Prospects for Increased Energy Recovery from Horse Manure—A Case Study of Management Practices, Environmental Impact and Costs

Åsa Hadin, Karl Hillman, Ola Eriksson
2017 Energies  
A transition to renewable energy sources and a circular economy has increased interest in renewable resources not usually considered as energy sources or plant nutrient resources. Horse manure exemplifies this, as it is sometimes recycled but not often used for energy purposes. The purpose of this study was to explore horse manure management in a Swedish municipality and prospects for energy recovery. The case study includes a survey of horse manure practices, environmental assessment of horse
more » ... ssessment of horse manure treatment in a biogas plant, including associated transport, compared to on-site unmanaged composting, and finally a simplified economic analysis. It was found that horse manure management was characterized by indoor collection of manure most of the year and storage on concrete slabs or in containers, followed by direct application on arable land. Softwood was predominantly used as bedding, and bedding accounted for a relatively small proportion (13%) of the total mix. Anaerobic digestion was indicated to reduce potential environmental impact in comparison to unmanaged composting, mainly due to biogas substituting use of fossil fuels. The relative environmental impact from transport of manure from horse facilities to anaerobic digestion plant was small. Results also indicate a relatively high cost for horse keepers to change from composting on site to anaerobic digestion in a centralized plant.
doi:10.3390/en10121935 fatcat:ny5szeqadffzvcxmcphe4f2sxa