Agricultural waste comes in the form of intensive, large-scale farming that becomes more reliant on chemicals and medications to produce crops and livestock for our food supply and the sludge and runoff that comes with this level of farming. Some reports suggest that half of all serious water pollution incidents are from manure runoff from farms. From animal feces, urine, mil, chemicals and pesticides, waste is a major problem. Even a milk spill can create an environmental issue. The way large farms tend to deal with it is to mix it with water to form a slurry that can be used as a fertilizer. But if the mixture isn’t right, then the result is a runoff that is more polluting than raw sewage.
Managing waste is, therefore, a key priority for all farmers. A great example of managing waste can be found at Threemile Canyon Farms in Boardman, Oregon, a sustainable farming enterprise that grows 200,000 tons of potatoes each year and runs around 41,000 head of dairy cattle on the 93,000 acre farm. Needless to say, they needed a way to manage the waste and so decided to partner with Komax and install an updated animal waste sludge digester, both to improve the quality of the wastewater but also to capture the methane gas for energy production.
The innovative farm installed 31,000 tires at the bottom of the digester in order to maximize bacteria growth and gas production. Their previous spiral heat exchangers often created as much as 7% solids in the sludge. The result was a plethora of maintenance issues and constant fouling and plugging. Komax offered our patented Klean Wall Heat Exchanger with a maintenance free design to process high solids sludge at high effiency. Turbulent flow broke up the wall fouling and the Hi<Pass technology ensured passage of large debris. In addition to the plugging and fouling problems going away immediately, the digester began to produce methane after only ten days, which is used to heat water for use in the Dairy. Excess energy can be sold back to the grid. Talk about sustainability!
Farm waste can lead to serious environmental repercussions, including but not limited to water pollution, toxic algae blooms, deformed wildlife and more. If your farm needs a boost, why not investigate how Klean Wall can make a difference for you?