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In the News: July/August 2008

September 4, 2008  by Manure Manager

QuestAir Technologies
Inc. announced recently that it is supplying an M-3200 pressure swing
adsorption (PSA) system to the Biomethane for Vehicle Fuel project
located at the Hilarides Dairy in Lindsay, Calif.

QuestAir supplying methane purifier for fuel project in California
QuestAir Technologies Inc. announced recently that it is supplying an M-3200 pressure swing adsorption (PSA) system to the Biomethane for Vehicle Fuel project located at the Hilarides Dairy in Lindsay, Calif.

Phase 3 Renewables LLC (Phase 3) will integrate QuestAir’s PSA into a plant that upgrades a portion of the biogas generated from the anaerobic digestion of manure at the 9,000-cow dairy in California. Purified biomethane from the Phase 3 plant will fuel three heavy-duty milk trucks that have been outfitted with engines to run on biomethane fuel. The project, which is partly funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is expected to be operational by this fall.

“We are very pleased to be part of this project, the first commercial scale plant in North America to produce renewable biomethane vehicle fuel from agricultural waste,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, president and CEO of QuestAir Technologies.

“California has the largest dairy herd in the U.S., producing nearly 30,000 tons of manure annually. This project demonstrates that this waste can be economically converted to renewable transportation fuel, reducing air and water pollution from manure, while also reducing emissions by replacing diesel trucks that service the industry.”


“This project continues our efforts to expand the markets for farm-based biogas production,” said Norma McDonald, owner and operating manager of Phase 3. “At today’s prices, the plant will produce more than $1 million worth of fuel. We’ve integrated QuestAir’s low-maintenance unit into a system that allows the farm to obtain substantial cost savings versus diesel fuel, while reducing operations and maintenance costs per vehicle.”

Ventilation trailer helps manage livestock environment
By Candace Pollock

A new tool is now available to Ohio pork producers to help them better manage the environment in their livestock facilities, potentially improving production and boosting overall savings.

Ohio State University Extension has designed a ventilation trailer, complete with all the bells and whistles found in typical mechanically ventilated livestock buildings, which simulates various ventilation system scenarios. The idea is to aid producers in fine-tuning their swine building ventilation systems, as well as troubleshooting specific problems.

“Most modern swine facilities depend on mechanical ventilation to make animals as comfortable as possible,” explained Glen Arnold, an OSU Extension educator in Putnam County. “The more comfortable the animals are, the faster they grow and the more productive they are. But it’s easy to lose track of proper ventilation maintenance – to warm the building more or to run the cooling fans longer than need be – or to miss small problems with the system that could be costing a producer money.”

Arnold said that producers could save on utility costs just by improving the efficiency of the system. “Producers can often save $2,000 to $3,000 a year or more in propane expenses just by tweaking the system to make it more precise
OSU Extension plans on offering barn ventilation training opportunities across Ohio later this year.

“We already completed three days of training in January, targeting about 100 pork producers, extension educators and industry personnel,” said Arnold. “We plan to offer additional training sessions throughout the year.”

The training will involve the ventilation trailer, classroom and hands-on exercises plus a training notebook participants can take home and use in their own facilities.

For more information about the OSU Extension ventilation trailer or to schedule a training session, contact OSU Extension swine associate Dale Ricker at 419-523-6294 or e-mail .

Feeding DDGS results in phosphorous changes in manure
Phosphorous levels in the manure of swine and cattle can be altered by feeding dry distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), according to recent findings by researchers in Minnesota and Iowa.

Research indicates that by adding 20 percent DDGS to the nursery diet of pigs should result in the greatest reduction in phosphorus (P) in manure, if the diet is formulated based on available P.

According to Jerry Shurson, an extension swine specialist with the University of Minnesota, with DDGS, about 90 percent of the phosphorus present is digestible by the pig. Corn contains about 28 percent total phosphorus, and only 14 percent of that is available to the pig. So when DDGS is fed, there is a significant boost in phosphorus levels that are available. Adding a product, such as phytase, will make even more phosphorus available to the pig and reduce the amount of P in manure, Shurson says.

The opposite occurs with feedlot cattle, said Allen Trenkle, professor emeritus of animal science at Iowa State University.

Grains contain more phosphorus than forages, he explained, adding that in the feedlot, there is going to be more phosphorus in the manure. Feeding DDGS to growing and finishing cattle fed high-corn diets will result in increased phosphorus excretion, he said.

The situation changes again when feeding DDGS to dairy cows. Lactating cows have a high phosphorus requirement, Trenkle said, which means farmers will need to supply supplemental. 


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