia emissions,
smell, high energy usage, high treatment costs and
animal health and welfare problems The manure
belts are an alternative technology which causes a
systemic innovation but imply structural
modifications in both animal and crop production
(Bram Bos & Grin, 2007). The separation on source
gives flexibility to the pig farmers to produce
different products with the urine and faeces
depending on their needs using less energy, less
material, less money and producing less negative
environmental effects.
95

The solid portion of the waste stream is a candidate for processing to produce value-added
products. Separating the solid and liquid portions of the waste stream may also help dealing with
odour and ammonia emission problems. Both odour and ammonia are produced by the action of
faecal microbes on the manure constituents. If urine and solid waste are separated, and the faeces
dried, odour and ammonia emissions should be reduced dramatically. Since faeces and urine
have different proportions of minerals like N, P and K (see figure 71), both products can be
applied in different agricultural circumstances -alone or in a variety of mixtures- (Vzquez,
2003). In this way, the use of urine and faeces in the agriculture can be significantly improved if
they are maintained and processed separately, since their mineral composition differs
significantly (Bram Bos & Grin, 2007). Suitable processes have been developed for the treatment
of the faeces and urine which entails better handling and storage properties, lower transport
costs, fertilizing properties more suited for modern agriculture where nutrient management is
important and less gaseous emissions and negative effects to the environment. However, in
modern husbandry system for pigs the two are mixed directly after the excretion in the sewage
system beneath the floor.
The manure belts can perform a functional compatibility, i.e. the ability of a device to perform
different functions at once (Vzquez, 2003). Thus, it dries urine and cleanses the air form
ammonia and other odorous gases, getting its energy from energy produced for the system itself
and it can produce biomass compost or produce energy from the solid fraction (gasification,
pyrolisis, etc.). In addition, the separation on-source means an inherent reduction of the volume
of manure to be transported: there are two fractions to be transported instead of one and there is
no need to add water to the manure, thus, there is no slurry production, just two fractions, urine
and faeces. Instead of paying to get rid of the manure, pig farmers could possibly not pay or even
to be paid for this product, due to the fact that there is a significant reduction of the treatment and
transport costs (i.e. there is no need to separate the slurry in two fractions nor to evaporate the
water and there is less volume of manure to be transported). Additionally, the manure belts could
transport the manure out of the pig house, even when it contained lots of straw. This would result
in an improvement of the environmental performance and the quality of life of pigs, alongside
with providing an economically viable new concept for pig production. This system is
compatible with centralised plants. On one hand, if the urine and faeces are treated separated, the
slurry is not created. Thus, there is a lower consumption of energy because the water contained
in the slurry does not need to be evaporated. The treatment costs would be reduced and the same
plant could treat more farms. On the other hand, with separation of urine, the urine could be
evaporated and the dung dried collectively. The dry manure is better accepted by the farmers and
is perfectly susceptible of the different treatments on-farms or on centralised plants (composting,
electrical energy production, incineration, biogas production, etc.) (Vzquez, 2003).
Finally, the separation on-source of the manure to obtain two separated fractions from the pig
excreta opens the doors for the Ecological Sanitation of the livestock manure. The Ecological
Sanitation is a new philosophy for handling the human excreta that has two pillars: the separation
96

on-source of the urine and the faeces and the recovery of the nutrients contained in the excreta to
close the loop between sanitation and agriculture. Thus, if the separation of the pig excreta is
possible by means of a simple conveyor belt or even the adjustment of the diameter of the slat
and the slope of the floor under the slat, the whole set of treatment technologies used in the
ecological sanitation can be used to treat the pig excreta. These technologies to ecologically treat
the excreta have as common characteristics that are low-cost, with low requirements of materials
and energy, resource-oriented and respectful with the environment. A proposal to apply some of
these technologies is discussed in the point 6.2.
5.2.3.2 Shortcomings of the manure belts
In the Hercules project there were biases and limitations implied by existing institutions, in
which the project was unavoidably embedded (Bram Bos & Grin, 2007). This idea suggests that
this technology is very innovative and thus face problems with acceptability of the farmers and
the institutions related. The pig farmers had a deeply resentment against techniques which runs
under the slat floor (Bram Bos & Grin, 2007) and with systems made from pieces (van Kempen,
2010). In general, it can be concluded that there is a lack of confidence in the reliability of
separation technology below the slats, insufficient accessibility in case of malfunction, and
consequently a lack of acceptance by farmers. Current developments however show that direct
separation techniques can be an option, thus enabling a very effective separation process.
Nevertheless reliability and accessibility remain key factors for acceptance in practice.
Another important limitation is the extra costs connected with the new technique are not always
easily compensated with the production of valuable and specific organic fertilisers and it depends
on the fluctuation of the price of the organic fertilisers. Regarding the energy, the further
processing of the liquid fraction requires relatively high amounts of energy, nearly as much as
the production of chemical N-fertiliser. The quality of these concentrates will always be poorer
than that of chemical fertiliser due to a lower concentration, other (unwanted) compounds, smell
and colour. Concentration of the separated liquid fraction into a fertiliser with high nutrient
concentrations that are comparable to chemical fertilisers requires much extra energy. As a result
it is very difficult with current technology to produce such concentrated fertilisers at costs that
can compete with artificial fertiliser (the introduction of the Ecological Sanitation treatment
options as well as low-cost and alternatives ways to treat the urine and faeces could decrease
significantly the treatment cost and/or increase significantly the revenues). These fractions still
can be much more attractive in application on arable fields than conventional pig slurry. In
addition, investments are 20-25% higher than the conventional one depending on the selected
system configuration (Ogink&Koerkamp 2006). However, these costs should have to be
counterbalanced by better animal performance and institutional rewards for the higher
sustainability score.
Integrated pig productions systems have not been introduced in practice yet. The major challenge
lays in balancing the costs related to the on-farm and/or centralised treatment of the separated
97

Table 21: Qualitative Comparison of the RE-Cycle concept, a Digester and a


Bioreactor: A Comparison. (0= not treated, + =partially treated, ++ =fully
treated). Source: adapted from (Van Kempen, 2004)
manure and environmental control against the benefits to carry out this separation. Finally,
market acceptance rather scientific and technological knowledge is determinant issue.

5.2.3.3 The RE-Cycle Concept
In this technique the separation is carried out for the manure belt, the material of the belt (it is a
hydrophilic material which does not mix the faeces and the water does not get adhered) and the
pig behaviour (the conditions of the environment can be modified to force the pigs to defecate in
a specific area by means of making the defecation area very uncomfortable for the pigs) (van
Kempen, 2010). One option which is very efficient is to make the slat very uncomfortable. In
addition, pigs defecate in a corner, and urinate 0.5 to 1 m of a distance from the dung drops. So,
there is not contact or very little (van Kempen, 2010). However, there is cross contamination
between the faeces and the urine.
This technique could work well in Catalonia because the weather helps to dry quicker the faeces,
which could reach values of 70% DM faeces in warm weather (the solid material recovered from
the belt is approximately 50% DM and suitable for gasification) (van Kempen, 2010). In
addition, there is barely water consumption: no flush for the urine and the cleaning of the pens
can be done without water (scrubbing), thus reduced significantly.
The gasification is a good alternative to recycle energy and hygienise the ashes. The gasifier
proposed in this system is easy to operate, disposes of bioactive molecules and pathogens and
recover energy from waste heat. The costs to implement this technique are 10 per pig in a new
construction (van Kempen, et al., 2003).















The RE-Cycle concept shows a equal or better environmental performance than the Anaerobic
Digestion and the Biological Treatment, as it is shown in the table 21.
Main source Digester Bioreactor RE-Cycle
Nitrogen Urine, faeces 0 + ++
Phosphorus Faeces 0 0 ++
Copper, zinc Faeces 0 0 ++
Organics Faeces + + ++
Odour Swine housing 0 0 +
Odour Manure ++ ++ ++
Ammonia Swine housing 0 0 +
Methane Swine housing 0 0 0
Methane Manure storage ++ + ++
Microbes Faeces + + ++
Bio-active
compounds
Faeces + + ++
98

Figure 72: Composition of urine and faeces


fractions. Source: (Ogink, et al., 2006)
Figure 74: Composition of the solid-liquid fraction with a decanter centrifuge fractions.
Source: (Ogink, et al., 2006)
5.2.3.4 The Hercules Project
The first step of the Hercules treatment is the separation of the excreta into liquid and solid
fraction. In this case, the separation has two advantages. Firstly, by means of separating on-
source the slurry, ammonia emissions from the pigs housing area can be kept very low. This
improves pig health, farmers working conditions, and makes the system more robust as a
breakdown of the air treatment unit will not immediately cause excessive nuisance to the
surroundings. Secondly, the separation on-source diverts nearly all the phosphorous into the
faeces fraction and the nitrogen in the liquid fraction. This produces a more precise and higher
quality fertilizer than the one that could be achieved from the slurry (Ogink et al., 2006).

A. Comparison of the convex belt separation system and solid-liquid separation with a
decanter centrifuge




High separations are obtained for dry matter and phosphorous, which was 2% present in the
collected urine fraction, indicating that a relatively small part of the faeces was drained from the
convex belt by the urine. The mechanical separation of pig slurry with a decanted centrifuge
gives 79% phosphorus fraction, and 27% N in the solid fraction. In addition, there is a liquid
fraction of 85% of the slurry by weight. The liquid fraction of the conveyor was 56%.
Figure 73: Separation Efficiencies in the
Hercules Project. Source: (Ogink, et al., 2006)
99

Figure 75: Composition of the solid-liquid fraction with a


decanter centrifuge fractions. Source: (Willers, et al., 2004)
Figure 76: Comparison between the Hercules Concept, Mechanical Separation and Co-
digestion. Source: (Willers, et al., 2004)
Direct separation of urine and faeces is more efficient in the separation, as can be seen from the
dry matter recovery percentages in the solid fraction of 88% direct and 55% indirect. The energy
consumption for separation of pig waste into a solid and a liquid fraction is relatively low.
Besides nutrient separation, volume reduction is an important way to reduce energy because
reduces transport costs.
B. Comparison of the Hercules Systems with other manure treatment systems
Anaerobic digestion, mechanical separation, and separate collection of faeces and urine with
water evaporation are assessed for their potential to separate nutrients, minimise energy use and
reduce hygienic risks (Willers, et al., 2004).



.






















-Co-digestion
Co-digestion of manure and other substrates does not separate nutrients. The co-substrate may
add to the nutrients or dilute the nutrients, will increase the phosphate content of the digested
100

slurry. During the digestion, organically bound nitrogen is converted to ammoniacal nitrogen.
This enhances the direct availability of nitrogen to crops but also increases the risk of ammonia
volatilisation during manure storage and application. In addition, co-digestion results in a net
production of energy. Anaerobic digestion reduces pathogens in the substrate. Especially
thermophylic digestion (50-55C) creates. Heat produced from the methane can be used in an
additional pre- or post treatment to pasteurise or sterilise substrate or digested slurry.

-Mechanical separation and evaporation of water from the liquid fraction

Mechanical separation of pig slurry with a decanter centrifuge results in a solid fraction (15% by
mass) and a liquid fraction (85% by mass). Most of the phosphorus (79% by mass) and part of
the nitrogen (27% by mass) in the slurry ends up in the solid fraction. The evaporation process
produces a nitrogen concentrate (ammonium sulphate) and a concentrated liquid fraction
containing the other components (NPK-concentrate). Together these liquids contain 88% of the
nitrogen and 28% of the phosphorus in the original slurry. No results are reported of the effects
of mechanical separation on survival of pathogens.

-Separate collection of pig faeces and urine and evaporation using exhaust ventilation air
Approximately 50% of the nitrogen and 7% of the phosphorus excreted by the pig are collected
in the urine fraction. The electrical energy required for the system is low but was not measured at
the time of the experiments. The exhaust ventilation air of the pig house provides the energy (pig
metabolic heat) for water evaporation. The process unit that creates the contact surface between
liquid and air requires a pump to circulate the liquid. The energy consumption of this pump in a
Hercules experimental pig house was 33 MJ for every kg of nitrogen produced. The process
requires nitric acid that is produced industrially. One kg of nitrate-nitrogen is required for every
kg of ammonia-nitrogen in the liquid. The indirect energy consumption of the nitric acid
production is assumed to be the same as for chemical nitrogen fertiliser production (45 MJ/kgN).
Thus, the total energy consumption is 39 MJ for every kg of nitrogen produced. Conditions in the
concentrate that is produced from the urine fraction are very unfavourable for pathogens, as the
pH is approximately 4 and salt concentrations are very high.

5.2.3.5 Qalovis



The Qalovis

system is suitable for new buildings and conversions of existing ones. The
efficiencies and environmental performance has not been studied but they should be very similar
to the Hercules project because they are very similar concepts. However, the main differences
are that the conveyor belt has holes, and that the system can be adapted to old buildings.


101

Table 22: Comparison between the RE-Cycle concept and the Hercules project. Note:
(--): no data available or not comparable. Source: adapted from (Koger, et al., 2005;
Ogink&Koerkamp 2006, Willers, et al., 2003).
5.2.3.6 The Mobile Bottom under Slat
The manure belt system can be controlled, repaired and regulated easily without the need of
technical or professional staff. The belt is also adjustable and depending of the slope, it can be
obtained the complete separation of the urine and faeces and/or the mixing of the urine and
faeces exclusively and the production of a certain volume of urine and/or a completely dry
matter compound with the addition of a bulking material, like straw, sawdust or shavings. The
efficiencies and the environmental performance have not been studied.
5.2.3.7 Environmental Performance of the Manure Harvesting Systems
Units RE-Cycle Hercules Conventional
DM % 54.99 88 1-10%
NH
3
%

73% 75-95% 3.7 (x3)
CH
4
Kg/pigyear 1,50.26 -- --
Dust g/m
3
33 -- 2500 (x75)
Odour OU/s/pig 1.9 -- 4.7 (x2.5)
Urine cont. L/p/d >1 4%(F) 96% (U) --
Faeces cont. Kg/p/d Present 73% (F) 27% (U) --
N % 40-64 67% --
P % 98 93% --
Investment 5.6 -- --



The table 22 displays the reference values for some of the environmental criteria of the RE-Cycle
concept and the Hercules project. It would be inaccurate and risky to compare these two
treatment processes because factors like the type of feed and troughs as well as the amount of
water or the age and type of the pig, which play a crucial role in the concentration of the
nutrients in the separated fractions and the emission of gaseous compounds, are not homogenous.
However, these values can give a relative indication of the environmental performance of these
two methods. In addition, the values available for conventional pig housing have been also
included.




102

5.3 Qualitative Evaluation of the Technological Treatment Options


5.3.1 Alternatives
In this section different possibilities of slurry treatment will be discussed. These options are:
A. Combinations of unitary treatment processes: focusing on treatments to recover or
eliminate specific compounds from raw slurry.
B. Anaerobic Digestion without disgestate treatment: This is the slurry treatment option most
used in Catalonia and with a higher potential to proliferate.
C. Anaerobic Digestion with digestate treatment: Due to the increasing proliferation of
anaerobic treatment plants both at individual and collective scale, there is a need to recover or
eliminate specific compounds from the digestate slurry. The anaerobic digestion of the slurry
Biogas is the first priority of the Catalan Government and the current scientific-technological
trend. Thus, it is required to minimize the impact of this activity as much as possible as well as to
obtain the maxim profit of the positive aspects of this activity as well as to alleviate the negative
by means of the treatment of the digestate.
D. Manure Conveyor Belts to separate on-source urine and faeces: The separation on-source
of the manure give the opportunity to minimize significantly the environmental impacts of the
pig farming sector in Catalonia and increase the revenues of the livestock farmers as well as to
create market and production for local fertilizers, which will diminish the external dependency of
this materials and minimize the global environmental impact of the production of the mineral
fertilizer here, and in the origin countries of production.
5.3.2 Evaluation: Matrix
5.3.2.1 Treatments Evaluated
Different potentials slurry treatments for Catalonia will be qualitatively evaluated taking into
account the data gathered in this study by means of a multicriteria matrix. The treatments are
described below:
- No treatment
Direct application to the soil without any kind of treatment (93.9% of the manure and
slurry in Catalonia follows this path).

- Combination of processes to Recover/Eliminate Nutrients
Slurry treatment with the goal to recover or eliminate the nitrogen and/or
phosphorous and/or to improve the characteristics of the slurry as a fertiliser (see
4.6.1 and 5.2.1). This implies usually different combinations of technologies in a
centralised plant. The analysis will be carried out from the data taken from the
103

manure treatment in Catalonia and also from the digestate treatment in Germany, due
to the fact that both processes are very similar because the digestate and the slurry
have similar characteristics.
- Anaerobic Treatment without digestate treatment
It will be evaluated the anaerobic treatment at individual scale with direct application
of the digestate to the soil. To do this, the data and case studies illustrated in the
manure treatment in Catalonia will be used (see attachment I.)
- Anaerobic Treatment with digestate treatment
It will also be assessed the anaerobic treatment centralised with treatment of the
digetate. Due to the fact that Catalonia has little or no experience in the digestate
treatment, will be chosen the main facts of the digestate treatment in Germany plus
the few experiences in the Catalan pig farming (see 4.6.2 and 5.2.2).
- Manure Conveyor Belt with evaporation of the urine
Finally, it will be assessed the separation on-source of the urine and excreta in the
different cases described in the improvements point (see 4.6.3 and 5.2.3)
5.3.2.2 Dimensions and Criteria
The dimensions that are assessed with the matrix are firstly the environmental, secondly the
economical, thirdly the technological and finally the material and energy dimension. This
investigation focuses in the environmental dimension in order to compare and assess the
different treatments. The indicators that will be chosen for each dimension are:
A. Social & Economic
Investment Costs
Amortisation time
Revenues
Operation and Maintenance Costs
Transport Costs
Treatment Costs
Human labour
Farmer Acceptance
Product value
Volume reduction
Subsides and Funding

B. Technological
Number of unitary processes used (e.g. struvite precipitation= centrifuge + additives
+ chemicals + separation + precipitation)
Number of treatment steps (e.g. S/L separation + struvite precipitation)
Volume of manure treated
104

Volume of effluent
Volume of product final
Degree of automation
Separation efficiency of fractions
Separation of nutrients
Functional reliability
Flexibility of the treatment
State-of-the-art
Pre-treatment

C. Environmental
Uncontrolled Nitrate release to the environment

Uncontrolled Phosphorous release to the environment



Water consumption
Antibiotics and Hormone Reduction in the final product
Biological Contamination
Concentration of N, P and K in the final product
Odours
Ammonia emissions
Hygienisation
Quality of the effluent
GHG emissions
Heavy metals recovery

D. Materials & Energy
Amount of materials used
Energy use
Energy Balance
Scale of the treatment
Number of unitary processes used
Number of treatment steps
Fossil fuels consumption
Electrical consumption
Chemicals



105

5.3.2.3 Methodology
The methodology used to evaluate the treatments is described as follows:
1. Define the treatments to evaluate, the dimensions and the criteria (see 5.3.2.1 and 5.3.2.2)
2. Decide the weight of each dimension: This investigation focuses on the environment
dimension. Therefore, the environmental dimension will have the double of weight, i.e. 200, than
the others, with weight 100.
3. The criteria have 5 scores rating: Very low, Low, Medium, High and Very High. The increase
in the value of a determined criterion that supposes a positive effect will be graded with the
maximum score of five, the minimum of 1 or the intermediate score ratings accordingly.
Oppositely, the increase of the value of a determined criterion that supposes a negative effect
will be graded with the maximum score of 1 and the minimum of 5 or the intermediate score
ratings accordingly.
4. To determine the weight of each criterion within the dimension, the total weight of the
dimension is divided between the total number of criteria. All the criteria of the same dimension
will have the same weight.
5. Once the weight of each criterion has been calculated, the result will be multiplied by the
score rating determined for each criterion. The final result will be the score rating of such
criterion with regard the type of treatment. To calculate the score rating of each dimension as
well as subsequently for the treatment, all the score rating of the criteria must be added.
6. This evaluation matrix is designed in order that the maximum value is the desired behaviour of
the criteria within the treatment. Therefore, the treatment which has the maximum score is
supposed to be the best treatment.
Ex.
Economic Dimension
Weight: 100
Number of Criteria: 11
Score rating of each criterion: 9.1
Criteria A: if A increases, there is a desired effect. Then, if within the treatment criteria A is
increased until the maximum, Criteria A is very high, with a value of 5.
Total value: of the criterion 9.1x5: 45.5.

106

Table 23: Evaluation Matrix of Potential Slurry Treatments for Catalonia. Own Source

No
Treatment:
Direct
Application
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Nitrogen
Anaerobic
without
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
treatment
Manure
Conveyor Belts
with
evaporation of
urine
Economical (100
points)
309.4 273 291.2 300.3 309.4
Technological
(100 points)
224.1 365.2 257.3 365.2 356.9
Environmental
(200 points)
308 616 462 569.8 677.6
Materials and
Energy (100
points)
399.6 111 288.6 122.1 321.9
Total 1241.1 1365.2 1299.1 1357.4 1665.8



5.3.2.4 Results

a) Economic Dimension

Both the Manure Conveyor Belts and the Direct Application are the treatments with the highest
score taking into account only economical criteria. This is due to the fact that in both cases the
costs associated to the treatment are much lower. The lowest value corresponds to the
combination of unitary processes to recover nutrients. This may be due to the fact that this
treatment has associated very high costs and the revenues are lower compared to the anaerobic
treatment with and without digestate because there is no energy production to increase the
revenues and decrease other parameters like the amortisation time.

b) Technological Dimension

The treatments which have the highest score are the combination of unitary processes to recover
nutrients and the anaerobic treatment with digestate treatment. These treatments, even though
have low scores because are considered complex technologies with several step treatment
processes, have an overall positive score because from a technical point of view they are efficient
treatments which perform separation of nutrients, accept large volumes of slurry, and the degree
of automatisation is very high. The treatment with the lowest score is the direct application.


107

c) Environmental Dimension

Regarding this dimension, the direct application clearly has the lowest value. This is due to the
fact that the negative effects to the environment are not controllable in any sense. Oppositely, the
manure conveyor belts and the combination of unitary processes to recover nutrients are the
highest due to a good control of the release of compounds which facilitates the prevention of
negative effects to the environment. Similarly, the anaerobic treatment with digestate treatment
has a high score because there is a remediation of the slurry digestate but the score is lower
because the anaerobic digestion is a water intensive technology.

d) Materials & Energy

The highest treatment is the direct application. This is due to the fact that from a materials and
energy point of view, the best option is the treatment 0. However, the manure conveyor belts are
relatively close because they are considered to have a medium material and energy intensivity.
The treatments with the lowest score are the combination of unitary processes to recover
nutrients and the anaerobic digestion with digestate treatment due to the high amount of energy
and materials that are used to carry out these processes.

5.3.2.5 Global Results

The maximum score that a treatment could get according to this evaluation is 2499. The Manure
Conveyor Belts with evaporation of urine is the treatment which has the highest value (1665.8).
This score is 66.7% out of the maximum rating. The Combination of unitary processes to recover
N or P and the anaerobic digestion with digestate treatment are the second (1365.2, 54.6%) and
the third best technology (1357.4, 54.3%) respectively. However, as it can be noted both
treatments have a very similar score. The anaerobic digestion with digestate treatment is
regarded as a better technology than the combination of processes without energy recovery
because the production of energy implies economical benefits. Nevertheless, this investigation
gives double weight to the environmental dimension, which causes that the anaerobic digestion
moves to the third place but very close to the second. The anaerobic digestion without digestate
treatment, the current socio-technological tendency in slurry treatment in Catalonia is the fourth
best technology (or the second worst). This is due to the fact that that there is no treatment of the
digestate, which is regarded to have a negative effect in the environment. The worst technology
is the direct application (93.9% of the slurry follows this path in Catalonia) because it has low
scores (1241.1, 49.6%) in every dimension with the exception that the materials and energy
dimension. This is due to the fact that the cost of applying directly the slurry is very low material
and energy intensive.








108


6. Design and Recommendations
109

6.1. Recommendations
6.1.1 Combined processes, Anaerobic Digestion and Digestate Treatment
1. Under the conventional management of the pig farming (which implies the generation of large
volumes of slurry) and due to the current tendency of the Catalan Government and the socio-
technological trend towards the anaerobic digestion as a preferred treatment for the slurry in
Catalonia, the key recommendation about the current and short-term future situation is the
digestate treatment. The recommended system, which in partly is already used in Catalonia
(which is considered as positive because the technology is already working relatively good the
Valpuren

process-) is the centralised/community anaerobic co-digestion treatment of the slurry


with a solid-liquid phase separation + addition of polyelectrolyte of the digestate. The liquid
phase would be treated by means of an evaporation/concentration process using solar energy and
the thermal waste heat from the burning of biogas (acidifying the liquid effluent to avoid NH
3

emissions). The solid phase would be directly together with the evaporated liquid phase using the
solar energy and the thermal waste and the final product would be pelletised. In this way, as a
result there would be a low-medium quality organic fertiliser which could be used for different
uses in the agriculture sector inside or outside the territory (Catalan, Spanish and International
market). The system incorporates a water condenser which recovers the water and is susceptible
to discharged back.
2. The combination of unitary processes without anaerobic digestion is not recommended
because it is considered that the digestate treatment is an equivalent process but with the
advantage of the energy recovery. Thus, the best slurry treatment option under the conventional
pig housing is the anaerobic digestion with digestate treatment.
2. The treatment of the digestate should be centralised and/or at a community level (i.e. a group
of pig farms). This is due to the fact that under the current situation the conventional pig farmer
cannot afford the anaerobic digestion process and the treatment of the digestate (during 2009, the
revenues of the pig meat were negative for the Catalan pig farmer).
6.1.2 Separation on-source
1. The best slurry treatment identified in this investigation implies the separation on-source of
the pig manure by means of a conveyor belt adapted in the pig housing. In the case of Catalonia,
there would not be any kind of problem to obtain the energy required to run the conveyor belt.
However, a good alternative to the conveyor belt which could be perfectly applied in developing
countries or emerging economies, where the availability of an energy source might be not good,
is the concrete slat floor proposed by Ye, et al., (2007).
2. It is not possible to recommend what manure conveyor belt system is the best in pure terms of
efficiency due to the fact that there are only data about two of the systems proposed (the RE-
Cycle Concept and the Hercules Project) and even this data cannot be compared because the
110

conditions of the system show very important differences (i.e. number of pigs, age of the pigs,
size of the pigs, type of feed, amount of water, type of trough, units of measurements, etc.). All
this data has been proofed to have a key role in the results of the separation of urine and faeces.
Taking into account other characteristics apart from the efficiency, and assuming that the manure
conveyor belts of the four systems have similar efficiencies becasue the design characteristics are
very similar, it can be given some guidelines.
3. The only system which is not adaptable to an old pig housing is the Mobile Bottom under the
Slat. Thus, this system will only be adequated for new pig housing constructions. This system
has the significant advantage with regard to the other systems to incorporate an absorbent
material dispenser (straw, shaving, etc.) at the starting point of the belt that combined with the
possibility to adjust the slope of the belt gives the opportunity to have three type of effluents:
solid, liquid (urine+faeces) and solid-liquid (urine and faeces).
4. This investigation focuses in the manure conveyor belts from the RE-Cycle concept which
facilitates the separation on-source and is adaptable to old pig housing. Similarly, the manure
conveyor belt of both the Hercules concept and the German company Qalovis

are also focused.


However, in this last case the utilisation of the metabolic pig of the heat is considered like a clear
advantage in the case of processing partially or completely the urine on-farm. Therefore, the
manure conveyor belts preferred for Catalonia would be adaptable to old pig housing, with slope
(4C) and the possibilty to reuse the metabolic heat of the pigs. Nevertheless, the only manure
conveyor belt available in the market so far is the Qalovis

. (Qalovis recycle the heat? I do not


think so!!)
6.1.3. Treatments to do with the separated fractions
The conventional treatment of the urine distinguishes seven treatment processes: hygienisation
(storage), volume reduction (evaporation and reversed osmosis), stabilisation (acidification,
nitrification), N-recovery (ion-exchange and ammonia stripping), P-recovery (struvite
formation), nutrient removal (anammox) and handling of micropollutants (electrodialysis,
nanofiltration and ozonation). However, none of these single options can accomplish all seven
purposes and there is a need of combinations to meet this requirement. In addition, except for
evaporation and storage, none of the processes have so far advanced beyond the laboratory scale
(Maurer, et al., 2006). The two more robust and simpler techniques, the storage and the volume
reduction of the urine will be highlighted.
-Storage: It offers a way of reducing the potential health risks from faecal pathogens contact.
The storage time, pH and temperature are the key parameters influencing this process. Urine
stored for at least 6 months at 20C may be considered safe to use as a fertiliser for crops. The
temperature is the most crucial parameter to control the inactivation rates. Without pH control
(>9), 90% of the rotavirus (especially long-lasting bioindicators, sign of old contamination) were
inactivated after 35 days at 20C but no significant decrease at 4C. However, with pH control
111

below 4, additional reduction in the number of pathogens was detected. An important side-effect
is the precipitation of phosphorous compounds and possible evaporation of ammonia from tanks
not sufficiently sealed (Maurer, et al., 2006).
-Volume reduction: From the perspective of commercial fertilisers, the nutrient content in the
urine is relatively small and it would be beneficial to concentrate the nutrients for transportation
and storage purposes. The conventional techniques are vapour compression distillation (VCD),
thermoelectric integrated membrane evaporation systems (TIMES) and air evaporation systems
(AES). The evaporation of urine presents two challenges: loss of ammonia and energy
consumption. The energy consumption can be minimised by energy recovery (Maurer, et al.,
2006).
Regarding the treatment of the faeces, the conventional treatment would be the composting, but
it can also be used as a dry fuel for the production of heat and electricity, as it is done with the
biomass wood (Vzquez Minguela, 2003). An advantage is that the solid manure is better
accepted by the farmers and can be transported higher distances at lower prices. However, the
process is expensive and needs technical and constant supervision, due to this fact, this process
should be carried out in a centralised plant.

6.2 Design of a potential manure treatment scheme in Catalonia
6.2.1 The system
According to the author, any of the belt-based conveyor systems to separate on-source the urine
and the faeces of the pigs do not give a completely adequate solution regarding the treatment of
the urine and faeces. Due to this fact, a proposal of an integrated treatment of the separated
fractions will be described. The proposed systems consists of the application of the Ecological
Sanitation principles to treat the human excreta but applied to the pig excreta. The common
characteristic of the Ecological Sanitation techniques is the separation on-source of the excreata
and the treatment of the separated fraction with processes with low amounts of materials and
energy used and focusing on the recovery of the nutrients contained in the excreta (N, P and K)
as well as the organic matter phosphorous to get add-value products, mainly liquid and solid
fertilisers as well as high quality soil amenders.
6.2.2 The manure conveyor belt
Thus, the proposed system, so called EcoSanure, starts with the separation on-source of the urine
and faeces by means of a manure conveyor belt sloped, adaptable and with the reuse of the
metabolic heat plus ammonia scrubbing in the pig housing. (In the case of Catalonia, the access
to energy is not a problem if there is the possibility to pay it. However, thinking in a developing
country or emerging economy, or simply in not using electrical or fossil fuel energy, the system
112

recommended would be the concrete slatted floor). The manure conveyor belt chosen would the
Qalovis

, which is a twin brother of the system used in the Hercules project. If the possibility of
building the whole system is feasible, a combination of the different systems studied is regarded
like the best option, i.e. an adjustable manure conveyor belt adaptable to old pig housing with
absorbent dispenser in the starting point of the belt and the possibility to use the metabolic heat
of the pigs to evaporate the urine. CHANGE!

6.2.3 The urine treatment
Regarding the treatment of the separated fractions, the option recommended is the centralised
treatment. The reason why this is recommended is mainly because the Catalan pig farmer does
not usually want to carry out different activities apart from the pig farming (Can Molin, 2010)
and in general, it is better to reduce as much as possible the involvement of the pig farmer in
activities involving the slurry treatment (Teira, 2008). In this way, and regarding the urine
treatment, it is recommended to simply storage it on-farm with polypropylene tanks, waiting for
the collection of the urine from the service provider every 1-2 weeks (depending on the size of
the farm and other variables)
The urine can be treated in a centralised plant using different methods involving different levels
of complexity, technical supervision and amount of materials and energy. However, in Catalonia
the urine could be easily treated by natural or accelerated evaporation with the previous
application of an acid to prevent NH
3
losses. The estimated costs are between 0.6 and 0.9c per
kilogram produced (Vzquez, 2003). Another option would be to use alternative techniques to
obtain struvite precipitation, like the STUN reactor (Tilley, et al., 2008) (see figure 77) but
applied to a large scale and incorporating a way to capture NH
3
loses.









113

Figure 77: The STUN reactor diagram process. (Source: Tilley, et al., 2008)
Figure 78: Community management of the Terra Preta Sanitation process. Source:
SSC, 2010)



The struvite is odourless, dense, compact, and efficient to transport. It can be stored during
winter of summer and used when needed it (Tilley, et al., 2008). The main shortcomings of the
centralised treatment is the urine has significant part that is water and evaporating it on-farm, the
transport cost are reduced. However, the centralised treatment plant gives the possibility to the
pig farmer to get rid of the pig manure as well as facilitates a better control of the treatment
conditions and makes feasible the recovery of the water evaporated from the urine. In general,
the centralised treatment reduce the treatment costs of the urine and in the Catalan case, it could
increase the quality of the final product.
6.2.4 The faecal fraction treatment
The faeces would also be treated in a centralised farm. The treatment process recommended
would be the set of composting techniques, from the conventional to the vermin-composting and
Terra Preta Sanitation. Terra Preta sanitation is a low-cost dry sanitation system based on the
urine diversion and the addition of chaorcal that produces a lasting and high fertile soils with
properties similar to the recent discovered Terra Preta soils. This system works through natural
processes of lacto-fermentation and vermicomposting which converts faecal material into high
fertile soils (Otterpohl, 2010; SSC, 2010).


114

In this way, the faeces would be collected in polypropilene tanks as well and a service provider
company would collect them every 1-2 weeks. The Terra Preta sanitation process would be
carried out in the centralised plant. A especial avantage of this latter systems is that the chaorchal
needed to produce this type of soils could be supplied by the solid fraction of the faeces, after
being carried out a pyrolisis process of the faeces as well on the plant. An investigation carried
out Marchetti, et al.,(2010) shows that biochar obtained from pig manure contains more N and P
than biocahr ade from wood chip. The microbial mix can also be produced on-plant (Otterpohl,
2010; SSC, 2010). In this way the process would not require external inputs of materials and
energy to carry out the process but the fossil fuels to collect the faeces and the urine. Another
possible treatment options would be the gasification of the faeces to obtain energy, as proposed
in the RE-Cycle concept or the anaerobic digestion of the faeces after adding wastewater or even
the urine to increase the humidity conditions.
Finally, a rainwater harvesting system would be installed in the pig farm in order to supply with
extra water for the pig farm, which could be used for cleaning porpuses, a significant share of
water consumption in the farm. In the figure 78, there is an overview diagram of the proposed
system.
6.2.5 Add-value products
From the urine it could be created a solid fertiliser with higher quality than the one obtained from
raw slurry or digestate slurry and from the faeces it could be obtained conventional compost or
high quality alternative compost like the one produced by means of vermicomposting and Terra
Preta sanitation. At the same time, it could also be produced biochar. However, both treatment
process to obtain the final product would require a lower amount of materials and energy due to
the fact that the volume to process are lower, the fractions and the nutrients are already
separated and the concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous are higher in the urine and faecal
fraction respectively.
6.2.6 Final Considerations
For the specific situation of Catalonia this alternative treatment would be very positive because
taking into account the environmental dimensions who are already vulnerable, either for the
Catalan environmental profile or the effects of the exceeding amounts of slurry, this treatment
process would mean an improvement in the next environmental criteria:
There is no water consumption because there is no need to flush the faeces and the urine
under the slat. In addition, the cleaning can be done without water, or at least, minimising
significantly the use, i.e. instead of every day, every week.
There is no slurry production. Thus, there is a lower volume of manure to treat, which
means lower economical and environmental costs.
115

There is not an organic matter loss (if there is no energy recovery) and the high quality
fertile compost can be used to increase the fertility of the Catalan soils, currently in a
middle stage of desertification process.
The gaseous emissions can be controlled due to the fact that the storage is done in
covered tanks and the collection is carried out without open the sealed tanks.
The farmer can get rid of the manure and focus on the pig farming activity.
115

The economical costs of the manure management and treatment decrease due to the
factors already mentioned and as well because the revenues increase.
In general, the process achieves a more cost-efficient, lower material and energy
intensive, and more environmental friendly treatment sanitation of the pig manure in
Catalonia.

Change the picture of the belt, use one with slope!
116

Figure 79:
Diagram of the
EcoSanure
Treatment
process. (Own
source)









GREYWATER
Belt Conveyor to
separate on-source pig
excreta (adaptable,
sloped, reuse of the
pig heat and ammonia
scrubbing)

WATER
Rainwater
+
Conventional
water supply
- BioComposting / Terra Preta
- Gasification Biogas +
-Pyorlisis: Biochaorcal
-Anaerobic Digestion (adding
wastewater and/or urine to
increase humidity content, urine
or faeces)

- Liquid Fertilizer
- Time Storage requirements to
assure no biological
contamination.
- Solid Fertilizer Natural
and/or Solar Evaporation +
Struvite generation (MAP
process, STUN reactor)
- Transport and Distribution
- Separation from Urine and
faeces
- Recycling by Low-Cost
Techniques (Slow-Sand
Filtration) or Constructed
Wetlands Aquaculture
- Addition to the faeces in the
anaerobic reactor to improve
biogas efficiency
FEED
Recycling of the water to
the pig farming system
- To clean the pig housing
- Drinking water for the
pigs if biological
contamination is prevented
Organic Compost
- Potential Market to
commercialize it
- Addition to the soil to
improve its quality
U
U
U
R
R
R
I
I
I
N
N
N
E
E
E

Application of EcoSan
Treatment Techniques and
principles to the urine and
faeces at a centralised level
Separation on-
source of the pig
excreta by means
of the manure
conveyor belt
Solid Fertilizer

- Potential Market to sell
it as an agricultural
fertilizer (a priori better
than the currently used
raw manure or digestate
from biogas)
Add-value products

FAECES
adapted from (Koger et al., 2005)
117

7. Conclusions

118


1. The Intensive Pig Farming is a key sector in the Agricultural Sector and the Economy of
the Country in Catalonia. This tendency of this activity is the intensification and the
concentration in determined spots of the Catalan territory.

2. There is an exceeding slurry production of this sector which has negative effects to the
environment. Due to the already pollution of the surface water and groundwater by
nitrates and the lack of agricultural land in Catalonia as well as specific characteristics of
the Catalan environment profile, there is a need to treat the surplus of nitrogen and
phosphorous and avoid the introduction of these nutrients to the ecosystem.

3. The main treatment of the slurry is the direct application to the soil (98.9%). Therefore,
there is a deficiency in the slurry treatment in Catalonia, due to mainly economical
reasons: the treatments both on-farm and in centralised farms are expensive for the
farmers which motivate the treatment like the least and last alternative.

4. Types of treatments used in Catalonia

5. The intensive pig farming activity in Catalonia is an environmental burden due to the
manure surplus.

6. The situation in Catalonia with regard to the slurry treatment is insufficient and clearly
detrimental for the environment (shown for the increasing year over year of the pollution
of the surface water and groundwater). Therefore, there is a need of improving the current
situation by means of implementing better slurry treatment schemes.

7. Regarding the conventional treatments, the best treatment scheme focusing on the
environmental dimension is the combination of unitary treatments to recover the nitrogen
and phosphorous. If this scheme includes a step of energy production by means of
anaerobic co-digestion, the economical costs decrease even though the environmental
benefits decrease. This is due to the fact that there is a higher use of materials and energy
as well as the loss of the soil amender capacity of the final products. In addition, there is
an increase of the introduction of substances with unknown effects to the environment
and the human health (due to the specific steps of the anaerobic digestion treatments and
biogas production).

8. Due to the environmental profile of Catalonia, the digestate treatment could focus on the
evaporation-drying of the slurry to decrease the volume and concentrate the nutrients by
means of partial or total solar energy and the thermal waste energy produced in the
anaerobic digestion step.

9. Other factors apart from the current ones should be targeted by the legislation and
technological treatments: phosphorous, soil degradation, water consumption, microbial
contamination, antibiotics, hormones, natural resources depletion, material and energy
intensivity, ecosystem services and environmental justice and equity.
119


10. The separation on-source of the urine and faeces by means of the manure conveyor belts
or the concrete slatted floor are the best way identified to alleviate the environmental
burden created by the slurry surplus in Catalonia. These type of treatments increase the
flexibility of post-treatment of the urine and faeces using less energy, materials, cheaper
and with less negative environmental effects.

11. The recommended system is a manure conveyor belt to separate on-source the urine and
faces. The typology will depend whether the pig housing is new or not. If it is new, the
system proposed would be a combination of some of the characteristics of the different
treatments in order to build a manure conveyor belt adjustable, removable, with absorbent
dispenser, recovery of the metabolic heat of the pig and ammonia scrubbing. If it is an old
building, the system recommended is the Hercules project or the Qalovis one.

12. The treatment of both the urine and faeces should be carried out at a centralised level.
Thus, on-farm the both fractions would be storage until the service provider comes
weekly to pick up the separated fractions.

13. The urine treatment should focus on the nitrogen and phosphorous recovery. This could
be done by struvite formation (MAP process) or similar. Special importance should be
done to the hygienisation of the urine, which could be carried out by simply storage by
more than 6 months.

14. The treatment of the faeces should be carried out by means of Terra Preta Sanitation. This
technology shows the advantage that would not need any kind of external input because
all the materials needed can be created from the slurry (biochar production by pyrolisis)
and the cultivation of bacteria by a very simple way with barely no costs.

15. There is a need to reduce the costs of both the conventional and separation on-source
proposed. This can be achieved by means of the introduction of the Ecological Sanitation
principles to treat the urine and faeces as well as low-cost technologies and integrated
management approaches

120


121

Attachments

122

Index of Attachments

I. Overview of Treatments in Catalonia:
A technological and economical assessment..................... 3

I.1 Concept........................................................................ 3
I.2 Economical costs as key determining factor................. 3
I.3 Scale of the treatment ................................................. 4
I.4 Manure Treatment Technologies Overview.................. 6
I.4.1 Basic Concepts.......................................................... 6
I.4.2 Manure Storage Treatment: Ponds................................ 8
I.4.3 Treatments which modify the physical
and chemical characteristics of the manure......................... . 10
I.4.3.1 Chemical and Microbiological Additives............. . 10
I.4.3.2 Solid-liquid Separation Process............................. . 13
I.4.4 Membrane Filtration and Reverse Osmosis................ . 19
I.4.6 Organic Matter Stabilisation Processes....................... . 22
I.4.6.1 Composting........................................................... . 22
I.4.6.2 Aerobic Digestion............................................. . 25
I.4.7 Nitrogen Elimination or Reduction Processes............. .. 27
I.4.7.1 Nitrification-Denitrification (NDN)...................... .. 27
I.4.7.2 Stripping and Absorption.................................... .. 31
I.4.8 Energy Production Processes........................................... .. 33
I.4.8.1 Anaerobic Digestion............................................... .. 33
I.4.8.2 Co-digestion.......................................................... ... 36
I.4.8.3 Cogeneration......................................................... ... 36
I.4.8.4 Pre-treatment of substrates
in the Anaerobic Digestion Treatment Plants....... .... 39
I.4.8.5 Post-treatment of substrates
in the Anaerobic Digestion Treatment Plants....... .... 40
I.4.9 Water Content Reduction Processes
I.4.9.1 Evaporation/Drying.......................................... ..... 40
I.5 Economical Valoration of a Treatments System.............. ..... 42


II. Evaluation Matrix Methodology 44
II.1 Theoretical Score Rating.. 44
II.2 Evaluation. 48
II.3 Conversion 52
II.4 Final Score. 56

123

I. Overview of Treatments in Catalonia: A technological and economical


assessment
I.1 Concept
The ideal situation is a balance between the slurry production and its application to the soil
(GESFER, 2008). However, in those situations where the unbalance between the components
may cause the closure of the pig farm or one of the objectives of the livestock farmer is to
valorise the pig manure, the treatment processes appear to be a good solution to improve the
management of the manure and to minimise the negative consequences to the environment
caused by this unbalance (Teira, 2008).
Manure treatment can be understood as an either unitary or group of operations that change the
physical and/or chemical and/or biological characteristics of the manure. The ultimate goal of
any treatment should be neutralising the toxic substances present in the manure, to recover
valuable materials, to allow the use of the manure as a source of energy and to assist to its final
deposition as a waste (Teira, 2008). In addition, it also important to avoid the transfer of the
pollution among the different environmental vectors: soil, water and air (Vrancken et al., 2006).
However, according to Burton&Turner (2003), the evaluation of potential treatment options for
manure can be significantly complicated by the definition of the concept treatment. In the pig
manure case, the standards of treatment desired to reach are not adequately defined. In addition,
there are important parameters, like the bad odours emission, which are strongly dependent on
subjective scoring. Therefore, the word treatment appears to be a very imprecise term to define
what and in which amount something has been done to the manure. One way to tackle this issue
is to focus on the purpose of the treatment project rather than how it is done. In addition, there is
a need to set clear and concise targets for the treatment processes. By doing this, it will be
feasible to rate any treatment process as inadequate, successful or excessive and compare
different processes according different criteria in an objective way.
I.2 Economical costs as key determining factor
Manure treatment should be faced as a local solution for a specific local problem (Teira, 2008).
The main limitation to the application of a determined treatment is the economic criteria.
However, other important criteria necessary to take into account are firstly the slurry
composition, the manure treatment technology, the energy and the use of the treatment product
(Tilche, 2006) s.On the other hand, Kokkonen (2006) also stresses the fact that any new
treatment must be applied either at small or large scale, solve nitrogen and phosphorous
problems, bad odours and the high liquid volume of the slurries. It is also important to take into
account the transport costs to bring the sub-products to remote areas (Navarotto et al., 2006).
In the current approach, a treatment process will be favourable depending on the pig farming
context and needs, the quality of the obtained product and the economics costs associated, which
124

are mainly determined by the inversion and running costs subtracted to the revenues for selling
the final product (Teira, 2008).
I.3 Scale of the treatment
According to Teira (2008), the scale of the treatment is an important parameter when deciding a
manure treatment process. The decision between an individual or collective treatment depends
on a large set of factors, the most important are: the geographical distribution of the pig farms,
the type and the reach of the manure problem, the economical costs and the social factors.










On-farm treatments are a good alternative to the collective centralised treatments (Teira, 2008).
The table 24 shows a summary of the advantages and disadvantages according to the scale of the
treatment. However, Vrancken et al., (2006) concludes in a study to evaluate whether the
individual treatments of the pig manure could be considered a Best Available Technique (BAT),
that for the large majority of pig farms in Europe the treatments at a farm scale are not
economically feasible.
Currently, the decision of the best option is carried out considering exclusively the economic
costs. Therefore, the scale of the treatment that implies lower costs for the pig farmer (taking into
account total transport costs, treatment, inversion, running and amortization costs and revenues
of the final product), will be the preferred one. In this way, the collective treatment is carried out
when in a specific geographical area the exceeding manure affects enough livestock farmers to
treat the manure with lower costs than with an individual scale (Flotats, et al., 2004). Almost in
all the cases, this option is used when there are huge transport distances. For instance, when
these treatment plants processes relatively high volumes of manure, i.e. more than 100.000 t per
year, it is economically efficient to include an electrical and thermal cogeneration plant. By
Figure 80: Centralised (A) vs. Decentralised (B)
Manure treatment systems. Source: (CFFN, 2010)
125

doing this, the thermal energy can be used to reduce the volume of the slurry. The electrical
energy can be sold to the electrical grid companies. The key parameters that are taken into
account to decide whether apply this technology are the prices and energy costs. According to
Flotats, et al., (2004), as a rule of thumb, the treatments and storage treatments carried out
collectively show some economical benefits due to the economy of scale, i.e. a tank of 10.000 m
3

is more economically efficient than 20 tanks with 500 m
3
. Other important costs regarding the
collective treatment are the transport costs, and the social nuisance and sanitary problems that
imply to collectively treat high manure volumes.
Scale of the treatment Advantages Disadvantages
Individual, Decentralised
Specifically adapted to the
farm.
Lower inversion costs.
Alternative to the collective
treatment.
Non-continuous operational
way.
Difficult amortisation of the
inversion and running costs.
Need technical control.
New tasks to the farmer.
Collective, Centralised
Continuous Operational way.
External Technical control
guarantied.
Sub-products
commercialisation.
Easy amortisation of the
inversion and running costs.
Transport Costs.
Difficult Interaction between
farmers.
Social rejection to large waste
treatment plants


On the other hand, the individual treatment is preferred when it is economically efficient to the
livestock farmer. The most common methods used in Catalonia are the reduction of the transport
costs or the nitrogen reduction of the manure (Flotats, et al., 2004), which ultimately will also
have an effect in the transport costs.
To reduce transport costs, the simplest method is the solid-liquid separation, applying the liquid
fraction in the closer agricultural lands and the solid fraction to distant lands. There is also
possible to compost the solid fraction in order to export it to zones even more distant, outside the
area of the region, province, community or even the country. On the other hand, the reduction of
the nitrogen content can be done by two mechanisms: elimination or concentration. Firstly, the
elimination of the nitrogen can be done by the combined process nitrification-denitrification
(NDN). This process reduces nitrogen but all the other nutrients remain. Thus, in a nutrient
exceeding area, this latter fraction should be concentrated to transport them to other regions. A
key step in this process is to reduce the nitrogen only in the necessary amount, i.e. the exceeding
share. This is necessary because depurating water completely is too expensive. In addition,
reducing more nitrogen than the exceeding share will imply the need to use mineral fertiliser, and
Table 24: Individual and Collective Treatment. Source: adapted from (Teira, 2008)
126

then, an economic and environmental cost. Secondly, the concentration of nutrients is carried out
to be able to transport these nutrients large distances. Then, it is necessary to valorise the final
product, which in Catalonia currently requires the implication of third stakeholders. According to
Flotats, et al., (2004), the methods used are: Solid-liquid separation with the addition of
additives to concentrate largely the solid fraction, to obtain ammonium salts by means of a
stripping and absorption process and to also obtain phosphorous and ammonium salts by the
struvite precipitation process or the evaporation of water (if there is available a low-cost energy
source). Flotats, et al., (2004) also states that these processes are significantly improved with a
previous anaerobic digestion and biogas production step, due to the fact that the manure
characteristics are modified and there is biogas which acts as an energy source. As a rule of
thumb for the individual treatments, the transport and treatment costs must be lower than the
transport costs to move the manure to zones where can be directly applied to the soil. As the
calculation of the transport costs are a key element in the current manure management and
treatment, the table 25 shows the estimation of these costs in Catalonia regarding the type of
vehicle and distance.



There is also worth to mention that there is still a third alternative to the in-situ and ex-situ
treatment. This is when the treatment is carried out collectively but in a very reduced number of
farms, i.e. 2 or 3. In this case, it would be a mixed of both previous options (Flotats, et al., 2004).

I.4 Manure Treatment Technologies Overview
I.4.1 Basic Concepts
The starting point in dealing with a manure exceeding problem should be a clear definition of
what the problem is (e.g. odour nuisance, excess nitrogen, water pollution). The second question
is what the required treatment to resolve this problem is (e.g. a 50% reduction in the BOD
5
,
Vehicle
Capacity
(m
3
)
Consumption
(L gasoil/h)
Potency
(HP)
Costs
(/h)
Dumper
20 15 320 31.9
25 16 375 34.0
30 17 400 36.9
Trailer Truck
16 15 320 30.2
22 16 375 32.3
27 17 400 35.1
Tractor 16 16.8 140 26.9
Distance
(Km)
/m
3
2 0.29
4 0.58
6 0.87
8 1.17
10 1.45
12 1.75
15 2.18
20 2.75
Table 25: Estimation of the transport costs according to vehicle and distance. Source: from (Flotats, et
al., 2004)
127

removal of 90% ammonia nitrogen). Only when the objective of the treatment is clear should the
various methods and equipment be considered. A system that works may not turn out to be a
realistic option owing to costs or some other factors. A cheaper option may be considered only if
this is an acceptable compromise. The danger in the use of inadequate treatments is that they can
present the farmer with the cost without resolving the underlying problem.
Teira (2008) states that there is a need of new nitrogen and phosphorous recovery processes
focused in a holistic and integral way which take into account not only the technical and
economical viability but the environmental and social criteria as well as the commercialisation of
the sub-products and the hygienisation of the pig manure or slurry. However, there is not any
treatment able to eliminate completely the slurry or manure (Flotats, et al., 2004). Thus, the only
compounds which can be eliminated are a fraction of the organic matter and the nitrogen, due to
the chemical conversion into CO
2
and N
2
. The rest can only be separated or concentrated.
Even though there are several path ways to take, the ideal one will strictly depend on the problem
question (Flotats, et al., 2004). In this paper, the individual storage, and the in-situ and ex-situ
treatments will be studied, omitting the other treatment actions that can be done to minimise the
manure in the productive phase and in the agricultural application. Therefore, the technologies
that will be described in this point will refer basically to the storage of the manure and its
treatment used in Catalonia. According to Flotats, et al., (2004), the storage of the manure is an
important process to adequate the application of the manure to the needs of the crops. The
manure can be stored either raw or the solid and liquid fraction separated. The main treatment
that can be done is the addition of additives to the ponds in order to decrease the bad odours and
the release of organic volatile compounds. These additives also can optimise the transformation
of ammonia nitrogen to organic during the storage time. In addition, the ponds can be covered to
avoid bad odour nuisance, the loss of ammonia nitrogen and the mixing with rainfall water
(Flotats, et al., 2004). On the other hand, the treatment technologies are especially important to
adequate the composition of the manure before its application to the soil. Nowadays, the Catalan
Government values the biogas production over the other treatment technologies. Biogas
technology is useful to cover the demand of fossil fuels in the pig farm. To be economically
efficient, the pig farm should have a significant demand for thermal energy, used mainly in the
breeding stage. In addition, the biogas production reduces considerably the bad odours due to the
fact that most of the organic volatile compounds are consumed in the anaerobic process.
However, if there is not enough available agricultural surface or if the cost of moving the manure
to a zone where there is enough land are too high, there is a need to take into account other
treatments to reduce the nitrogen content of the manure, or to concentrate them, usually
eliminating the water, thus reducing the transport costs (Flotats, et al., 2004).


128


The figure 81 shows the priority and lines of action in the treatment strategies in a pig farm
taking into account an integral management of the manure.


















I.4.2 Manure Storage Treatment: Ponds
It regulates the balance between the continuous production of slurry and the seasonal nutrient
requirement of the crops. This regulation is done by the volume of the pond, which is chosen
taking into account the nutrient management of the slurry and the needs of the crops. In
Catalonia, this nutrient management focuses exclusively in nitrogen (Flotats, et al., 2004).

Figure 81: Priority and lines of actuation in the pig manure management Source: adapted from
(Flotats, et al., 2004)
- Adequate capacity
-Rainfall water
sealing
-Covering of the
external ponds
-Additives to the
ponds
-Solid-liquid (S/L)
separated storage
(S/L separator)
Productive
Phase
Collective /
Individual
Storage
In-situ
treatments
Ex-situ
treatments
Local
Agricultural
Application
Regional/
National/
International
Agricultural
Application
- Water
Consumption
Reduction
- Feed Diet
modification
- Additives to the
feed
-Biogas Production
- S/L separation
-Nitrogen reduction in L
-Composting of S
-Nutrient concentration
-Biogas Production
- S/L separation
-Nitrogen, volume and
organic matter reduction
-Nutrient concentration
129











During the storage, the pathogen
concentration is significantly reduced and
the nutrients are mineralised until a certain
extent. However, there are uncontrolled
fermentations and losses of both ammonia
and organic volatile compounds. Due to
this fact, this technique produces bad
odours and a reduction of the fertility
capacity. A significant improvement is
achieved covering the external pond,
which also avoids that the animals and
livestock workers breathe ammonia. In
addition, the ponds should be placed
outside the sanitary zone of the farm, to
avoid the presence of trailer trucks and
tanks.
According to Flotats, et al., (2004), the main advantages and disadvantages of the process are:
-Advantages
Adaptation of the slurry fertiliser value to the crop requirements.
Partial pathogen and microbial contamination reduction.
If covered, reduction of the bad odours, fertiliser capacity and ammonia losses.
Figure 83: Excavated Slurry Pond with
polyethylene surface. Source: (Flotats, et al., 2004)
POND
Leaking of
slurry
compounds
Slurry
Sludge
Odours
(VOCs)
CH
4
, NH
3,
Odors (VOCs)
NH
3

Slurry
[microorganisms] [microorganisms]
Rainfall
Figure 82: Simplified Diagram of a Slurry Pond. Source: adapted from (Flotats, et al., 2004)
CH
4
, NH
3,
Odours
130

If covered, reduction of the final volume of the slurry because the rainfall water is not
mixed with the slurry.
-Disadvantages
If the volume required is very large, the occupied surface and the inversion costs are
high. A solution to this problem is collective ponds.
If they are not covered, there is an increase of the volume of the slurry, a dilution of the
nutrients and emission of gases to the atmosphere: NH
3
, Volatile Organic Compounds
(VOCs) and SH
2
(Burton&Turner, 2003).
Leakage of slurry compounds, which is a potential environmental risk.
Periodically removing of the sludge at the bottom of the pond, which implies a high
maintenance effort.
-Yield
The most important parameter is the storage time, which has a direct effect to the pathogens
survival, as it is shown in the table 26.



I.4.3 Treatments which modify the physical and chemical characteristics of the manure
I.4.3.1 Chemical and Microbiological Additives
The additives are chemical and biological substrates which are applied to the slurry in order to
modify its characteristics. This is carried out to improve both the management of the slurry and
its behaviour on the soil. In addition, the emission of pollutant gases (NH
3
, SH
2
, VOCs) can be
reduced, which also improves the quality of the air in the pig housing (Flotats, et al., 2004).


Pathogens microorganisms Survival time
Yersinia enterocolitica <1 week
Pasteurella multocida 6 days
Fusobacterium necrophorum 6 days
Escherichia coli 1 to 5 weeks
Salmonella 2 weeks from 5 months
Leptospira 4-5 months
Clostridium perfringens >7 months
Erysipelothrix rhusiopthiae 9 months
Table 26: Pathogen survival in
slurry ponds. Source: from
(Flotats, et al., 2004)
131











There are three main reasons why chemicals or biological additives are added to the slurry.
These are: the reduction of the bad odours, the ammonia and other pollutant gases emissions and
on the other hand the fluidification and homogenisation of the slurry, i.e. to avoid crust formation
and insect growing (Flotats, et al., 2004). In addition, the chemical additives can improve the
solid-liquid separation and the precipitation of specific components of the slurry (Teira, 2008).
The additives can be added to the septic tank, the pond, when the slurry is charged in the trailer
trunk or as an action prior to another treatment, like the solid-liquid separation.

-Types of additives
According to Flotats, (2004), the main types of chemical and biological additives used in
Catalonia are:
-Camouflaging Agents: Aromatic organic compounds that hide the odour of the slurry.
-Blocking Agents: Aromatic organic mixture that neutralises the VOCs (bad odours
emissions).
-Microbial Agents: Bacteria culturing, enzymatic compounds or combination of both
that digest the organic matter faster, mainly the fraction of cellulose which is not
POND/TANK
Leaking of
slurry
compounds
Slurry
Sludge
Odours
(VOCs)
Slurry
[Microorganisms] [Microorganisms]
Figure 84: Simplified Diagram of a Slurry Pond with Chemical or Biological Addition of Additives.
Own Source
NH
3

Rainfall
CH
4
,
NH
3,

Odours
(VOCs)
Chemical or
Biological Additive
fluidification
132

assimilated by the pig. These types of additives also can destroy some odorous
compounds or fix the ammonia nitrogen to organic nitrogen.
-Absorbent compounds: Compounds with an extensive surface which absorb the
odorous compounds before they volatilise.
-Oxidant Agents: Chemical additives
that oxidise sulphurous compounds in
order to inhibit H
2
S production. These
compounds are Cl
2(g)
, NaClO, KMnO
4
or
H
2
O
2
.
-Precipitation Agents: Chemical
additives which react with sulphur to
produce insoluble compounds. Salts of
Fe or Zn are used In Catalonia.
-pH Control Agents: Chemical
additives to increase the pH and inhibit
the sulphur production. However,
ammonia emissions are increased in basic
media. If the pH is reduced, the ammonia
is reduced but the bad odours are increased due to the volatilisation of acid compounds. The
compounds used are NaOH or CaO.
-Electrons Acceptors Agents: Chemical additives that facilitate the formation of s
sulphates from sulphurs and diminish the bad odours. NaNO
3
is one of the most common
compounds used in Catalonia.
-Advantages and Disadvantages
The table 26 shows a summary of the main advantages and disadvantages of the addition of
additives to the slurry according to Flotats, et al., (2004):
Additives to the slurry
Agent Advantages Disadvantages
Camouflaging
Agents
-Reduction of the bad odours at
short-term
-Low cost
-Easy and safe use
-Complex prediction of the effectiveness
-Only short-term
-No effects on the ammonia or hydrogen
sulphide
Blocking
Agents
-Possible reduction of the bad
odours at short-term
-Easy and safe use
-Complex prediction of the effectiveness
-No effects on the ammonia or hydrogen
sulphide
Microbial -Possible reduction of the bad -Variable, non-contrasted and non-
Figure 85: Pond with Mixer and Dispositive to add
additives. Source: (Flotats, et al., 2004).
133

Agents odours and gas emissions


-Possible fluidification and crust
reduction
-Possible formation of organic
nitrogen
-Possible improving of the solid-
liquid separation efficiency
reproducible results
-Difference between the results in the
laboratory and the field
Absorbent
Agents
-Possible reduction of the bad
odours under certain conditions
-Complex prediction of the effectiveness

Chemical
Additives
-Possible reduction of the bad
odours of some compounds
-Possible undesirable effects on other
compounds
-Dangerous products, difficult to handle,
which suppose and environmental risk

In general, it can be stated that the addition of chemicals and microbiological additives may have
a limited net advantage as one problem is solved by generating another one (Burton&Turner,
2003).
-Yield
The yield of this type of treatment is not contrasted and shows a high variability depending on
the work conditions of the pig farming (Teira, 2008). Most of them can be effective for a specific
action but counterproductive for any other parameter. There are not always positive results
(Flotats, et al., 2004).
-Costs
The costs are also highly variable ranging from 0.25 to 30 per pig in Europe (Flotats, et al.,
2004). For instance, Burton&Turner (2003) states that the chemical agents used to control bad
odours emissions can cost from 5 to 30 per pig produced.

I.4.3.2 Solid-liquid Separation Process
According to Flotats, et al., (2004), it is a physical process which leads to the solid content
separation of the slurry. In this way, two fractions are separated: the solid fraction, which has a
higher solid concentration than the original found in the slurry and the liquid fraction, with a
lower solid concentration than the initial. In addition, chemical agents can be used to increase the
separation efficiency, so called physical chemistry separation. These types of processes also
include the diversion of specific compounds through precipitation. When only mechanical
devices are used to separate the fractions, the process is called physical separation.
Table 26: Advantages and Disadvantages of the use of Chemical or Biological Additives to the ponds.
Source: from (Flotats, et al., 2004).
134











The solid-liquid separation does not modify the composition of the slurry but redistributes the
components. In this way the subsequent treatment, soil application and transport of the manure
improved for both phases.
It is important to stress the fact that the basic element in this treatment is a mechanical device
which separates both fractions. In the case of the physical chemistry separation, the chemical
additive is used to accelerate the precipitation of the colloidal particles by means the coagulation
or flocculation processes. In addition, the adsorption of the specific compounds will also be
improved depending on the type of chemical additive (GESFERa, 2010). According to Flotats, et
al., (2004), it is usual to separate phosphorous of the liquid fraction in Catalonia. To achieve this
goal is necessary to add Calcium Hydroxide [Ca(OH)
2
], if calcium phosphate is the target
compound, whereas to precipitate struvite [Ammonium magnesium phosphate,
(NH
4
)MgPO
4
6H
2
O], it is required the addition of Magnesium hydroxide [Mg(OH)
2
]. In
addition, to obtain struvite implies the separation of nitrogen as well.




Solid-Liquid
Separation
(S/L)
Slurry
Chemical Additive
Liquid Fraction (L)
Solid Fraction (S)
Figure 86: Simplified Diagram of a Physical Chemistry Solid-Liquid (S/L) separation. The Physical
Separation is the same process but without the addition of a chemical additive. Own Source
135

In Catalonia, the coagulants usually used are Aluminium sulphate [Al


2
(SO
4
)
3
], Iron sulphate
[Fe
2
(SO
4
)
3
] or Iron Chloride (FeCl
3
). On the other hand, the flocculants most used are the
polyelectrolytes, which are a huge family of organic compounds with a negative charge on the
surface (Flotats, et al., 2004). An important aspect regarding the use of precipitators, coagulants
or flocculants is that they must not transfer compounds that can affect the quality and the
application use of the solid fraction separated.






The main reasons to use a solid-liquid separation are: to change the characteristics of the slurry
with respect posteriors treatments, the reduction of bad odours and the nutrient distribution in
both fractions (Flotats, et al., 2004).









Figure 87: Manure Solid Fraction (left) and Liquid Fraction (right). Source: from (NCSU, 2000) and
(Flotats, et al., 2004)
Figure 88: Liquid Fraction Storage (top) and
Solid Fraction Storage (bottom) in a Catalan
farm in Lleida: Source (GESFERa, 2010)
136

-Classification of the solid separation devices


























Separation
Natural
Mechanical
-Gravity
-Pressure
-Centrifugation
-Stationary, Run-down screen
-In-channel Flighted
Conveyor Screen
-Vibrating screen
-Rotary Screen
-Centrifuge
-Centrisieve
-Decanting
Centrifuge
-Hydrocyclone
-Roller
Press
-Brushed Screen
with Press-Rolls
-Perforated
Pressure Roller
-Belt
Press
-Screw
Press
-Filter
Press
-Vacuum Filter
-Chamber Filter
Press
Figure 89: Solid-Liquid
Separation of Manure
Source: adapted from (Ford &
Fleming, 2002)
Figure 90: Screw-Press (left), Belt-Press (right top) and Decanting Centrifuge (right bottom)
Source: (GESFERa, 2010)
137












-Gravity Devices
-Centrifugation
Pressure
Figure 93: Schematic representation of the Pressure Solid-Liquid Separation Devices: Brushed Screen
with Press-Rolls (left), belt press (middle) and screw press (right). Source: (Ford et al., 2002)
Figure 92: Schematic representation of the Centrifugation Solid-Liquid Separation Devices: Centrisieve
(left), Decanting Centrifuge (middle) and Hydrocyclone (right). Source: (Ford et al., 2002)
Figure 91: Schematic representation of the Gravity Solid-Liquid Separation Devices: Stationary inclined
(left), Vibrating Screen (middle-left), Rotating Screen (middle-right) and In-channel flighted conveyor screen.
Source: (Ford et al., 2002)
Slurry
Solid F. Liquid F.
-Pressure
138

According to Flotats, et al., (2004), the main advantages and disadvantages are as follows:
-Advantages
It expands the horizon of final use and treatment of the slurry, thus increasing the
management capacity of the slurry.
It improves the subsequent treatment of the separated fractions. Thus, to have a good
clarified liquid fraction facilitates a posterior NDN process with lower energy
consumption. Similarly, the solid fraction will give better compost because the substrate
is more stable (Teira, 2008).
Control of the bad odours due to the fact that there are not uncontrolled decomposition
processes.
The chemical addition of additives increases the separation yield
In the case of using organic biodegradable and non-toxic polyelectrolytes, the solid
fraction can be anaerobically treated and/or composted.
-Disadvantages
Both types of separation described are simply separation processes, thus they do not
eliminate organic matter and nitrogen.
The use of chemical additives can imply very high costs and chemical wastes difficult to
handle and harmful for the environment and human health.
The efficiency of the process usually depends on the pH, which needs to be controlled
along the process.
-Yield
The efficiency of the separation process depends on a large number of factors. However, the
composition of the slurry, the type of separating device, the operation conditions, the use of
chemical additives and the separation compound are amongst the most determining. According
to Ford & Fleming (2002), the processes most efficient with respect the dry matter content are
the decanting centrifuge, the screw press, the Perforated Pressure Roller and the Filter Press
Vacuum Filter. However, regarding the COD, the Nitrogen and Phosphorous show similar
values. In this way, it is possible to reach in good conditions a solid fraction separation values
between 10 and 20% out the initial mass which shows an 80% phosphorous content and 50%
nitrogen content (Burton&Turner, 2003). However, usually there can be found separation values
equal to the 20% out of the initial volume and between 15% to 30% nitrogen in the solid fraction
(Teira, 2008).
-Costs
The chemicals needed to carry out a physical chemistry separation can reach the value of 48
[8kg N/m
3
, (Burton&Tuner, 2003) in order to purify 1m
3
of slurry by precipitation of
139

ammonium-magnesium-phosphate, so called MAP-process. On the other hand, the costs of the


physical separation varies between 0.55 and 1.1 per tonne. However, it can reach values equal
to 3 per tonne depending on the grade sophistication of the device (Flotats, et al., 2004). In this
way, at the low end are basic screening packages, like sieve separators, which costs arising from
25.000 . At the high end costing in excess of 100.000, are the centrifuges (Burton & Turner,
2003). By far, the most economical option is the natural decantation, which spontaneously occurs
in ponds and storage tanks (Teira, 2008).
I.4.4 Membrane Filtration and Reverse Osmosis
The objective of this process is to separate the solid particles from a solution using a semi-
permeable barrier. The discriminating criteria are the particle size (membrane filtration) and the
osmotic concentration, which depends on the salinity, in the case of the reverse osmosis (Flotats,
et al., 2004). In addition, the classification is carried out according the porous size of the
membrane, as it is shown in the figure 94.









This treatment leads to the reduction of the particle and suspended solids compounds. In this
way, there will be obtained a concentrated solid fraction, so called concentrated, and a clarified
liquid fraction, the permeate (Teira, 2008). According to Flotats, et al., (2004), there is also a
reduction of the organic matter, mainly of the soluble forms. Finally, the pathogens
microorganisms are reduced. However, the size of the membrane pore and the energy limitations
of the process will influence in the type of microorganism excluded.



Permeate
Concentrate
Liquid
Fraction of
the Slurry
Figure 94: Schematic Membrane Filtration and Reverse Osmosis Diagram Process. Source:
adapted from (Flotats, et al., 2004)
140












The main advantages and disadvantages according to Flotats, et al., (2004) are:
-Advantages
It is a portable technology which does not occupy a significant amount of space.
It is an automatic process and it does not require a lot of maintenance.
There is a hygienisation of the product. However, the removal of all type of pathogens
will also achieved by reverse osmosis.
It is possible to work with high flow volumes of slurry.
-Disadvantages
The influent must be intensively pre-treated (Teira, 2008).
It does not work with concentrated or semi-diluted slurries (Burton & Turner, 2003)
The membrane needs to be cleaned with strong chemical substances due to degradation
processes like biofouling or concentration polarisation.
High energetic consumption.
The organic matter is not eliminated to meet the legal requirements (ultrafiltration).
Low ammonium elimination efficiency (ultrafiltration).
Figure 95: Classification of the different membrane
filtration processes by the porous membrane size. Source:
adapted from (Lenntech, 2009)
141

-Costs
The costs are due to the electrical energy
consumption and the chemical products used to
clean the membranes. In the ultrafiltration process,
the electricity required can reach values of 20-25
kWh/m
3
. In the reverse osmosis, the values are
higher. However, the elevated costs of these types
of treatment processes cause a serious limitation in
the implementation in the livestock sector in
Catalonia.






V.4.5 Ozonisation
There is also the possibility to apply ozone to the pig manure. The goal of this treatment is to
partially oxidise the organic matter compounds especially difficult to degrade in order to
improve the subsequent biological treatment.







To oxidise the ammonia nitrogen, ozone can be applied to obtain nitrate. However, the
ammonium ion cannot be oxidised, due to the fact that is thermodynamically impossible (Flotats,
Figure 96: Membrane filtration device in
Japan. Source: (Johnson et al., 2004)
Ozonisation
Figure 97: Schematic Ozonisation Diagram Process. Source: adapted from (Flotats, et al.,
2004)
Slurry Effluent
O
3
142

et al, 2004). Thus, there is a need to help the ammonium to change to ammonia to increase the
velocity of the process by increasing the pH or the temperature.
To apply ozone to the manure can be interesting as a post-treatment of the manure. In Catalonia
there are few experiences in centralised manure treatment plants. The main limitation of this
process is the formation of foams and low cost-efficiency results.

I.4.6 Organic Matter Stabilisation Processes
I.4.6.1 Composting
This type of treatment implies the aerobic decomposition of the organic matter and the
stabilisation of the different organic co-substrates contained in either the manure or the solid
fraction of the slurry, which improves the fertiliser capacity. This process runs at thermophilic
temperatures (between 50 and 70C) due to the biological thermal energy produced during the
decomposition of the organic matter. The final product can be safely applied to the soil in
hygienic terms due to the fact that the high temperatures kill the pathogens and seeds (Flotats, et
al., 2004). In addition, the bad odour emission will be reduced by the elimination of the organic
matter (Teira, 2008).









The main products produced by the microorganism activity are carbon dioxide, water and heat.
The system needs oxygen, which will be used by the microorganisms to carry out their
metabolism. This supply will be realised by rotary piles or different types of forced aeration. The
aeration of the piles helps to regulate the humidity created during the evaporation, which also
helps to keep the temperature of the process (Flotats, et al., 2004).
Composting
Pile
Manure or
Solid
fraction of
the slurry
Compost
Carbon
Source
O
2 CO
2
+ Water + Heat
Figure 98: Schematic Diagram Composting Process. Source: adapted from (Flotats, et al.,
2004)
143

The composting process requires certain specific starting conditions. According to Flotats, et al.,
(2004) and Teira (2008), firstly the system must have a humidity value between 30-40 and 65%.
Conditions lower than 30% will cause that process runs very slow. However, conditions higher
than 80% avoids that the circulation of O
2
through the pores of the system and limits the
microorganism growth. In addition, the increase of the temperature experienced during the
composting process evaporates the water, which must be supplied to keep the humidity of the
composting system.
Secondly, the system must have a porous structure which allows the aeration and increases the
decomposition. This porosity is usually achieved in Catalonia by mixing it with vegetal matter
(straw, pruning wastes, pine bark, etc.). Finally, the composting process must have an adequate
Carbon/Nitrogen (C/N) ratio, [between 25 and 35 at the starting point (the solid fraction of the
pig manure has a value equal to 9)]. Due to the fact that the pig manure usually has high nitrogen
content values, it is required the mixing with materials with high carbon contents and low
nitrogen content. Therefore, it can be concluded that in the case of the pig manure in Catalonia
there is need to mix the solid fraction of the manure with vegetal matter in order to regulate the
humidity, structure and C/N ratio.
The simplest method to compost, either in-situ or ex-situ of the farm, is the composting static
piles. These piles usually have a height equal to 2 meters. When these piles are turned over
periodically and there is an addition of humidity when needed, this system is called composting
non-static piles. Other methods allow a much faster composting process and a better control of
the composting conditions. However, the costs are much higher (Flotats, et al., 2004). These
processes imply the use of artificial aeration systems and closed composter units. In Catalonia
the system most used is the non-static composting piles. Theses piles, which have a transversal
section with a triangular or trapezoidal shape, can have a length higher than 20 m.
Figure 99: Manure Composting Piles. Source: from [BIOGRO, 2010, (left)] and [(Ecoliblog, 2006,
(right)]
144

The composting process leads to a hygienisation of the solid fraction of the manure if the
temperatures reached during the process are high enough, i.e. temperatures higher than 55C
during the first two weeks or higher than 65C during the first week (Teira, 2008). This
hygienisation involves killing all the pathogen, weeds seeds, and insect larvae and eggs. In
addition, there is a removal of the bad odours due to the decomposition of the organic volatile
compounds. The volume, weight and humidity are also parameters which are significantly
reduced. Finally, the concentration of the total nitrogen should not be affected in normal working
conditions of the composting process even though part of the ammonia nitrogen changes to
organic nitrogen. However, there is a loss of ammonia nitrogen if the working conditions are not
adequate (Flotats, et al., 2004).
According to Flotats, et al., (2004), the main advantages and disadvantages are:
-Advantages
The Solid fraction of the pig slurry is transformed to an organic compost soil
amendment.
Reduction of the weight and volume between 40% and 50% out of the total with respect
to the beginning of the process.
Bad odours reduction.
Hygienisation.
Possible further production of high quality products like peat or Terra Preta.
-Disadvantages
There is a need of a large impermeable surface with a system to collect lixiviates
produced during the composting process. This lixiviates can be used to irrigate the
composting area.
The heavy metal fraction is concentrated in the final product, which is especially
negative in systems with high heavy metal concentration in the starting point or the
addition of materials with high concentrations.
If the C/N ration is too low, there will be ammonia losses to the atmosphere.
-Costs
According to Teira (2008), the costs of the composting process come from the necessity to
supply O
2
. In Catalonia, the simplest way to carry out this activity is turning over the pile with a
shovel. However, the forced aeration is starting to be implemented in the pig farms which
compost manure due to the fact that it is not excessively expensive and leads to a decrease of the
turning over of the piles. Thus, the livestock farmer activities are not significantly modifies by
this activity. In Catalonia the composting process is applied largely in the cattle manure sector.
The costs are 7.2/t solid fraction of the slurry or 3.5/m
3
liquid fraction of the slurry. The
management costs for the composting process in Catalonia are 1.3/t of fresh material. Due to
145

the fact that the individual composting of the manure is considered difficult to handle, it is
recommend the externalisation of the process (Teira, 2008).
-Yield
According to Teira (2008), the total nitrogen content does not vary, ideally. However, in real
conditions, the nitrogen losses are very high, which diminishes the fertiliser capacity of compost
and causes environmental pollution. It is difficult to operate the process with nitrogen losses
lower than 10% out of the initial content. Nevertheless, if the initial composting phase is closed
there can be a significant reduction of the nitrogen losses.

I.4.6.2 Aerobic Digestion
This process decomposes the organic matter in anaerobic conditions by means of microbial
activity. The oxygen must be supplied by means of superficial stirring or bubbling of the slurry
pond (Flotats, et al., 2004).
The Aerobic digestion is a process equivalent to the composting of the solid fraction of the slurry
but applied to either the liquid fraction of the slurry or the raw slurry (Teira, 2008). In addition,
the only goal of the treatment is to reduce the organic matter, without taking into account the
C/N ratio or the quality of the final product (Flotats, et al., 2004). If there is a high organic
matter concentration, it is possible that the treatment reaches thermophilic temperatures (higher
than 45C). Thus, the slurry will be experience a hygienisation process. When the generated heat
is enough to keep the thermophilic temperatures in a continuous way, the process is called
Autoheated Thermophilic Aerobic Digestion [ATAD] (Flotats, et al., 2004).








There is also a reduction of the ammonia nitrogen, due to the fact that the microorganisms
incorporate the fraction of ammonia nitrogen transformed to organic form. Another important
Aerobic
Digestion
O
2
Figure 100: Schematic Diagram Anaerobic Digestion Process. Source: adapted from (Flotats,
et al., 2004)
Liquid
Fraction of
the Slurry/
Slurry
Liquid
Effluent
Energy

146

characteristic of this treatment is that the final product shows better decanting properties which
improves the solid-liquid separation process. This is due to the fact that the aerobic
microorganisms create aggregates, which show a higher sedimentation capacity (Flotats, et al.,
2004). It has been observed a reduction of the pathogens concentration. Finally, the organic
matter stabilises and there is a reduction of the bad odours.
The main advantages and disadvantages according to Flotats, et al., (2004) and Teira (2008) are:
-Advantages
Pathogenic Capacity reduction.
It is a simple process, which only requires the aeration of the ponds.
It improves a subsequent solid-liquid separation.
There is an increase of the organic nitrogen concentration in the solid fraction.
-Disadvantages
The aeration has a high cost, due to the electrical energy consumption.
There can be foaming processes.
The improvement of the subsequent solid-liquid separation is lower when the
thermophilic range of temperatures is reached.
-Costs
The high energy costs cause that there is not even one single aerobic treatment process in
Catalonia.
-Yield
This treatment can achieve a 60% maximum reduction of the volatile organic solids (Flotats, et
al., 2004).







147

I.4.7 Nitrogen Elimination or Reduction Processes


I.4.7.1 Nitrification-Denitrification (NDN)
The NDN is a microbiological process which eliminates a fraction of the nitrogen contained in
the liquid fraction of the pig slurry. The NDN, then, requires a previous solid-liquid separation
step (Teira, 2008).
In this treatment, the ammonium is oxidised to nitrate by autotrophic bacteria in aerobic
conditions and inorganic carbon (nitrification). Then, the nitrate is reduced to molecular nitrogen
gas by heterotrophic bacteria in anaerobic conditions and organic carbon [denitrification]
(Flotats, et al., 2004). This process allows the transformation of the organic and ammonia
nitrogen in nitrogen gas, which is a non-pollutant inert gas. In addition there is a reduction of the
organic matter, which is consumed by the metabolic activity of the microbes. Moreover, there is
a decrease in the bad odours emissions. However, this process can lead to volatilisation of the
ammonia if not adequately controlled. The pH and the alkalinity of the slurry are modified
during the process.











According to Teira (2008), there are several configurations possible that allow running the
process. The main differences are mainly due to the hydraulic flow. In this way, there are two
different systems, the continuous or discontinuous systems. The basic difference will be that the
continuous system is based on the space and the discontinuous in the time.


Nitrification
Liquid
Effluent
Liquid
Fraction of
Sludge

Denitrification
N
2
O
2
Figure 101: Schematic Diagram Composting Process. Source: adapted from (Flotats, et al.,
2004)
148

The main advantages and disadvantages identified by Flotats, et al., (2004) are:
-Advantages
Elimination of the nitrogen.
Elimination of the organic matter without the addition of O
2
.
Reduction of GHG emissions.
Reduction of the bad odours emission.
-Disadvantages
It avoids closing the nitrogen cycle between the agriculture and the livestock farming.
The inversion costs are high.
The running costs of the process depend on the electrical consumption of the system,
which usually is the limiting factor.
There is a need of control due to the large variability of factors that influence the process,
like the composition of the slurry, the type of microbial population, temperatures and the
amount of slurry introduced in the system.
It is a sensitive process to the presence of toxic substances and inhibitors. In this way, the
own substrate during the nitrification is an inhibitor of the microbial activity.
The sludge generated must be managed as a waste.
As any other biological process, the system must work in a continuous way.
There is a need that the slurry contains enough inorganic and organic carbon to complete
the process.
-Yield
There is a high variability of the yield of the process due to the large amount of factors that play
a role in the efficiency of the NDN process. According to Flotats et al, (2004) some of these
factors are: the composition of the slurry, the organic matter biodegradability, the organic matter
availability during the denitrification and finally the final goal of the treatment, i.e. partial or
total elimination of the nitrogen.






149

Parameter
Liquid Effluent
(%,
out of the
Liquid Fraction
of the Slurry)
Sludge
(%,
out of the
Liquid Fraction
of the Slurry)
Total Solids 10-70 40-60
Volatile Solids 5-50 40-60
Conductivity 30-50 -
CDO 5-50 40-60
Nitrogen 5-70 20-30
Phosphorous 10-80 20-90



-Costs
The electrical consumption of the process reaches values between 10 and 25 kWh/m
3
of slurry.
However, this value depends on the efficiency of the previous solid-liquid separation step
process and in a set of factors, the most important are: the efficiency of the aeration system
chosen, the oxygen consumption needed to nitrificate (approximately 4.6 Kg O
2
/Kg N) and to
oxidise the organic matter during the aerobic phase, the organic matter content of the slurry and
the ammonia nitrogen content and design of the system used (Flotats, et al., 2004).
Considering exclusively the NDN costs, the total costs for a partial treatment can be between
0.5 and 2.1 /tonne. If the treatment is total, considering the previous solid-liquid separation,
and the posterior composting treatment of the solid fraction, the costs can reach values between
2.5 and 5.2 /tonne.








Table 27: Component Distribution in the liquid effluent
and the sludge generated during the NDN process. Source:
from (Flotats et al., 2004)
150
























Separation
Systems
NDN
Systems
-Suspended
Biomass
-Fixed
Biomass
-Continuous
- Reals
-Complete Mixing
-Piston Flux
-SBR
Figure 102: Classification of the Nitrification-Denitrification systems: Source: adapted from Flotats, et al., 2004
-Discontinuous
-Rotating Biodiscs
-Percolating Filters
-Submerged Filters
-Fluidizers Beds
-Air-Lift Reactors
-Suspended
Biomass
-Fixed
Biomass
-Anoxic
Contact
-Others
-Continuous
-Discontinuous
- Real
-Complete
-Piston Flux
-SBR
-UASB
-Anoxic Filters
-Fluidizers Beds
151

I.4.7.2 Stripping and Absorption


In this treatment, the ammonia nitrogen is removed from the liquid stream by a vapour stream.
Subsequently, the ammonia nitrogen must be absorbed into a water flow, which produces either
ammonia water or an ammonium salt, like ammonium sulphate.










The stripping process is improved if the pH of the slurry is high and/or if the temperature is also
high (more than 60C) (Flotats, et al., 2004). However, the absorption process requires an acid
pH. To remove organic volatile compounds from the final product, which can cause bad odours
and difficulties to use this product as a fertiliser, there is a need to previously eliminate the
organic matter most volatile fraction of the organic matter contained in the slurry. This can be
done with the anaerobic digestion. In addition, the thermal energy that can be obtained from the
biogas cogeneration process can be used to increase the temperatures above 60C.
Teira (2008) states that the previous anaerobic treatment improves the formation of the
ammonium salts, which has a lower organic matter content and then crystallize better.
The main advantages according to Flotats, et al, (2004) and Teira (2008):
-Advantages
The nitrogen contained in the slurry can be recovered and reused.
There is a reduction of the energy and mineral fertiliser consumption.


Figure 103: Schematic Striping & Absorption Diagram Process. Source: adapted from
(Flotats, et al., 2004)
S
t
r
i
p
p
i
n
g

A
b
s
o
r
p
t
i
o
n

Acidified Water
Ammonia Water
Liquid Effluent
Slurry
152

-Disadvantages
There is a requirement of a previous treatment (anaerobic, aerobic, solid-liquid
separation).
There is a need to increase the pH and/or increase the temperature to adequately run the
process, which in the case of pig manure change the ammonium-ammonia equilibrium.
There is a need to handle chemicals which are toxic and harmful for the environment and
the human health.
The final product must meet some quality criteria to introduce it to the market (high
ammonia concentration and minimum organic matter).
There has to be a market for the final product.

-Costs
There are not commercial facilities in Catalonia















Figure 104: Ammonium salts obtained in the stripping/absorption
process from raw pig slurry (left) and digestate (right). Source:
from Teira (2008).
153

I.4.8 Energy Production Processes


I.4.8.1 Anaerobic Digestion
This treatment is a biological process which takes place in the absence of oxygen and transforms
part of the organic matter contained in the slurry in a mixture of gases. Methane (CH
4
) and
Carbon dioxide (CO
2
) are the main components of biogas (Flotats, et al., 2004). If the methane
concentration of the gas is higher than 60% with a calorific power lower than 5.500 kcal/m
3
, the
mixture is called biogas (Teira, 2008).
The methane is produced when the volatile fatty acids contained in the organic matter are
consumed by methanogenic bacteria, which also produces CO
2
. Previously, these types of fatty
acids have been decomposed from the organic matter contained in the slurry. All these biological
processes occur simultaneously in the anaerobic reactor. A schematic diagram is shown in the
figure 105.

According to Flotats, et al., (2004), the final products of this treatment are the biogas and the
slurry digestate. The Biogas has a significantly much lower energetic capacity than fossil fuels
and 1 m
3
of biogas is equivalent to 0.6L of gasoil. The anaerobic treatment can be done either at
Figure 105: Schematic diagram of an Anaerobic Treatment Plant of manure. Source: adapted
from Flotats, et al., 2004
Heat
Exchanger
Co-substrates
Agitator
Thermal
Electrical
BIOGAS
Degasificator
154

35C (mesophilic regime) or at 55C (thermophilic regime). It is important to take into account
that a fraction of the biogas produced in most of anaerobic treatment plants is used to keep this
range of temperatures.
The anaerobic treatment process reduces the organic matter content of the slurry. In addition, it
also reduces the bad odours emission and the solids content. Moreover, there is a reduction of the
pathogenic microorganism concentration, especially if the treatment is carried out at 55C, i.e.
thermophilic regime. However, it is observed that the ammonia nitrogen concentration increases
(Flotats, et al., 2004).


The main advantages and disadvantages according to Flotats, et al., (2004) and Teira (2008) are:
-Advantages
There is a production of energy, due to the fact that the energetic balance of the treatment
is positive.
It stabilises the organic matter.
Partial mineralisation of the organic matter.
Homogenisation of the composition and the suspended particles.
Reduction and control of the bad odours.
Reduction of uncontrolled emission of GHG.
Improves the efficiency of other processes which can be applied subsequently, like
evaporation/concentration or ammonia stripping.


Figure 106: Centralised (left) and Decentralised (right) Anaerobic Plant. Source: Flotats, et al., 2004
155

-Disadvantages
The inversion cost are high, due to the fact that they are closed systems that require the
technological infrastructure to control and take benefit of the biogas produced (at least in
Catalonia, there are not low-cost biogas production technologies).
In Catalonia, the applicability of the thermal energy is limited. Therefore, there is a need
to find alternatives which consume this energy.
There is a need of periodical supervision, mainly to keep the equilibrium conditions for
the microbial communities that take part in the process.
The growth rate of the microorganisms is low, which causes long retention times in the
digester, between 15 to 20 days, and the need of huge reactor volumes as well.
It is highly sensitive to the presence of inhibitors or toxic compounds, like ammonia
nitrogen, heavy metals, long chain volatile fatty acids, pH, antibiotics and disinfectants,
sulphurs, etc. Most of these compounds are present in the pig slurry and/or in the co-
substrates added to increase the yield.
The nitrogen is not eliminated during the process. Therefore there is a need to further
treat the digestate in case that there are nitrogen and/or phosphate related problems.
There is not a reduction of the volume. That is, the water content remains almost
unaffected.
If the slurry has previously been stored for long periods (the Catalan legislation dictates 4
months of mandatory storage before processing it), the biogas production values are
dramatically reduced because part of the methane has already produced in the storage
tanks in non-controlled conditions.
There is a need to pre-treat (especially for cogeneration plants). This is due to the fact
that there is a significant fraction of organic matter particles which do not degrade. In
addition, this fact also causes that there is decrease in the biogas yield.
In zones with nutrient exceeding problems, there is a need to post-treat the digestate. The
Anaerobic digestion should be implemented together with another treatment process to
recover the nitrogen, phosphorous, other mineral compounds and water.
The low organic matter concentration causes a low biogas production, between 16-20m
3

of slurry.
There are inhibitors substances in the slurry, like Cu, Zn, antibiotics and disinfectants.
The storage time decreases the energetic capacity of the slurry.
If the biogas needs to be introduced to the natural gas grid, there is a need to cool, drain,
dry and clean (H
2
S) the biogas. This is done by biological or chemical processes. There is
also the need to separate the CO
2
.



156

I.4.8.2 Co-digestion
According to Teira (2008), it is the anaerobic digestion of two or more substrates to optimise the
biogas production and overcome some of the limitations of this treatment. One important
characteristic is that the substrates will compensate the deficiencies each other. In this way, the
manure will be a substrate rich in nitrogen and the co-substrates rich in organic matter. However,
it is of foremost importance the adequate balance between the substrates in order to achieve good
process conditions, which will depend on the nutrient balance, the C/N ratio and the pH. The Co-
digestion is the most efficient technique to increase the yield of the pig manure anaerobic
digestion process.
I.4.8.3 Cogeneration plants
They use energy from fossil fuels to produce energy and to dry the slurry. The cogeneration can
be understood as a way to reduce the costs of the thermal treatment of the slurry. However, the
cogeneration technology requires a pre-treatment of the slurry which in Catalonia implies a
homogenisation step, followed by a hygienisation with air and heating plus a sieving process and
a biological treatment. Subsequently there will be carried out the anaerobic digestion (the biogas
is used as a fuel to generate electricity) and one acidification step to fix the nitrogen mineral to
ammonium ion with sulphuric acid until pH 5 (Vzquez, 2003). When all these steps have been
done, a liquid and a solid effluent are obtained. Then, it is carried out the evaporation of the
liquid fraction at vacuum and temperature lower than 100C. On the other hand, the solid fraction
is dewatered by means of the thermal energy of the motors of cogeneration.
-Costs
The cogeneration plants have a cost of 60 to 90 per tonne of slurry treated annually (Vzquez,
2003). This is an inversion of 480 per pig place. The amortisation period depends on the
fluctuation of the organic fertiliser and the energy price of the energy produced. 93% of the
revenues come from selling electricity and 2% of selling fertiliser. 79% of the costs are generated
to purchase the fossil fuels. The livestock farmers have to pay a cost for transport and
management. The first is 1.5 per m
3
in Catalonia.
In addition, a cogeneration plant must be located in the gravity centre of the plants, with a supply
of water higher than 10m
3
/h, close to the electrical grid and with gas natural supply as well as to
have available a surface of 1.5 ha. Finally, these plants produce gas emissions due to the fossil
fuels, NO
x
, CO, and different substances that come from the slurry not treated (NO
x
, NH
3

particles, CO, CO
2
and SO
2
).



157

-Yield
Apart from producing biogas, the anaerobic treatment process modifies the organic matter
content of the slurry, which appears significantly reduced in the effluent, and the transformation
rate of ammonia nitrogen.
-Typical data: Fattening pigs with slurry 6.5% Solid matter and 55g COD/L 11-18m
3
of
biogas per tonne, with a methane content of 65-70%.









-Costs
In the table 29 there are shown the inversion values according to the reactor volume, which
decrease as the reactor volume increases.



Parameter
Digestate
(% the slurry value)
Volume flow 95-98
Total Solids 20-45
Volatile Solids 40-60
Organic Nitrogen 60-40
Ammonia Nitrogen 140-160
Nitric Acid 0
Phosphorous 100
COD 40-60
Construction
Costs
Reactor
Volume (m
3
)
/m
3

50 1999.85
200 910.60
800 413.47
1200 356.39
Cogeneration Costs

Electrical
Potency (kW)
/m
3

30 46.000
70 86.000
100 112.000
300 252.000
Boiler Costs

Nominal
Potency (kW)

35 579
100 1.422
300 2.567
2000 11.135
Table 28: Anaerobic Digestion Yield at
mesophilic conditions and retention time 20 days.
Source: adapted from (Flotats, et al., 2004)
Table 29: Anaerobic Treatment Orientative Costs depending on the Farm Size, Motors and
Boilers. Source: adapted from (Flotats, et al., 2004)
158

The maintenance costs are 2.5% out of the total inversion. The revenues depend on the biogas
production, the actual use of biogas and the farm needs. On the other hand, the thermal energy
used is equivalent to 9L of gasoil per meter cubic of slurry treated (taking into account a biogas
production of 15m
3
), i.e. a saving of 4/m
3
treated slurry. As a mean, the amortisation costs are
approximately between 10 to 13 years (Teira, 2008), but these costs depend on a large number of
factors, like the type of farm, the size and the energetic needs.







This technology is viable in Catalonia if the energy prices and funds to the biomethanisation
process are high enough and cause that the revenues are higher than the costs of
biomethanisation plus the management of the effluents (where the nitrogen is still present, only
has change the form, form organic nitrogen to mineral). The current interest of the livestock
farmers in the production of energy treatments is linked to the fund the Spanish government
currently gives to the electricity sold to the grid which is generated in cogeneration process
(where the thermal energy is used in the slurry treatment) or the anaerobic co-digestion, where
the biogas is used to generate electricity.

I.4.8.4 Pre-treatment of substrates in the Anaerobic Digestion Treatment Plants
According to Burton & Turner (2003), the pre-treatment of the slurry in an anaerobic treatment
plant is carried out to accomplish 6 processes:
Removal of Undesired particles.
Size reduction of bulky particles.
Physical or chemical break-up of substrates.
Blending of different waste streams.
Volumetric buffering between delivery and digestion of the slurry.
Sanitisation of kitchen and other food wastes.
Inversion Costs 211.900
Maintenance Costs 4.985/year
Energetic Savings 19.993/year
Amortisation time with fund 13 years
Amortisation time without fund 10.4 years
Table 30: Costs for a closed cycle pig farm with 500
sows and a slurry production of 9.000m
3
per year
Source: adapted from (Flotats, et al., 2004)
159

Ior instance, in large-scale plants, it is common the manual sorting of iron and non-iron metals.
Wood, bones, glass and plastic are best removed mechanically by conveyor belts. An alternative
to this are the rotating screens with mesh sizes between 40mm and 80 mm, there have been
attempts to increase the loading rate and the biogas production from slurry by a previous
mechanical separation followed by gravity settling of pig wastes. Another example is the thermal
pre-treatment of the raw slurry to induce thermal or enzymatic hydrolysis. Finally, an alternative
to thermal hydrolysis is the use of strong acid or alkali but the implied cost, hazard and
environmental problems make this an unattractive approach (Burton & Turner, 2003).

I.4.8.5 Post-treatment of substrates in the Anaerobic Digestion Treatment Plants
This type of processes can be either sterilisation or physical solid-liquid separation. The
sterilisation can be carried out by retaining the digestate in a vessel at a specified temperature for
a guaranteed minimum time. This process is done in Denmark (Burton & Turner, 2003). In
addition, the digestate can be stored for a long period of time to ensure the decline of any
pathogens that may be present. Finally, solid-liquid separation is usually applied when part of the
digestate has to be transported over a long distance (more than 10-15 Km)

I.4.9 Water Content Reduction Processes
I.4.9.1 Evaporation/Drying










Figure 107: Schematic Evaporation (left) and Drying (right) Diagram Process. Source:
adapted from (Flotats, et al., 2004)
E
v
a
p
o
r
a
t
o
r

Condenser
Condensate
Concentrate
Hot
Air
Condensate
Dryer
Dry
C
o
n
d
e
n
s
e
r

160

In this process the water is separated from the slurry by means of evaporation. In order to avoid
the emission of pollutant gases to the atmosphere there is a need to carry out the process at low
pressures and a subsequent condensation of the vapours generated, i.e. recuperation of the
condensed water.
If the slurry is a liquid with some dissolved or suspended solid particles, the process is called
evaporation. The final product will be a concentrated with a solid concentration between 25 and
30% and the condensates (Flotats, et al., 2004)., in this case water. On the other hand, when the
slurry has a humid solid consistence, i.e. a concentration of solids higher than 20-30% (Flotats, et
al., 2004), the process is called drying. In the drying treatment, hot air is used to evacuate the
humidity. This air can have a relatively high ammonia concentration and other volatile
compounds, due to this fact it is necessary to clean the air after recovering the condensed water
(Flotats, et al., 2004).
The concentrate resulting from the evaporation/drying process will contain all the nitrogen if
previously the pH has been decreased by means of the addition of an acid. The condensed water
can be discharged always that the organic matter has been reduced by means of an anaerobic
treatment process with the final production of biogas. The energy produced by this treatment can
be used to dry or evaporate the slurry (Flotats, et al., 2004).
The goal of this treatment is to reduce the transport costs in order to redistribute the nutrient
surplus in different geographical areas (Teira, 2008).
The main advantages according to Flotats, et al., (2004) are:
-Advantages
Volume reduction.
Nutrient recuperation in the solid fraction.
Figure 108: Evaporation (left) and Drying of the Pig Manure. Source: from (PigWasteSolutions, 2010)
161

It is a good way to use the thermal exceeding energy from an energy process.
-Disadvantages
There is a need of a previous step to reduce or eliminate the organic matter.
It is a complex and expensive process (both the inversion and maintenance costs).
There is a need to use acid compounds to decrease the pH.
The final product must have a market.
When the final product desired is a solid with water concentration lower than 10%, the
heat needed must come from a thermal energy pant or a cogeneration of energy plant. In
the case of pig slurry, this implies to combine both processes, evaporation and drying,
which makes necessary the collective treatment.

-Costs
This strategy depends on the compensation price of the kW generated by Biogas production
regulated by the Catalan Government. Thus, the economic viability of this technology is not
guaranteed. However, the costs are very high because this technology is highly energy intensive
and the application in Catalonia is only possible if there is a centralised treatment plant with
cogeneration of energy and final biogas production (Flotats, et al., 2004, Teira, 2008)

I.5 Economical Valoration of a Treatments System
According to Teira (2008), to economically evaluate a treatment there is a need to include the
construction and the operation costs in addition to the equipment costs. However, the operation
costs are not easy to calculate. Therefore, there is a need to include parameters to control the
calculation of the costs during the treatment to avoid the uncertainties of the results as much as
possible. Thus, the control of the amortisation, human labour, energy, chemical reagents,
maintenance, legal permits, transport and chemical analysis costs are indispensable to calculate
the cost per unit volume of slurry treated. Once determined the unitary cost of the treatment
(before the application of the treatment the company offered by the company will be used as a
reference), there is a need to calculate the new manure management costs. These costs can be
modified by a set of factors, the most important are: the transport costs of the solid fraction to
distant areas and/or the management costs to apply it in the neighbouring areas.
Due to these facts, there is a serious lack of scientific data about the treatment costs. In addition,
this data is highly uncertain and not only does not take into account basic economical cost but it
does not take into account environmental costs, ecological economics, life cycle analysis costs,
human health costs, uncertainty issues costs, damage of natural resources, water and air,
162

ecological commerce costs, (fertilisers and feeds bought to developing countries, petrol transport
costs, etc.). In addition, there must be taken into account the application costs.
The reference costs used in Catalonia to compare the treatment costs are the direct application of
the slurry to the soil (without taking into account all the externalities produced). This costs would
be between 1.9 and 2.2/m
3
in zones with low and medium density of livestock. For zones with
high densities the costs are between 3 and 4/m
3
, being the maximum registered 5.49/m
3
. These
costs do not consider the substitution value of the slurry as a fertiliser, which is 1.36/m
3
taking
into account only the nitrogen and 3.5/m
3
, taking into account phosphorous and potassium as
well.
Currently, the total or partial treatment of the manure treatment is at least between 1.6/m
3
and
7.5/m
3
. The treatment costs at individual scale are too high for the farmer. Thus, the problem is
defined as economical.

163

II. Evaluation Matrix Methodology


II.I Theoretical Score Rating





















Score and
Rating Table
Economical
(weight 100)
Very Low Low Medium High Very High N Criteria Score
Investment Costs 5 4 3 2 1 11 9,1
Amortisation Time 5 4 3 2 1

Revenues 1 2 3 4 5

Operation and
Maintenance Costs
5 4 3 2 1

Transport Costs 5 4 3 2 1
Treatment Costs 5 4 3 2 1

Human labour 5 4 3 2 1

Farmer Acceptance 1 2 3 4 5

Product value 1 2 3 4 5

Volume reduction 1 2 3 4 5

Subsides and Funding 1 2 3 4 5

Table 31: Theoretical Indicative Score Rating of the Economical Dimension Criteria.
Source:Own
164


Technological
(100 points)
Very
Low
Low Medium High
Very
High
N
Criteria
Score
Number of unitary processes used
(struvite precipitation=
centrifuge + additives +
chemicals + separation
+ precipitation)
5 4 3 2 1 12 8.3
Number of treatment steps
(S/L separation + struvite
precipitation)
5 4 3 2 1

Volume of manure treated 1 2 3 4 5

Volume of effluent 5 4 3 2 1
Volume of product final 1 2 3 4 5
Degree of automation 1 2 3 4 5

Separation efficiency of fractions 1 2 3 4 5

Separation of nutrients 1 2 3 4 5

Functional reliability 1 2 3 4 5

Flexibility of the treatment:
land application, market, both, more:
1 2 3 4 5

State-of-the-art: 1 2 3 4 5
Pre-treatment: 5 4 3 2 1






Table 32: Theoretical Indicative Score Rating of the Technological Dimension Criteria.
Source:Own
165





Environmental
(200 points)
Very
Low
Low Medium High Very
High
N
Criteria
Score
Uncontrolled Nitrate release to the
environment Tonnes
5 4 3 2 1 13 15.4
Uncontrolled Phosphorous release to the
environment
5 4 3 2 1
Water consumption 5 4 3 2 1
Organic matter content reduction 5 4 3 2 1
Antibiotics and Hormones reduction 1 2 3 4 5
Biological Contamination 5 4 3 2 1
Concentration of Nitrogen in the
product final (P and K as well)
1 2 3 4 5
Odours 5 4 3 2 1
Ammonia emissions 5 4 3 2 1
Hygienisation 1 2 3 4 5
Quality effluent 1 2 3 4 5
GHG emissions 5 4 3 2 1
Heavy metals recovery 1 2 3 4 5







Table 33: Theoretical Indicative Score Rating of the Environmental Dimension Criteria.
Source:Own
166


Materials
andEnergy
Very
Low
Low Medium High
Very
High
N
Criteria
Score
Amount of materials used 5 4 3 2 1 9 11.1
Energy use 5 4 3 2 1
Energy Balance Negative:1;Positive:5

Scale of the treatment Onfarm:5;Centralised:1

Number of unitary processes used


(struvite precipitation=
centrifuge + additives +
chemicals + separation +
precipitation
5 4 3 2 1

Number of treatment steps
(S/L separation + struvite
precipitation)
5 4 3 2 1

Fossil fuels consumption 5 4 3 2 1

Electrical consumption 5 4 3 2 1

Chemicals 5 4 3 2 1








Table 34: Theoretical Indicative Score Rating of the Materials & Energy Dimension
Criteria. Source:Own
167

II.2 Evaluation


No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic
without
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Economical
(weight 100)
Investment Costs Low Very High High Very High Medium
Amortisation Time Very Low Very High Medium High Medium
Revenues Very Low Medium Medium High High
Operation and
Maintenance Costs
Low High High High Medium
Transport Costs Medium Low High Low Low
Treatment Costs Very Low Very High Very High Very High Medium
Human labour Low Medium Medium High Medium
Farmer Acceptance Very High Medium High Low Very Low
Product value Very Low High High High High
Volume reduction Very Low Very High Low Very High Very High
Subsides
and Funding
Very Low Low Very High Very High Very Low





Table 35: Evaluation of the Economical Dimension Criteria. Source:Own
168


Technological (100
points)
No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic
without
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Number of unitary
processes used (struvite
precipitation=centrifuge
+ additives +
chemicals+separation +
precipitation)
Very Low Very High High Very High Medium
Number of treatment
steps (S/L separation +
struvite precipitation)
Very Low Very High High Very High Medium
Volume of manure
treated
Very Low Very High Medium Very High Medium
Volume of effluent Very High Very Low High Very Low Low
Volume of product final Very Low Very High Medium Very High High
Degree of automation Very Low High High High Medium
Separation efficiency of
fractions
Very Low Very High Low Very high Very High
Separation of nutrients Very Low Very High Low Very High Very High
Functional reliability Very low High High High Low
Flexibility of the
treatment: land
application, market,
both, more:
Very low Very High Low Very High Very High
State-of-the-art: High Medium Medium Medi Very low
Pre-treatment: Very low Very High High Very High Ver low






Table 36: Evaluation of the Technological Dimension Criteria. Source:Own
169

Environmental No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic wo
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Uncontrolled
Nitrate release to the
environment
Very high Low High Low Low
Uncontrolled
Phosphorous release
to the environment
Very high Low High Low Low
Water consumption High Very High High Very High Low
Organic matter
content reduction
Very Low Very Low Very High Very High Very Low
Antibiotics and
Hormones rduction
Very Low Very Low Very Low Very Low Very Low
Biological
Contamination
High Medium Medium Medim Medium
Concentration of N, P
and K in the final
product
Low Very High Medium High High
Odours Very High Medium Low Low Medium
Ammonia emissions Very High Medium Medium Medium Very Low
Hygienisation Very Low Medium Low Medium Medium
Quality effluent Very Low High Low High High
GHG emissions Very High Medium Low Low Medium
Heavy metals
recovery
Very Low Very Low Very Low Very Low Very Low









Table 37: Evaluation of the Environmental Dimension Criteria. Source:Own
170



Materials and Energy No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic wo
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Amount of materials
used
Very Low Very High High Very High Low
Energy use Low Very High High Very High Medium
Energy Balance Negative Negative Positive Negative Negative
Scale of the treatment On-farm Centralised On-farm Centralised On-farm
Number of unitary
processes used
Very Low Very High High Very High Medium
Number of treatment
steps
Very Low Very High High Very High Medium
Fossil fuels
consumption
Low High Medium High Medium
Electrical
consumption
Medium Very High Medium Very High Low
Chemicals Low Very High High Very High Medium








Table 38: Evaluation of the Materials & Energy Dimension Criteria. Source:Own
171

II.3 Conversion

No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic
wo
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Economical
(weight 100)

Investment
Costs
4 1 2 1 3
Amortisation
Time
5 1 3 2 3
Revenues 1 3 3 4 4
Operation and
Maintenance
Costs
4 2 2 2 3
Transport Costs 3 4 2 4 4
Treatment
Costs
5 2 2 2 3
Human labour 4 3 3 2 3
Farmer
Acceptance
5 3 4 2 1
Product value 1 4 4 4 4
Volume
reduction
1 5 2 5 5
Subsides and
Funding
1 2 5 5 1









Table 39: Conversion of Evaluation to the Score Rating Value of the Economical
Dimension Criteria. Source:Own
172

Technological
(100 points)
No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic
wo
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Number of
unitary
processes used
5 1 2 1 3
Number of
treatment steps
5 1 2 1 3
Volume of
manure treated
1 5 3 5 3
Volume of
effluent
1 5 2 5 4
Volume of
product final
1 5 3 5 4
Degree of
automation
1 4 4 4 3
Separation
efficiency of
fractions
1 5 2 5 5
Separation of
nutrients
1 5 2 5 5
Functional
reliability
1 4 4 4 2
Flexibility of the
treatment:
1 5 2 5 5
State-of-the-art: 4 3 3 3 1
Pre-treatment: 5 1 2 1 5







Table 40: Conversion of Evaluation to the Score Rating Value of the Technological
Dimension Criteria. Source:Own
173

Environmental No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic
wo
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Uncontrolled
Nitrate release
1 4 2 4 4
Uncontrolled
Phosphorous
release
1 4 2 4 4
Water
consumption
2 1 2 1 4
Organic matter
content
reduction
5 5 1 1 5
Antibiotics and
Hormones
reduction
1 1 1 1 1
Biological
Contamination
2 3 3 3 3
Concentration
of N, P and K
2 5 3 4 4
Odours 1 3 4 4 3
Ammonia
emissions
1 3 3 3 5
Hygienisation 1 3 2 3 3
Quality effluent 1 4 2 4 4
GHG emissions 1 3 4 4 3
Heavy metals
recovery
1 1 1 1 1






Table 41: Conversion of Evaluation to the Score Rating Value of the Environmental
Dimension Criteria. Source:Own
174

Materials and
Energy
No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic
wo
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Amount of
materials used
5 1 2 2 4
Energy use 4 1 2 1 3
Energy
Balance
1 1 5 1 1
Scale of the
treatment
5 1 5 1 5
Number of
unitary
processes used
5 1 2 1 3
Number of
treatment steps
5 1 2 1 3
Fossil fuels
consumption
4 2 3 2 3
Electrical
consumption
3 1 3 1 4
Chemicals 4 1 2 1 3











Table 42: Conversion of Evaluation to the Score Rating Value of the Materials & Energy
Dimension Criteria. Source:Own
175

II.4 Final Score



No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic
wo
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Economical
(weight 100)


Investment
Costs
36.4 9.1 18.2 9.1 27.3
Amortisation
Time
45.5 9.1 27.3 18.2 27.3
Revenues 9.1 27.3 27.3 36.4 36.4
Operation and
Maintenance
Costs
36.4 18.2 18.2 18.2 27.3
Transport
Costs
27.3 36.4 18.2 36.4 36.4
Treatment
Costs
45.5 18.2 18.2 18.2 27.3
Human
labour
36.4 27.3 27.3 18.2 27.3
Farmer
Acceptance
45.5 27.3 36.4 18.2 9.1
Product value 9.1 36.4 36.4 36.4 36.4
Volume
reduction
9.1 45.5 18.2 45.5 45.5
Subsides and
Funding
9.1 18.2 45.5 45.5 9.1





Table 43: Final individual criterion score of the Economical Dimension Criteria.
Source:Own
176




Technological
(100 points)
No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic
wo
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Number of
unitary
processes
41.5 8.3 16.6 8.3 24.9
Number of
treatment
steps
41.5 8.3 16.6 8.3 24.9
Volume of
manure
treated
8.3 41.5 24.9 41.5 24.9
Volume of
effluent
8.3 41.5 16.6 41.5 33.2
Volume of
product final
8.3 41.5 24.9 41.5 33.2
Degree of
automation
8.3 33.2 33.2 33.2 24.9
Separation
efficiency of
fractions
8.3 41.5 16.6 41.5 41.5
Separation of
nutrients
8.3 41.5 16.6 41.5 41.5
Functional
reliability
8.3 33.2 33.2 33.2 16.6
Flexibility of
the treatment
8.3 41.5 16.6 41.5 41.5
State-of-the-
art
33.2 24.9 24.9 24.9 8.3
Pre-treatment 41.5 8.3 16.6 8.3 41.5





Table 44: Final individual criterion score of the Technological Dimension Criteria.
Source:Own
177




Environmental No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic
wo
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Uncontrolled
Nitrate release
7.7 30.8 15.4 30.8 30.8
Uncontrolled
Phosphorous
release
7.7 30.8 15.4 30.8 30.8
Water
consumption
15.4 7.7 15.4 7.7 30.8
Organic matter
reduction
38.5 38.5 7.7 7.7 38.5
Antibiotics and
Hormones
reduction
7.7 7.7 7.7 7.7 7.7
Biological
Contamination
15.4 23.1 23.1 23.1 23.1
Concentration
(N, P and K)
15.4 38.5 23.1 30.8 30.8
Odours 7.7 23.1 30.8 30.8 23.1
Ammonia
emissions
7.7 23.1 23.1 23.1 38.5
Hygienisation 7.7 23.1 15.4 23.1 23.1
Quality
effluent
7.7 30.8 15.4 30.8 30.8
GHG emissions 7.7 23.1 30.8 30.8 23.1
Heavy metals
recovery
7.7 7.7 7.7 7.7 7.7






Table 45: Final individual criterion score of the Environmental Dimension Criteria.
Source:Own
178



Materials and
Energy
No
Treatment
Combination
Recovery/Elimination
Anaerobic
wo
digestate
treatment
Anaerobic
with
digestate
Manure
Conveyor
Belts
Amount of
materials used
55.5 11.1 22.2 22.2 44.4
Energy use 44.4 11.1 22.2 11.1 33.3
Energy Balance 11.1 11.1 55.5 11.1 11.1
Scale of the
treatment
55.5 11.1 55.5 11.1 55.5
Number of
unitary
processes used
55.5 11.1 22.2 11.1 33.3
Number of
treatment steps
55.5 11.1 22.2 11.1 33.3
Fossil fuels
consumption
44.4 22.2 33.3 22.2 33.3
Electrical
consumption
33.3 11.1 33.3 11.1 44.4
Chemicals 44.4 11.1 22.2 11.1 33.3


Table 46: Final individual criterion score of the Materials & Energy Dimension Criteria.
Source:Own
179

8. References

180


References (arabic numbered continued)

Special Sources

-Speeches and Interviews

Bibliografa
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