Applications

Dairy

System helps turn manure into clean water, organic fertilizer System helps turn manure into clean water, organic fertilizer

March 23, 2017, Emeryville, CA – New Logic Research recently announced the successful commissioning of a VSEP vibrating membrane system to make clean water from digested cow manure. The VSEP system, located in the Italian Alps region of Wipptal, takes the effluent from an anaerobic digester and transforms it into clean water which can either be reused or safely discharged to the environment. The project was implemented with the expert assistance of O.B. Impianti, New Logic's distribution partner in Northern Italy. Although cows have a simple diet, the digestive system of ruminant animals makes for complicated wastewater treatment scenarios. VSEP's vibratory shear mechanism, coupled with a filter pack design means, it can create crystal clear permeate from water heavily laden with biological material like cow manure. "Digesters are great at making green power and reducing contaminant levels in the waste, but in most cases, further treatment of the liquid effluent is still necessary,” said Greg Johnson, CEO of New Logic. “Many have tried to treat digester effluent with standard spiral-wound reverse osmosis membrane systems only to find that it's incredibly difficult, if not impossible. That's why VSEP is a perfect fit for digester effluent treatment: you get the reverse osmosis separation you desire, but deployed in a robust system designed to tackle the world's toughest applications." The Wipptal project is a cooperative one, taking cow manure from more than three-dozen local farmers. The liquid manure is transported to the treatment facility where more than 60 percent of it is transformed into clean water, while the remainder is turned into concentrated organic fertilizer. The only pretreatment between the digester and the VSEP is a 100-micron screening device to remove large particles from the feed material. O.B. Impianti and New Logic are already building on the success of the Wipptal installation – they are currently working on two additional installations on the continent, where EU funding is frequently available for such projects.

Other

Distribution across the toolbar swath can be verified by capturing and measuring the discharge from individual application points. Verify Calibration, Distribution when Applying Manure

  Liquid manure application in the Midwest typically happens in spring and fall each year. The majority of liquid manure application takes place using a tank or a dragline applicator, providing additional nutrients to crops. Tank applicators transport manure from the livestock facility to agricultural fields and apply manure using a tank-mounted tool-bar. For fields that are close-by, manure can be pumped directly to the dragline-mounted tool-bar. In either case, a pre-determined application rate is used to pump manure through a manifold, which distributes manure to the application points across the tool-bar.       “Environmental regulations require producers to make sure manure is being applied to agricultural fields in accordance with their manure management plans,” said Dan Andersen, assistant professor and extension agricultural engineering specialist with Iowa State University. Variations in tank capacities, manure densities and the presence of foam can cause the application rate to be different from the target number, as can variations in drive speed. Application rate should be verified, and both tank and dragline applicators need to be calibrated to ensure accurate application. Both distribution of manure and calibrating the applicators are covered in a pair of new ISU Extension and Outreach publications – “Distribution of Liquid Manure Application” (AE 3600) and “Calibrating Liquid Tank Manure Applicators” (AE 3601A). Both are available through the Extension Store. A “Calibration Worksheet for Liquid Manure Tank Applicators” (AE 3601B) is also available. Calibration of the application rate, in terms of gallons per acre applied, can be achieved using an area volume method. For applicators without automated controls, the volume of manure applied in a given pass should be determined. Knowing the density of the manure and the area covered in the pass, the application rate can be determined. Instructions for determining density and coverage area are included in publication AE 3601A. There are manure applicators that use tractor-mounted automated flow controls to achieve accurate application rates. In these cases, flow controllers use a flow meter with an actuator to govern the flow rate and, subsequently the application rate. “The majority of flow meters are set at the factory for their rated measurements, which can potentially be different when used for manure application,” said Kapil Arora, agricultural engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The flow meters should be verified to ensure they are providing correct flow rate readouts to the flow controls.” Achieving calibration of the target application rates only provides an average amount applied on a per acre basis. This application rate is delivered to the manifold mounted on the tool-bar, which then distributes the manure to the application points. This distribution of the manure across the tool-bar swath should be uniform so the variability among application points is minimal. This distribution should be verified only after the calibration for the application rate has been completed. Split manure application, manure application to soybeans, high total nitrogen testing manures, and use of the Maximum Return to Nitrogen Rate Calculator can all cause the manure application rates to be lower than what was previously being used. “Distribution across the toolbar points can be verified by capturing the discharge from each point for a known time,” Arora said. “Care should be taken to set up the equipment as close to the field conditions as possible. Aim for as low a variation as possible in the captured discharge so that better distribution is achieved across the toolbar swath.”  Kapil Arora is an agricultural and biosystems engineering specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Daniel Andersen is an agricultural and biosystems engineer, also with ISU Extension.    

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