Manure Manager

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Dairy-waste research wins award


April 12, 2010
By Manure Manager

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April 8, 2010, Green Bay,
WI – Graduate student Annette Pelegrin of Pulaski is this year’s winner of the
University of Wisconsin – Green Bay Outstanding Thesis Award.
April 8, 2010, Green Bay,
WI – Graduate student Annette Pelegrin of Pulaski is this year’s winner of the
University of Wisconsin – Green Bay Outstanding Thesis Award.

Pelegrin will receive her
master’s degree in May in Environmental Science and Policy. Her thesis –
Technical and Economic Feasibility of Solid-Liquid Separation for Digested
Dairy Manure with Polymer Treatment – was supervised by Prof. John Katers.
Pelegrin will be presented the award at the UW-Green Bay Alumni Association
awards program Saturday evening, April 17, at the Weidner Center.

Pelegrin’s project, which
aims to make manure management more cost-effective and eco-friendly by better
separating liquids from solids, was accomplished with the help of an Agricultural
Development and Diversification Grant
from Wisconsin’s Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
.

Partners in the grant
included two local companies, ENCAP and FEECO International, with additional
support from Green Valley Dairy in Krakow, WI, where testing took place.

Pelegrin holds a
bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from UW-Madison. She is completing
final coursework for her UW-Green Bay master’s degree this semester.

Her research seeks to
enhance anaerobic digestion systems already in place for managing manure on
many large dairy farms. Pelegrin noted that, along with renewable energy in the
form of biogas, anaerobic digestion produces nutrient-rich liquid fertilizer.
Unfortunately, the commercial value is somewhat limited because liquids are
relatively more cumbersome and costly to handle.

Pelegrin’s project, then,
seeks ways to improve on conventional mechanical separators that leave a
significant amount of nutrients suspended in liquid. She evaluated
water-treatment polymers for capturing the remaining solids and nutrients in
digested dairy manure.  With her
own polymer formula and a using a bench top rotating drum as a separator in the
lab, she went on to work with ENCAP and FEECO to develop a full-scale test at
Green Valley Dairy.

After separation, the
solids were transported to FEECO where they were dried and pelletized into a
fertilizer product.


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