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Energy recovery from horse manure - exploring energy actors’ experiences
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental engineering.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Biology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

European Union and Swedish national energy policy and energy objectives state an increased interest in transition of energy systems to more efficient use of energy, as well as increased use of renewable sources of energy. Horse manure is a potential resource available for renewable energy. Horse manure is sometimes considered a waste problem, resulting in research of possible energy recovery processes, such as combustion and anaerobic digestion. In this study 13 energy actors’ experiences of horse manure were explored by means of interviews and e-mail. Five related to combustion of horse manure and eight related to anaerobic digestion. The aim was to make a compilation of their knowledge and from the results identify how horse manure could be made more attractive as an energy resource. The challenges the actors face are mainly connected with horse manure being a heterogeneous material, primarily due to its bedding content (straw, wood bedding, etc.), and occasionally to other types of added waste. These unpredictable variations in the substrate as well as impurities like sand make it more difficult for plants to have standard procedures for processing horse manure. The view that bedding material needs to be specifically straw pellets and that all impurities should be kept out of the collected horse manure for anaerobic treatment was also expressed. Horse manure as part of co-combustion processes was perceived as a fuel with capacity to contribute to plant economy as it gives revenue from gate fees and could reduce costs for its NOx reducing capacity. Another view was that grate furnaces could possibly be more suitable than fluidized beds as incineration technology. However, problems with odour made two plants end their combustion trials. In farm-scale incineration horse manure required a lot of monitoring and co-combustion with pellets in order to maintain an effective process. When compiling all available information this study has a number of suggestions for how horse manure should be treated already at the production stage in order to be a more versatile resource in energy recovery processes. The recommendation is to keep horse manure dry (transports and incineration), avoid initiation of composting processes (AD and incineration), sort the waste = no added other waste (AD), and depending on intended AD-treatment process, use a specific bedding type. Most of these issues may be solved by supplier’s involvement in the supply chains for resource recovery, i.e. closing natural cycles of plant nutrients and energy recovery.

Keywords [en]
Horse manure quality; incineration; anaerobic digestion; nutrient recycling; systems perspective; energy actors, renewable energy, energy recycling
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-27858OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-27858DiVA, id: diva2:1245838
Available from: 2018-09-06 Created: 2018-09-06 Last updated: 2018-09-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. From waste problem to renewable energy resource: exploring horse manure as feedstock for anaerobic digestion
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From waste problem to renewable energy resource: exploring horse manure as feedstock for anaerobic digestion
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A sustainable energy system requires, according to energy policies, reduced emissions of greenhouse gases, increased ratio of renewable sources of energy and more efficient use of energy. Horse manure could be regarded as waste, but also as a resource for renewable energy and plant nutrients. This thesis explores the potential of horse manure as a renewable energy source, and its possibilities to support and contribute to energy and environmental objectives. To do this, data was collected from literature, simulations, study visits and interviews.

A number of horse keeping activities were identified in the assessment of horse manure as a feedstock for energy and as a plant resource: feeding, indoor housing, outdoor keeping, manure storage, fertilizing and transport, all with effect on amount and content of horse manure. Results indicated that choice and amount of bedding are important for both energy performance and plant nutrient content in the biofertilizer. Operational conditions such as long hydraulic retention time and high temperature had less impact for horse manure as a biogas feedstock. Anaerobic digestion resulted in the lowest global warming potential compared to incineration and composting, while large-scale incineration reduced primary energy demand, acidification potential and eutrophication potential. In a subsequent simulation, anaerobic digestion had lower potential environmental impact than unmanaged composting, regarding all chosen environmental impact categories in the study. Experiences from energy companies suggest that horse manure can be used in small quantities in co-incineration, with suitable incineration technology, but odor was mentioned as a problem. Farm-scale incineration required continuous maintenance and monitoring and mixing with pellets. As a feedstock for anaerobic digestion horse manure was regarded as suitable for plug-flow processes while stirred processes experienced more technical problems leading to increased cost for plants. With adaption of horse manure to the energy recovery technology to be used, and adaption at energy conversion plants to homogenous materials, this not yet fully utilized bioenergy resource has potential to contribute with renewable energy to the energy system, and thereby also reduce environmental impact from horse manure treatment

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gävle: Gävle University Press, 2018. p. 74
Series
Studies in the Research Profile Built Environment. Doctoral thesis ; 8
Keywords
horse manure, environmental systems analysis, energy systems, renewable energy, environmental impact, anaerobic digestion, biogas, biofertilizer, systems perspective, bedding, incineration, composting, horse manure utilization
National Category
Energy Systems Renewable Bioenergy Research Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-27860 (URN)978-91-88145-29-1 (ISBN)978-91-88145-30-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-11-09, 12:108, Kungsbäcksvägen 47, Gävle, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-10-16 Created: 2018-09-06 Last updated: 2018-10-16

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Hadin, ÅsaRyrholm, Nils

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