Iowan Fires Up Furnaces Fueled by Manure

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by copperkid3, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. copperkid3

    copperkid3 Well-Known Member

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    Wednesday, November 8, 2006

    WAUKEE, Iowa - John Kimberlin hopes to light a fire under his idea of using manure to produce heat and electricity. Kimberlin, of Waukee, believes he has perfected a small-scale furnace that can be used on farms, at racetracks, or anywhere else livestock waste piles up.

    Investors have worked to turn manure and biomass into energy, and scientists say it could make Iowa a major producer of power. The state produces enough manure to power 325,000 homes, according to estimates from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

    There also are tax incentives that encourage the development of methane digesters to create electricity and control odor.

    Kimberlin said he came up with the idea of building a manure furnace from the tons of horse manure he had on his farm west of Des Moines.

    He needed to find some way to get rid of it. He said he couldn't spread it on his land without contaminating the water and hauling it away would be too expensive.

    Kimberlin did some small experiments and spent time at the Iowa State University library researching his idea. He eventually received a patent and found some investors.

    They formed a company called Nature's Furnace Inc., and are planning to make and sell several different kinds of furnaces.

    Kimberlin said the company wants to keep the size of the furnaces small so they can be portable.

    He also said the furnace, which will be marketed across the country and overseas, would be produced locally.

    "We want to build them right here, to bring the employment here," he said.

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    Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com
     
  2. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Isn't one of the problems causing the deforestation of 3rd world countries the fact that they are burning manure as cooking or heating fuel instead of returning it to the soil as fertilizer? Sounds like one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard. Hasn't the guy heard of composting--wouldn't that be a way to deal with lots of manure, and end up with a more stable product when done?
     

  3. Esche

    Esche Member

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    I've heard of this idea before (well, the burning manure bit anyway) and while I've never tried it myself, the manure ash apparently makes an excellent fertilizer...here's an article written by someone who has actually experiemented with this: Backwoods Home Magazine: Your Manure Pile
     
  4. rivesjct3768

    rivesjct3768 Well-Known Member

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    Ahh.....WisJim......I fail to see how "burning manure equates with "deforestation" ........the word itself says it all.......taking a forest and turning it into non-forest. Manure comes from animals (granted it goes in one end as a green, leafy vegatative substance which can come from things in a forest, woodland, etc., but it exits the other end that has nothing to do with a forest. The pygmies in Africa have probably never considered burning dung......however, our early settlers when crossing the Great Plains of "this country".....found an absence of combustibles (aka WOOD), but "buffalo chips" were in ample supply and they actually burned once you got them lit!
    So.....not such a dumb idea after all....... :nono:

    By the way, did you actually read this part of the article which explains the WHY he couldn't compost ALL of it?

    "He needed to find some way to get rid of it. He said he couldn't spread it on his land without contaminating the water and hauling it away would be too expensive."
     
  5. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

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    If they could harness methane from treatment plants it would kill two birds. It is smelly and in confinement explosive. the more people we have teh closer they will be to treatment facilities. More conplaints there will be.

    some states now have their plants under a "dome" of sorts to deal w/ smell.

    Humans frown on getting their drinking water directly form water treatment plants who get their water from waste plants. There is a lot of money wasted due to peoples phobias.

    there will never be a lack of animal waste w/ feedlots around. Burning the dung would also reduce the infectious diseases and parisites that animal in close confinement will have.

    Hey, they make garden/lawn "statuary" out of compressed dung why not heat homes w/ it???
     
  6. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    rivesjct3768,
    To answer your question,
    I don't think that composting was mentioned at all in the article. There would be no run off from compost or the composting process, but burning manure destroys organic matter that is important to soil structure.
    Methan production would make more sense than burning it, and is beeing done on many scales around the country.