RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY USING BIOMASS FROM DAIRY AND BEEF ANIMAL PRODUCTION

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The Texas Panhandle is regarded as the 'Cattle Feeding Capital of the World', producing 42% of the fed beef cattle in the United States within a 200-mile radius of Amarillo generating more than 5 million tons of feedlot manure/year. Apart from feedlots, the Bosque River Region in Erath County, just north of Waco, Texas with about 110,000 dairy cattle in over 250 dairies, produces 1.8 million tons of manure biomass (excreted plus bedding) per year. While the feedlot manure has been used extensively for irrigated and dry land crop production, most dairies, as well as other concentrated animal feeding operations ... continued below

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John M. Sweeten, Kalyan Annamalai Brent Auvermann Saqib Mukhtar Sergio C. Capareda Cady Engler Wyatte Harman J.N. Reddy, Robert DeOtte David B. Parker Dr. B.A. Stewart May 3, 2012.

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The Texas Panhandle is regarded as the 'Cattle Feeding Capital of the World', producing 42% of the fed beef cattle in the United States within a 200-mile radius of Amarillo generating more than 5 million tons of feedlot manure/year. Apart from feedlots, the Bosque River Region in Erath County, just north of Waco, Texas with about 110,000 dairy cattle in over 250 dairies, produces 1.8 million tons of manure biomass (excreted plus bedding) per year. While the feedlot manure has been used extensively for irrigated and dry land crop production, most dairies, as well as other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO's), the dairy farms utilize large lagoon areas to store wet animal biomass. Water runoff from these lagoons has been held responsible for the increased concentration of phosphorus and other contaminates in the Bosque River which drains into Lake Waco - the primary source of potable water for Waco's 108,500 people. The concentrated animal feeding operations may lead to land, water, and air pollution if waste handling systems and storage and treatment structures are not properly managed. Manure-based biomass (MBB) has the potential to be a source of green energy at large coal-fired power plants and on smaller-scale combustion systems at or near confined animal feeding operations. Although MBB particularly cattle biomass (CB) is a low quality fuel with an inferior heat value compared to coal and other fossil fuels, the concentration of it at large animal feeding operations can make it a viable source of fuel. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary proposal is to develop environmentally benign technologies to convert low-value inventories of dairy and beef cattle biomass into renewable energy. Current research expands the suite of technologies by which cattle biomass (CB: manure, and premature mortalities) could serve as a renewable alternative to fossil fuel. The work falls into two broad categories of research and development. Category 1 - Renewable Energy Conversion. This category addressed mostly in volume I involves developing. Thermo-chemical conversion technologies including cofiring with coal, reburn to reduce nitrogen oxide (NO, N2O, NOx, etc.) and Hg emissions and gasification to produce low-BTU gas for on-site power production in order to extract energy from waste streams or renewable resources. Category 2 - Biomass Resource Technology. This category, addressed mostly in Volume II, deals with the efficient and cost-effective use of CB as a renewable energy source (e.g. through and via aqueous-phase, anaerobic digestion or biological gasification). The investigators formed an industrial advisory panel consisting fuel producers (feedlots and dairy farms) and fuel users (utilities), periodically met with them, and presented the research results; apart from serving as dissemination forum, the PIs used their critique to red-direct the research within the scope of the tasks. The final report for the 5 to 7 year project performed by an interdisciplinary team of 9 professors is arranged in three volumes: Vol. I (edited by Kalyan Annamalai) addressing thermo-chemical conversion and direct combustion under Category 1 and Vol. II and Vol. III ( edited by J M Sweeten) addressing biomass resource Technology under Category 2. Various tasks and sub-tasks addressed in Volume I were performed by the Department of Mechanical Engineering (a part of TEES; see Volume I), while other tasks and sub-tasks addressed in Volume II and IIII were conducted by Texas AgriLife Research at Amarillo; the TAMU Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department (BAEN) College Station; and West Texas A and M University (WTAMU) (Volumes II and III). The three volume report covers the following results: fuel properties of low ash and high ash CB (particularly DB) and MB (mortality biomass) and coals, non-intrusive visible infrared (NVIR) spectroscopy techniques for ash determination, dairy energy use surveys at 14 dairies in Texas and California, cofiring of low quality CB with high quality coal, emission results and ash fouling behavior, using CB as reburn fuel for NOx and Hg reduction, gasification of fuels to produce low quality gases, modeling of reburn, pilot scale test results, synthesis of engineering characterization, geographical mapping, a transportation cost study to determine potential handling and transportation systems for co-firing with coal at regional coal-fired power plants, software analyses for the design of off-site manure, pre-processing and storage systems for a typical dairy farm or beef cattle feedlot, recursive production functions/systems models for both cattle feedlots, systems modeling, stocks and flows of energy involved in the CAFO system, feedback from an Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) to the investigators on project direction and task emphasis and economics of using CB as cofiring and reburn fuel.

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  • Report No.: DOE/FG/85003-2
  • Grant Number: FG36-05GO85003
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1039415
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc834366

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  • May 3, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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John M. Sweeten, Kalyan Annamalai Brent Auvermann Saqib Mukhtar Sergio C. Capareda Cady Engler Wyatte Harman J.N. Reddy, Robert DeOtte David B. Parker Dr. B.A. Stewart. RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY USING BIOMASS FROM DAIRY AND BEEF ANIMAL PRODUCTION, report, May 3, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc834366/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.