Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Zhang, Y., B.J. He, T.L. Funk, G.L. Riskowski, R.I. Mackie, L.L. Christianson and M. Tumbleson
Publication Date: January 1, 1997
Reference: Ammonia and Odour Control from Animal Production Facilities. Proceedings of the International Symposium. Vinkeloord, The Netherlands. October 6-10, 1997. p.429-434
Country: United States


The thermochemical conversion process (TCC) has been studied and used for coal and wood sludge application in the oil crisis of the ’70 but because of the high cost of entrants and the oil costs that decreased the research was not sustained. This process is a chemical reforming reaction where organic compounds in anaerobic conditions are heated in a pressurized enclosure. The macromolecules such as cellulose are then broken into more simple molecules of 4 to 10 carbon chains such as oils and into single carbon molecules such as methane, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Manure characteristics (uniformity, energy and nutrient contents, sodium and carbon monoxide acting as catalysts in the early treatment stage), its availability, and its low cost makes it a much more desirable feed stock compared to liquidated coal and wood sludge. A preliminary study was realized to verify the TCC of livestock manure. The processing of a sample of 500 g of swine manure (20% solid and 80% water) was done in a cylinder-shape reactor at pressure varying between 13.6 and 34 bars and temperatures ranging between 250 and 490 C. This test resulted in 19.1% of the raw manure being converted into low-sulfur oils and 7.2% into methane. As TCC is a closed-loop process, a better waste management and odor control are expected. Further research is needed to optimize the operation parameters and to evaluated the economic viability of such technology applied to livestock waste.

This technology could become interesting as an alternative to fossil fuel if the technology is well controlled and adapted to livestock wastes. As long as the fuel cost stay as its present level it may be difficult to justify the technical level, complexity and costs associated to TCC.

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