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Development of a Standard Method for Testing Mechanical Manure Solids Separators

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  034131,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.13886) @2003
Authors:   Robert T. Burns, Lara B. Moody
Keywords:   Mechanical solids separation, manure, standard method, separator efficiency

Mechanical manure solids separators are used in conjunction with animal waste management systems for multiple purposes. These include reduction of solids for effluent recycle as flush water, reduction of organic loading into manure storage and treatment systems and recovery of manure fiber. The performance of mechanical manure solids separators varies as the total solids content and characteristics of the input manure change. To properly size and install mechanical manure solids separation units, the separators performance characteristics must be known for the specific manure slurry found at the farm in question. Papers currently in publication use different methods to calculate solids capture efficiency. This makes it inappropriate to compare many reported separation efficiencies directly. Where sufficient data has been presented to compare efficiencies calculated with different published approaches using a common data set, calculation differences of over 25% in efficiency result. Also, much of the currently published performance data was taken at a single manure input total solids concentration, and is only meaningful for manure at the same total solids level. This paper describes a protocol developed by the Biosystems Engineering and Environmental Science Department at The University of Tennessee for testing mechanical solids separation devices. The capture efficiency is reported on a dry-mass basis in this protocol. This protocol tests manure solids separator performance across a range of input manure slurry TS concentrations, and provides information about influent and effluent mass flow rates, dry mass capture efficiencies and nutrient partitioning. At present, a standard protocol for testing and reporting on the performance of mechanical manure separators is not in common use. The acceptance of a standard testing and reporting protocol would provide performance information that would allow engineers and producers to make direct comparison of mechanical manure separation devices.

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