(325d) A Decision-Making Tool for the Design and Evaluation of Waste Management Systems in Livestock Facilities
Currently, in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), the manure is collected and stored as a liquid or slurry in waste storage ponds specifically designed for this purpose, or in tanks. After storage, a common practice is the land application of the waste with the aim to employ the manure nutrient content as fertilizer . However, the continued land application of manure in the surroundings of CAFOs can lead to nutrient pollution , causing various effects on human health, the environment, and the economy as mentioned before. Additionally, one of the major nutrient management difficulties is the high-water content of manure, making transportation of waste to nutrient deficient locations difficult and expensive. Therefore, appropriate and cost-effective on-site livestock manure management strategies must be implemented to achieve an environmentally sustainable operation of livestock facilities.
This work describes the development of a design and assessment tool based on techno-economic models to aid decision-makers in selecting the optimal nutrient recovery and valorization technologies from livestock waste. This approach is based on the operational conditions which define each livestock facility, capital cost availability, and the targeted environmental benefits. The goal is to provide a customized solution for each individual facility by evaluating different nutrient recovery and product valorization alternatives through a multi-criteria analysis framework and reach a satisfactory trade-off between economic and environmental goals. The technologies considered for nutrient recovery range from simple mechanical separation techniques such as filtration and centrifugation units to chemical processing units such as struvite formation, for obtaining products with a different quality to be used as fertilizers [5, 6]. All technologies concentrate the product nutrient content, facilitating its transportation and distribution to potential customers. In addition, the proposed tool recommends decision-makers an optimal preliminary process design and cost of the selected technology as a function of the facility operating parameters.
Hence, this tool informs decision-makers regarding cost-effective actions for nutrient pollution control and prevention from a diverse cadre of organic wastes. This allows the development of end-of-life alternatives for organic waste reuse/recycling and the recovery of valuable products.
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