Yihuai Hu Nanjing Agricultural U, China
Our team aims to figure out the problems of Peanut Oil Processing Plant and Dairy Excrement Waste Stream. For the first project, a peanut oil processing plant is designed to produce 2 million gallons annually. The processing plant needs a beneficial way to handle the excess peanut meal produced as a byproduct of oil production. The processing plant wishes to become more self-sufficient by means of reducing the plant’s carbon footprint and reliance on outside energy sources. The processing plant owners/operators would also like a way to be able to recycle 90% of the peanut meal as well as to create a new source of revenue. For the second project, the objective of it is to fully utilize 90% of the dairy cow waste stream for positive gain. The remaining 10% (potash) will be dealt with in a manner that is safe for the farm and surrounding environment. With a full utilization of 90% of the dairy cow waste stream, the farmer ought to see a 5%-10% increase in overall profit in running his/her 150 head farm. The farm also ought not to produce any additional potential contamination compounds or elements other than what already exists within the current waste stream.
Project 1 Needs Analysis The United States produces 1.9 million tons of peanuts annually on approximately 1.44 million acres. With new research surfacing daily about the health benefits of peanuts, the peanut industry is rapidly growing (Fast Facts about Peanuts, 2014). As with other rapidly growing industries, there is an increasing concern for what is being done with the waste that comes as a byproduct of the peanut manufacturing process. Peanut oil is a premium cooking oil that is valued by cooks and chefs all around the world. Along with a high smoke point and concentration of desirable monounsaturated fatty acids, peanut oil is tasteless, odorless and does not transfer any unwanted flavors to the foods which it cooks (Fast Facts about Peanuts, 2014). Of the 123,088,000 pounds of crude peanut oil produced in the United States between August 2014 and February 2015, 159,946,000 pounds of peanut meal were also produced as a byproduct (Peanut Stocks and Processing, 2015). From this statistic it can be seen that something productive needs to be done with the waste peanut meal. Brain Storming Ideas for Peanut Meal: • Mulch for compost • Domestic animal food • Feed for Livestock • Burn it for energy • Make a protein cake for 3rd world countries to use as food • Biofuel • Fertilizer • Bury it for carbon renewal • Fish food • Edible toys • Clothing • Furniture Potential Solutions 1. Returning Peanut Meal to Soil as a Fertilizer 2. Using the Peanut Meal as a Food Additive for Livestock 3. Biofuels/Burning Peanut Meal for Energy Project 2 Needs Analysis Dairy farms produce this country’s cheese, milk, cream and other essential food items that are important to human health and quality of life. While dairy farms focus mostly on their outputs, not a lot of thought has gone into what needs to be done with all the waste that dairy cows inevitably produce. Waste is just as much a part of the equation as production, perhaps even more so with the potential outputs that can come from waste alone. On average, a 1200 pound dairy cow produces 120 pounds of manure daily (around 21.9 tons/year) (Fulhage, 1993). Manure acts as a natural fertilizer, but when it isn’t harvested or produced out in the field, then a waste stream is created that runs out of the facilities and into a waste pool. These waste pools can become hazardous. Harmful bacteria can quickly grow within these waste pools and their smell is horrendous for neighboring residents and even entire communities. The waste can even seep into the surrounding watershed, which affects drinking water, irrigation and the surrounding water environments. Within manure are many substantial elements and compounds. If a dairy cow is producing 21.9 tons/year, then it is also producing 65 lb/year of nitrogen, 65 lb/year of phosphate, 175 lb/year of potash and 20 lb/year of sulfur (Fulhage, 1993). These elements and compounds should not be ignored either. Nitrogen can filter its way through the soil and into vital ground water. Nitrogen contamination in groundwater can be harmful to humans and natural water environments. For this reason, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a drinking-water standard of 10 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of nitrogen (in the form of nitrate) (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1995) (Natural Gas, 2015). Phosphate, potash and sulfur all can contaminate the groundwater as well. Considering all of these potential negatives coming from a guaranteed by-product of dairy cows, there is without a doubt a need for something to be done positively with all of this waste. Even though dairy cow waste houses hazardous material, it also houses valuable resources. What may be waste to a cow may be a great food source for another creature. Manure can also be transformed into fuel and other usable products that could produce profit, energy and other useful outputs for dairy farmers, allowing them to maximize their farm’s efficiency. Brain Storming Ideas for Cow Waste: • Beetles that eat manure • Drainage field • Septic tank • Dump into river/ocean • Fuel source • Biofuels/heating • Fertilizer • Methane production • Compost • Bury it • Shoot into space • Filter it to make drinking water the burn it to power filter plant • Paper production • Worms to decompose it Potential Solutions: 1. Methane Production 2. OmniProcessor 3. Vermicomposting 4. Paper Production