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Comparison of Dairy Manure Pelletization to Granulation for Facilitating Farm Nutrient Export

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

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1801674.(doi:10.13031/aim.201801674)
Authors:   Troy M. Runge, Mahmoud A. Sharara, John G. Primm
Keywords:   Dairy; Economics and sustainability; Manure management; Processing; Technology.

Abstract. Continued growth in dairy herd sizes and the number of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) has led to an increase in quantity and spatial concentration of manure. This in turn has created management challenges including transportation and storage costs, meeting environmental regulations, and being able to apply the nutrients precisely. Some producers seeking alternative practices have turned to granulation as a means to mitigate some of these management practice challenges. However, not all dairy manures are easily granulated which prompted pilot-scale production tests to compare granulation and pelletization. The results indicate for dairy manure that pelletization was able to densify a wider range of manure types, whereas granulation could only be performed on separated manures with minimal fiber content. Additionally, for whole manure samples the pelletization was able to create a higher density, and more durable composite without the use of binder. Pelletization required higher electricity inputs but could take advantage of lower thermal energy for drying if pad-drying is available.

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