Nutrient redistribution between areas with a structural pig slurry surplus and those with a shortage, is limited by the high cost of transportation and spreading, due to the high water content in slurry (more than 90%) and its relative low nutrient concentration. Water can be removed from slurry by evaporation, through the application of waste heat from a power plant or from other processes. Apart from obtaining a concentrate with an obviously higher nutrient concentration than the original slurry, another objective is to obtain clean water as condensate. The objective of this work was to study the batch vacuum evaporation of pig slurry liquid fraction, to evaluate the economic feasibility and to evaluate condensate quality as a function of both pH (4, 5 and 6) and pig slurry type (fresh slurry and anaerobically digested slurry). Results showed that condensate characteristics (ammonia nitrogen, VFA, COD) were strongly dependent on these variables. Previous anaerobic digestion presented clear advantages: it provided a fraction of the required energy and it removed organic matter, preventing its volatilisation in the evaporation process and providing higher quality condensates. These advantages make the combined treatment strategy economically more feasible than the evaporation process alone.

This content is only available as a PDF.