On-farm poultry manure pelletisers: the options and costs – Farmers


With guidelines on farm emissions getting more durable, poultry gear corporations have reported a surge in demand for methods that flip manure right into a steady, sanitised, saleable fertiliser.

Dorset Green Machines enterprise improvement supervisor Jeff Poulter says demand is from flocks of all sizes, with latest installations starting from 4,000-80,000t annual capacities.

See additionally: 4 alternate options to spreading poultry manure on land 

Pelletisers are proving notably helpful the place manure disposal is tough, comparable to items close to city developments or in environmentally delicate areas.

Soaring fertiliser costs have added an additional incentive to course of on-farm manure, both to make use of on the unit or as a saleable product to different farmers.

Equipment producer Big Dutchman’s product supervisor Franz-Josef Straub echoes Mr Poulter’s evaluation of the rising market.

“People need to turn into extra impartial from synthetic fertiliser and that’s driving large demand proper now,” says Mr Straub.

How the system works

Mr Poulter explains that the agency’s methods work by drying manure on belts, eliminated every day from the poultry shed.

Air from the housing may be drawn up by Dorset GM’s perforated metallic belts system and out by scrubbers to take away ammonia.

The metallic belts help warmth switch, lowering gas costs and permitting layers of manure 18cm thick to be dried to 85% dry matter (DM) inside two days.

Dried manure is moved to a bunker earlier than being pressed into pellets and then sterilised – a course of required if manure is to be offered off-farm.

When air from the poultry home is used for drying, the measurement of the dryer is calculated, primarily based on the variety of hens.

As an instance, a dryer on a farm with 80,000-120,000 hens would require a dryer 27m lengthy by 2m vast by 3m excessive.

Centralised items

An different setup is to make use of warmth drawn from an on-farm warmth exchanger or mixed warmth plant in a centralised unit.

Centralised items are fed by loaders and a very good possibility for multi-home websites or a co-operation between broiler producers, which may feed the unit in sequence at depopulation.

It gives a very built-in system for each kinds of unit. These take the manure from the shed proper by to weighing and bag filling.

Costs differ vastly in keeping with necessities and scale, with latest installations starting from £400,000-£2m.

Scalable methods

The lack of odour from manure saved as pellets and diminished environmental threat had additionally been a think about new items progressing efficiently by planning – boosting set up numbers for Big Dutchman.

The firm gives a number of options for poultry producers desirous to course of manure.

The most simple system is the Compoliner composter, says Mr Straub, as a result of the litter may be loaded straight from the home at 35-45% DM.

The system includes transport containers linked horizontally, finish-to-finish, and is scalable from two 40ft containers as much as eight.

Once loaded, the closed pressurised system takes 15 days to provide sanitised compost prepared for cooling, bagging and sale.

The system costs £500,000-£1m, relying on measurement. Producers will even want coated storage, permitting the processed compost to chill for 2 weeks earlier than bagging.


The pelletiser costs much less, at about £400,000, however the manure should be dried to 85% DM first.

That takes a separate course of, usually comprising a drying system connected to the air flow exhaust from the poultry housing.

While the container may be sited exterior, the hopper should be coated to maintain the rain out, with undercover storage required for the bagged pellets.

Big Dutchman gives two options – a small pellet field able to processing 750kg/hour, or a big pellet tower which may course of 5t/hour.


Once manure is dried, it’s crushed and pelletised © Big Dutchman

The field comes as a plug-and-play system in a 40ft container, whereas the tower is objective constructed of enormous-scale manufacturing.

With each, the dry manure is loaded into the hopper, the place it’s chopped, pressed into pellets. It is then warmth-handled at over 70C for one hour to sanitise it.

The pellets come out at 5mm diameter and 20-30mm lengthy, though this may be adjusted.

Typically, methods produce pellets with 5-6% nitrogen, 2-3% phosphate and 2-3% potash, whereas the compost incorporates related phosphate and potash however decrease nitrogen, at about 3%.

Running costs are a consideration, notably given the excessive value of electrical energy.

The Compoliner makes use of 30kWh/t of enter manure, whereas the Pellet Box makes use of 60kWh/t of pellets. “You might run on renewable vitality, offering you have got a dependable supply,” says Mr Straub.


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