Good for the Environment and Your Bottom Line
What is digestate? Microorganisms are used to anaerobically digest organic waste such as food, manure, and related products. This process produces a biogas and digested material. Digestate is the solid and liquid material leftover. Rather than paying to transport digestate to the local landfill, you can use it to create a new revenue stream for your company.
How can digestate dryers turn animal and food waste into a moneymaker for your company? By handling digestate in a new way, digestate dryers reduce the moisture content and risk of harmful pathogens, making it cost-effective to process the digestate for sale.
WHAT ARE DIGESTATE DRYERS
Types of Biosolids
- Animal waste
- Commercial food waste
- Manures and slurries
What Are Digestate Dryers?
These machines use heat to evaporate the water in animal and food waste, reducing the volume. Dried digestate can be pelleted or granulated for easier storage and transport. Anaerobic digestion has gained in popularity due to the generation of biofuel that can reduce dependence on natural gas. However, many companies that use anaerobic digesters fail to profit on the digestate.
Instead of making money off the residual organic materials the microorganisms couldn’t process, companies pay $40-$70 per ton to dump them in the nearest landfill. Digestate dryers enable businesses to transform digested material into safe, reusable material.
How Do Digestate Dryers Work?
A digestate dryer is a post-production tool that removes water from digestate. Dehydrated solids make their way through the dryer's intake and come in contact with heated air. The system moves the solids into a storage area and recycles the hot air.
To produce a saleable product, there are a few hurdles to overcome. With proper drying, businesses can reduce the moisture content from 35% to 10% by weight. Getting rid of water content makes sense since it adds no value to the product. With a high enough drying temperature, this process can create Class A fertilizer, which the Department of Agriculture approves for use on farms. It’s also sold to homeowners to fertilize their vegetable gardens.
You may need to install add-on controls for volatile organic compounds and particulates. It depends on the location of the processing plant and different aspects of the waste stream. Add-on controls are less of a concern in rural areas, but there are usually permitting considerations.
Benefits of Digestate
The advantages of drying digestate include the following:
- Reduce volume of digestate
- Increase storage capacity
- Eliminate harmful bacteria
- Maintain nutrients
- Reuse biofuel from drying process
- Use or sell the pellets or granules for fertilizer
- Save on transportation costs
Applications for Dried Digestate
The end product of material processed in a digestate dryer can be used for:
- Animal bedding for livestock
- Fertilizer to replenish nitrogen in soil
- Solid biofuel to create energy
Increase Your Revenue Streams with a Digestate Dryer
Uzelac Industries Inc. supplies dryers that turn digestate into cash. Here’s one example:
- A digestate dryer designed to process 30,000 tons of poultry manure a year operates 5 days a week for one shift a day.
- The machine costs $4 million to buy and install and has an annual operating cost of $400,000.
- The dryer produces 19,000 tons of fertilizer annually. Sold at $145 per ton, this generates $2,755,000 in annual revenue.
After recouping the initial cost of the machine and minus any maintenance costs, it doesn’t take long for digestate drying to become a profitable sideline instead of an operating cost. Now, that’s some math you can get behind!
INDUSTRIAL-SCALE BIOSOLIDS GASIFICATION SERVING THE HOST MUNICIPALITY AND THE GREATER PHILADELPHIA REGION
Within twelve months, Ecoremedy® engineered, financed, permitted, and constructed the facility under an innovative BOOM (Build/Own/Operate/Manage) model.
The Morrisville Municipal Authority provided a quarter-acre parcel adjacent to the dewatering building and a biosolids supply contract for a fixed-fee per ton to Ecoremedy.