7,000 cow dairy uses manufactured bedding from bedding recovery system The challenge The operators on…
Trident Nutrient Recovery Technology implemented on 300 cow dairy
Seabreeze Farms is located in the metropolitan area of Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. The high cost of agricultural land is a big challenge for many local farmers that want to expand their livestock operation. In this case, the owner family was looking for ways to use their land more efficiently while improving the farm’s sustainability. That meant to reevaluate their manure and nutrient management. The goal was to find a solution that would allow a higher production with a larger herd, without requiring substantially more land for the additional nutrients.
What it looks like today
Rather than focusing on the waste or disposal problem, the farm began to focus on the valuable components within the manure. And with Trident as technology partner it didn’t take long to shape a strategic opportunity that would accommodate future farm growth. Today, the farm produces biogas from their manure which has grown into its own revenue stream. The farm uses organic bedding material, recycled from manure with a proprietary treatment. This helps eliminate the need for off-farm bedding material and it adds cow comfort. In addition, the farm concentrates most of the nutrients from the liquid manure into a cake-like material that is easier to store and transport. In fact, due to the high water removal rate the NPK solids only require about one fifth of the original storage and hauling volume. The farm is currently preparing off-take agreements with local fertilizer companies that use the NPK cake as feedstock for soil amendment. The clarified water is recycled for the flush system in the barns or can be used for irrigation on the nearby fields. The farm has since been able to increase its herd size significantly, directly contributing to the bottom line.
The nutrient recovery technology laid the groundwork for the farm’s future growth opportunities. The herd size can now be doubled or tripled without the need of acquiring more land, which represents millions of dollars in future land acquisition savings.
Trident’s nutrient recovery systems are fully scalable and make financial sense not only for large operations, but also for dairies with less than 500 cows.
The steps to get there
With the farm’s implementation of an anaerobic digester (biogas plant), the next step was to look at the downstream waste treatment. Trident worked closely with the farm and provided support during the entire project. It included proper equipment sizing, capacity and mass flow balance calculations, automation and process design as well as the general building layout.
The newly implemented bedding and nutrient recovery system then allowed the farm to capture the fibrous material from the digestate. The coarse cellulosic fiber undergoes a conditioning and dewatering treatment before it is returned to the barns as quality free stall bedding.
The nutrient recovery treatment focuses on the remaining fine particles in the liquid. The result is clarified effluent water and concentrated NPK nutrients. With a 98% solids capture rate most of the suspended solids are removed from the water. The concentrated nutrients are sent to dry-storage and used as fertilizer for the crops.