Manure Manager

Innovations: July/August 2008

September 4, 2008  by Innovations

What's new in compost equipment

npbrownbearBrown Bear
Layer manure can be composted in the pit of high rise layer houses using Brown Bear’s skid steer composting attachments to reduce or eliminate flies, odor and rodents while also reducing volume and moisture from the litter. This leads to ease of transport and ease of land application.

This same equipment can also be used to recycle litter from broiler houses by composting within the house. This system can pulverize, de-cake, sterilize and flash off the ammonia – all in one operation – within a few days time. Flocks do better on recycled composted litter showing less mortality, less blinding, increased feed conversion and increased bird weight at shipping.


Backhus North America

Backhus North America – a subsidiary of Backhus GmbH – turning solutions for professional composting, waste processing and bio remediation in North America.

Backhus offers a full range of solutions in four product lines:

Backhus Bridge Turner – This is the fully automated plant of the future. The centerpiece of this indoor system contains of a fully automatic turning unit. Based on computers, the flow of material as well as turning intervals are centrally operated. According to demand, the hydraulic bridge sets the turning unit with lowering drum in the right place.

Backhus Lane Turner – Built for the fully or semi-automated plant, this forward thinking waste management is for enclosed applications and indoor plants. The lane turner incorporates the proven plant technology of Backhus and offers high efficiency and turning performance and combines great economy, low maintenance and long life for composting, bioremediation and MSW treatment between lane walls or in tunnels.

Backhus 11.30 – The mobile trapezoid turner, the Backhus 11.30 is based on proven turning technology. This technology was developed in cooperation with universities and industry experts. The Backhus 11.30 meets the highest demands for trapezoidal composting. This turner is a true trendsetter and model of efficiency.

Backhus Windrow Turner – Dubbed the all-rounder, the windrow turner provides solutions for both up start and established operations. It is highly efficient turning in all materials, utilizes an innovative, “one-hand” joystick and proven turning technology.

Global Repair Ltd.

An international marketing office for Sittler Manufacturing, Global Repair Ltd. provides compost equipment for nutrient recovery and soil regeneration, compost additives, consulting and education.

The company’s products provide sustainable solutions for agriculture, municipalities and industry.  Global Repair offers compost windrow turners, compost/lime spreaders, trommel screeners, conveyors and baggers.

Technical backup includes a database for compost calculations, easy to follow instructional booklets and DVDs to ensure clients make the highest quality product.

Global Repair’s compost turners are reliable, efficient, economical, low-maintenance, and long-lasting. Extra-hardened, replaceable steel blades are uniquely positioned on the drum to allow for complete blending right to the base of the windrow. Material from the outside is brought inward and from the bottom to the top forming a peak position, allowing the windrow to have a chimney effect for CO2/oxygen flow. An optional nozzle watering system with a removable, folding tow-bar for a water wagon is available for models 507 & 509 and standard with model 512. Other features include: side scrapers that keep the form of the windrow; a swing cylinder to position the tractor close to the windrow; and a folding fleece roller on top of the machine that makes turning the compost and covering the windrow a one-person, one-step operation.

There are three turner sizes for seven-foot, nine-foot and 12-foot wide windrows. The company offers an optional, hydraullically assisted, (HA) model for operations not equipped with a creeper-gear tractor. Technical support, including database calculations and consultations for making quality compost available. All machines come with one-year warranty.

Midwest Bio-Systems

Midwest Bio-Systems(MBS) has introduced the Clean-Sweep tine design, further enhancing the results generated by the company’s Advanced Composting System.

Due to a near-concentric edge, the tines rotate the windrows more completely, resulting in more complete gas exchange and more thorough rotation of the material between “hot” and “dormant” areas of the pile. Additional benefits to the design are lower maintenance and longer life due to reduced, more even, wear.

The improved material handling results in higher, more consistent, fertility content and lower toxicity in the resulting compost.

Midwest Bio-Systems, located in Tampico, Ill., provides its Advanced Composting Systems to customers around the world. Midwest is involved in every aspect of the composting business—building equipment, developing new technologies, consulting, and performing soil application research.

Green Mountain Technologies, Inc.

Green Mountain Technologies has taken its in-vessel control technology and created a skid-mounted aeration system for Aerated Static Pile (ASP) facilities. The skid comes with blower, dampers and control panel all mounted and ready to connect to aeration plenums and biofilter. The modular skid design minimizes site installation and engineering costs and installs quickly.

The primary aeration control strategy utilizes a variable frequency drive to regulate blower speed to maintain constant duct pressure and minimize energy costs. Secondary aeration control is via zone dampers, which regulate volume of air flow to each ASP zone. The system can operate in either positive or negative aeration modes by manually or automatically switching suction and pressure connections to the blower. Processed air can be recirculated back to the piles or directed to a biofilter for odor control. The system includes a main control panel, field control panel (one for every four zones), and a J-box for each zone with a control damper and two temperature probes. All panel-to-panel communication is digital via Ethernet cable, which minimizes field wiring requirements. Wireless temperature probes are available for sites where cables could interfere with operations.

The ASP process requires no turning and less land area than windrows.  First manure is blended with other feedstocks and water added to create a compostable mix. Then the material is stacked on top of perforated pipe sucks air down through the pile to maintain aerobic conditions and minimize odors. Air flow is regulated by computer controller and dampers to maintain sterilizing temperatures.

Avatar Energy

npavatarAvatar Energy, a renewable energy company with headquarters in Walnut Creek, Calif., has developed the world’s first scalable anaerobic digester to employ a tubular, modular design platform, geared to small-, medium-, or large-scale farms. Expanding the potential of a previously underused economic resource – organic waste – the digester will enable farmers to convert the methane in animal manure and crop residues to biogas energy that can power boilers and generators on the farm, and generate income from “green power” sales. Using a mesophilic plug flow system – the most reliable system in the digester industry – the Avatar anaerobic digester can also create secondary byproducts such as solids for odorless, pathogen-free animal bedding, a phosphorous-rich fertilizing sludge, and nitrogen-rich liquids for direct field application.

These products can be used to cut costs on the farm as well as sold to create a stream of income for the farmer. Cost effective with rapid average payback, farmers will receive a five- to 10-year return on their investment in the system, which has a minimum 25-year lifespan. A moveable, non-fixed asset, installation is done above ground and utilizes minimal concrete. Additionally, the system is fully automated, inexpensive to operate, and requires very little maintenance.

Founded in January 2005, Avatar Energy is dedicated to the development of technologies that increase profitability and sustainability of agriculture, protect the environment, and capture renewable energy. With corporate offices in Walnut Creek, Calif., and an R&D, manufacturing, and demonstration site in Burlington, Vt., Avatar Energy is poised to meet the changing demands of today’s farms.

Compo*Starr Sales

The Compo*Starr system is an in-line system that can process liquid or solid manure from any animal operation and produce a compost-like material that does not smell and has significant benefits as a soil amendment. The Compo*Starr takes a fresh feed of manure and mixes it with a feed stock of carbon source material such as saw dust or corn stalks to produce the compost-like material. These materials are conveyed through a long pipe, which is equipped with a proprietary auger that continually mixes the material allowing the natural compost conversion process to take place. Following a 72-hour processing time, finished material is available at the opposite end of the pipe. The Compo*Starr system can be trenched in underground, spread directly after being processed or stored above ground. Proper storage above ground will produce a full-fledged compost. The resulting soil amendment possesses most of the benefits of fully aged compost.

The Compo*Starr system will work with any type of animal management operation, including dairy, pork, beef, and equine producers and can be sized to accommodate the needs of varying-sized operations.

Gary Showalter – 866-540-7575
Donald Northcutt – 816-436-7666

Resource Recovery Systems

Resource Recovery Systems of Nebraska, Inc. (RRSN) is a family owned corporation founded in 1976 specializing in activities associated with organic waste composting. The company sells new and refurbished KW self-propelled, straddle type windrow turners and leases turners for composting projects and bioremediation of explosive and oil contaminated soils. RRSN began operations by custom composting at cattle feedyards and operated a composting and bagging operation at a terminal livestock market for more than 15 years.
KW models range in tunnel size from 5’ x 10’ to 8’ x 20’ with a range of engine horsepower from 200 to 600. Various options are available which include belt driven, clutch engaged drums, hydraulic driven drums, several tire sizes full tracks and 4-wheel drive. Engines are Caterpillar, Cummins or John Deere. KW composters have excellent residual and trade-in value.

Consulting services are offered for domestic and international projects. Teaming with an engineer is often very important.

Projects include troubleshooting, revitalizing existing plants, designing the compost segment of the facility, problem solving and feasibility studies.

Industrial Telemetry

Industrial Telemetry Inc.’s patented BioMESH™ and BioMESH PLUS™ radio-based compost systems are designed to provide temperature information from compost windrows either on demand or on a scheduled basis. When used with the SCADAMESH™ board attached to the fan, the system is completely self-contained and can run autonomously.

The BioMESH probes have up to three thermistors in the shaft to give temperatures at different levels in the piles or windrows. SCADAMESH has a PLC on a chip, a processor and memory, and a MESH radio. The PLC is programmable via the radio network either locally or remotely via the Internet. The probes are battery powered while SCADAMESH is line powered using 12VDC. The system can output to any other system via either comma delimited format or XML.

MMI International

The latest addition to the MMI International line of heavy-duty commercial spreading products is the V-Bottom Compost Spreader. Like the MMI Commercial Manure Spreaders, the V-Bottom Compost Spreader is built tough for commercial use.
The V-Bottom Compost Spreader line features:

  • All hydraulic drive with cab mounted variable control for the spinners and floor chain.

  • Heavy Duty D88 Floor Chain

  • Extra heavy-duty construction featuring 10 ga sides with tapered stakes and reinforced top rail.

  • One-inch thick, corrosion and freeze resistant Poly Floor that provides extended wear and reduces commodity drag.

  • Product capacities from 24.5 cubic yard to 35.7 cubic yard

  • Infinitely variable spread patterns for all types of application needs.

  • Adjustable rear door for variable product delivery.

  • Hydrostat, PTO or tractor hydraulic power options available

V-Bottom Spreaders are available in truck, trailer or gator mounted configurations to accommodate all types of spreading requirements.

Wright Environmental Management

The Wright composting system uses a system of fully enclosed, flow-through tunnels to transform organic wastes, such as agriculture byproducts and other organic wastes, into a soil-like material in a short time period, by controlling oxygen and moisture levels, reusing leachate and filtering exhaust air.

The Wright continuously loading systems represents the smallest possible footprint. The modular design provides maximum flexibility in siting tunnels and accommodating future waste quantities.

•    Features include:
•    Proven technology,
•    Rapid thermophylic composting,
•    Sequential loading and flow-through operation,
•    Zero leachate discharge,
•    Containment and treatment of all exhaust air,
•    Automatic material and tray/floor advancement,
•    Automatic control of airflow, temperatures, moisture and oxygen,
•    Maintenance of oxygen levels above 15 percent and temperature levels within set point ranges.

X-Act Systems

The X-Act System composter monitors and maintains the critical elements of the composting process within ideal range; therefore, composting occurs at the fastest rate possible with the rotating vessel doing all the work. Because the guesswork inherent in traditional composting operations is eliminated, the compost produced is superior quality consistently.

In-vessel composters by X-Act Systems are large, robust rotating drums that compost huge volumes of organic waste in as little as four to five days. The X-Act vessel is available in six- to 10-foot diameters and in lengths from 24 feet to 128 feet, and is sized to the client’s operational needs. They are designed to be a long-term solution and are built to heavy-duty standards in order to withstand the rigors of turning tons and tons of material 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The composter rotates continuously at about 10 rph, and is driven by a Eurodrive variable speed drive unit using a surprisingly low horsepower motor. The size of motor depends on the size of the vessel but ranges from five to 40 horsepower. Wear bars are welded along the length of the vessel every six inches for added strength.
Features include:

Carbon steel walls (up to 5/8-inches thick)

Heavy-duty mounting frames
•    Wear bars 3 inches x 0.5 inches
•    Interior liner rings
•    Heavy-duty chain drive
•    Air induction system
•    Three-inch insulating layer
•    Automatic discharge door

X-Act Systems has a sales team covering both Canada and the U.S.


The Biovator is an innovative alternative to traditional mortality management methods, providing an environmentally sound solution to mortality management, virtually eliminating biosecurity risks and reducing many of the concerns associated with more traditional methods of disposal.

The Biovator is easy to operate. Simply load carcasses and shavings into the vessel, turn it on for a few hours daily, and let nature do the rest for you. It has the capacity to handle an average of 500 lbs. of mortality per day, amounting to approximately 3,500 lbs. per week or 182,000 lbs. of mortality per year.

The Biovator is a continuous operation where mortalities are processed into compost in four to 14 days. During winter months, in colder climates, hot and moist air from barn exhaust fans can be used to keep conditions inside the Biovator suitable for composting.

Other benefits of the Biovator include:

  • Out-of-sight process, making it attractive to neighbors,

  • Reduced risk of disease-causing organisms and odor,

  • Environmentally friendly – it eliminates leaching and     ground contamination, recycles barn air when used with         a cold climate hoarding system, reuses finished compost to replace part of new shavings, and reduces energy consumption,

  • Removes challenges of winter composting,

  • Uses half the shavings required for bin composting.

Standard features include:
•     four-foot diameter x 30-foot-long insulated vessel with stainless steel shell, other sizes available,
•     two loading doors 7.5-foot x 2-foot, inspection openings, and one opening with removable discharge screen,
•     Steel paddles mounted on the inside vessel walls,
•     Steel skid, with heavy duty rollers supporting the vessel,
•     Driving system: one-horsepower motor – 110-volt, two gear boxes, heavy-duty bearing, sprocket and chain.

Engineered Compost Systems

Engineered Compost Systems (ECS) provides technology and expertise to the North American composting industry. The company designs and builds in-vessel and aerated static pile (ASP) systems for facilities requiring odor control, environmental protection, regulatory compliance, and monitoring, including agricultural operations.

Some of the company’s systems include:

  • AC Composter/CompDog – A covered ASP composting system with an innovative “pipe-less” aeration floor designed to provide a cost-effective tool to control odor and maintain oxygen and moisture levels.

  • SV Composter – A stationary in-vessel system with site-built concrete and stainless steel vessels and automated aeration control and monitoring, suitable for feedstock volumes ranging from 0.5 ton to more than 500 tons per day.

  • CV Composter – A modular in-vessel system featuring automated aeration controls and stainless steel, roll-off compatible vessels, suitable for facilities composting from one to 50 tons per day.

  • ASP Systems – A system of equipment used for high-rate composting and/or secondary curing of wastes.

ECS has developed a compost system specifically designed for reducing air emissions through the composting of manure at large dairies. Preliminary results of air emission reduction (conducted at California State University – Fresno during the Fall of 2007) can be viewed on the company’s website. A full-scale pilot at a large commercial dairy will begin in Fall 2008.

HCL Machine Works

HCL Machine Works provides easy, inexpensive alternatives to help deal with producers’ waste problems and composting needs.

The Dos Palos, Calif., company produces 10- and 12-foot Compost Turners that can be converted from work position to transport position hydraulically, providing ease of movement between different areas of operation.

•    Features of the compost turners include:
•    Easily adjustable drum heights
•    20,000 pound rear axle capacity
•    Heavy duty tongue jack
•    PTO shaft with clutch to protect gear box
•    PTO mid bearing adjustable height
•    Heavy duty chain coupler
•    Hard-faced plow-steel teeth
•    Installed counterweights
•    Thick drum wall with 12.75-inch OD
•    Type E heavy duty drum bearings
•    Built-in rear hitch for towing
•    Built-in water spray nozzles for adding moisture when and where you need it in the composting cycle  


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