Fossil fuels are fast getting exhausted and the world has nowhere to go but to look back into the traditions and follow the good old ways of utilizing wood fuel or any other biomass fuel source to make things happen. However, it is not possible to get the fuel out of thin air and to consider any source as a formidable one two criteria are to be met – abundance of the source and fuel generating capability. Apart from woody residues, animal wastes are the best alternative to produce the fuel and it comes with a very low price tag.
There is absolutely no doubt that human beings can’t sustain without live stock. The importance has increased further because the best of biomass consultants are eagerly developing biomass fuels with animal wastes.
Renderings, manures, livestock finishing operation wastes, etc. are very hard to dispose of and with the tightening of regulations on their disposal the only fruitful option is to make them available for the production of animal wastes. There are two types of animal wastes that best fit for fuel production:
Dry animal manure
In general, manures are taken care of by using them in farmlands for organic growth of plants; however, with odor issues and population growing near towards fields manure management has become a pain for those who are supposed to regulate the use. To meet with the challenges several technologies are developed to convert the manure into fuel. The most common technology preferred by biomass fuel suppliers involves three phases – i. Combustion ii. Anaerobic digestion and iii. Composting. However, the same process is not always repeated as the technologies used is dependent on the moisture present in the manure, contaminants present, bedding, etc.
It is not difficult to find manure but it is difficult to collect because of the labor involved. The manure is taken from livestock corrals or feedlots, where it is removed from the place annually or semiannually. Although, manure can be taken from different sources if there is abundance of supply and care should be taken as dry manure is considered valid if it has moisture levels less than or equal to 30%. As there are many uses of manure to a farmer this approach is not as popular as that of using wood fuel for combustion, but in future it would also help in the survival of mankind.
Dairy manure slurry or wet animal manure
Dairy industry is another option to produce biomass fuel from animal wastes. The process gets simplified when it comes to manure collection as these industries contain automatic processes to collect the manure. The flush system used for collection of manure twice or thrice gathers a much diluted form of the waste. However, through separation of water the manure is obtained in the form of slurry. The slurry thus obtained is an excellent source for biomass fuel.
These renewable energy sources are not exhaustive, unless human beings think of a mass extinction of animals. To obtain the fuels one can approach biomass fuel suppliers and live a life without the fear of exhausting fuels.