Manure Bedding Dryers

Many dairy producers faced with the decision of what to bed their freestalls with choose to use dewatered manure solids. These solids provide a comfortable resting environment for the cows but have the potential to harbor high levels of bacteria that harm the health of the cow and reduce milk production and quality. To combat this problem and improve the health of their cows, dairy producers can install a Manure Bedding Dryer. These triple-pass rotary dryers offer an efficient and cost-effective way to reduce moisture and pathogens in recycled manure solids. This creates a healthier resting environment for the cows, leading to an improvement in overall milk quality.

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Why McLanahan Manure Bedding Dryers

McLanahan has long been the leader in designing and building quality rotary equipment. This continues to be true with their rotary drying units for manure bedding. These triple-pass rotary dryers have long been considered the work horses of the drying world, and the bedding dryers are no exception. 

Manure Bedding Dryers are built to McLanahan’s high-quality standards. Each Bedding Dryer arrives at the dairy already installed on a frame with the controls and gas train attached. The installation involves attaching the mounting legs, hooking up the electricity and plumbing, and running the exhaust ductwork. The system is ready to operate once the infeed and outfeed systems are installed. 

Unlike many other rotary dryers, each drum tire is machined from a one-piece forging. It's also bolted into place rather than welded or shrunk on, which allows the tire to be replaced quickly and easily. The drum drive and fan are located above the drum, creating a compact footprint and safer working environment. Access panels are provided in the drum and dust collection system to allow for quick inspection and maintenance. Sensors and controls monitor the inlet and outlet temperatures to ensure a consistent product is produced. 

McLanahan has a full team of engineers and technical personnel who can design a complete separation, dewatering and drying system with infeed conveyors and conveyors to move the finished material, ensuring the dairy gets the best system for their needs.

How Manure Bedding Dryers Work

Manure is first separated and dewatered with a Screw Press or Rotary Drum and Roll Press. This dewatering step is important as it removes the bulk of the moisture from the fibers before going into the drying sytem. Once the fibers are dewatered, they are dumped or conveyed into a hopper system which meters them into the dryer. As they enter the dryer, the fibers are subjected to about 700°F. heat. A fan, located at the discharge of the dryer, pulls air through the drum. As it pulls the air through, the fibers and heat are thoroughly mixed and pulled through as well.

Flighting and lifters within the drum lift the fibers and shower them through the heated air stream. During this process, the fibers are heated and water is removed. To ensure a consistent product, outlet temperature is monitored and automatically adjusted. The control logic in the electrical panel relays the outlet temperature to the burner, which in turn modulates the flow of gas to maintain that temperature. All this is done automatically with minimal operator interface. 

A collection system on the dryer discharge pulls the dried bedding from the heated airstream and discharges it onto a conveyor which stacks it for immediate reuse, creating a nearly endless supply of bedding.

Popular Applications for Manure Bedding Dryers

The McLanahan Manure Bedding Dryer is primarily used to dry manure solids for use as freestall bedding. A variation of this drying system can be used to dry sludge from Nutrient Separation Systems.

Benefits of McLanahan Manure Bedding Dryers

  • Reduces moisture in fiber bedding
  • Reduces pathogens in bedding material
  • Creates a healthier environment for the resting cow
  • Decreases mastitis
  • Reduces somatic cell counts
  • Maximizes milk production
  • Minimizes hospital pen population
  • Maximizes cow comfort

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Frequently Asked Questions

What fuel sources can I use?

The Manure Bedding Dryer can operate on diesel, propane, natural gas, and scrubbed biogas. Each of these has a different requirement for the gas train. If biogas is used, modifications will need to be made to sections of the system to account for the corrosive nature of that gas.

What key options should I consider? 

A number of options are available to make the Manure Bedding Dryer more tailored to your operation. A few of the most common options include:

  1. Multi-gas train – This allows the operator to quickly change between natural gas and propane. This is sometimes important, as gas and propane supply and prices fluctuate. 
  2. Biogas train – This addition allows the system to operate on scrubbed biogas. Along with this train, certain components are manufactured out of stainless steel to prevent corrosion from the biogas. 
  3. Bag house filter – There are times when a particulate filter must be used to capture all the particles that bypass the standard cyclone system. 
  4. Automatic weighing station for hopper – This is used to determine feed rates to the dryer and the amount of material that remains to be processed in the hopper. 
  5. Feed hopper system – This is an automatic feed hopper system to regulate and automate feed into the system.

Do I need to be concerned about a fire hazard? 

Fire is a risk with any drying system. This is especially true with organic materials. Regardless of the material being dried, though, every Manure Bedding Dryer is supplied with a fire suppression system. This system automatically injects water or steam into the dryer if the temperature gets above a predetermined setpoint.

What other drying technologies should I consider? 

The primary methods used to commercially dry manure fibers include: fluidized bed dryers, flash tube dryers and rotary Bedding Dryers. Each one of these methods comes with a list of pros and cons. Some advantages of using a rotary Bedding Dryer include simplicity, greater flexibility in feed rates and product sizes, and product uniformity.